Guess what? That yoga class, 30 minutes of pilates, deadlift in CrossFit, walk to and from the market, and that intensive gardening session just set you up for a good night’s sleep. Not surprising, I’m sure, considering that exercising is great for your physical, emotional and mental well-being as well as tiring you out. It makes sense that it would lead to better slumber, right? But why?
Just so you know, while studies show physical exercise and activity support a really great slumber time, the ‘why’ isn’t exactly clear. Of course, there are some obvious reasons that seem to bridge the two and we feel like that’s a good place to start.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet take the stress off of your body and mind. Stress is a contributing factor to lack of sleep. Therefore… you see where we’re going with this. Less stress leads to more sleep and moving your body frequently leads to less stress. Problem solved.
Tiring you out
Pretty much no matter what time of day you exercise — super early in the morning or later in the day — you are preparing your body for sleep when the time comes. That expending of energy helps your personal engine understand there will come a time when rejuvenation arrives. By being consistent with some sort of physical movement — dancing, running, golf, whatever trips your body’s trigger — you also support a longer more substantial duration to your sleep pattern.
Deep sleep fan club
Ah, lush, delicious, deep sleep is a dream come true. Yep, you guessed it. Exercising not only helps you snooze but coaxes you into that magical place of bottomless nightly slumber we all wish for. When you are falling down that relaxing rabbit hole of rest, you’re also supporting a healthy immune system and fighting off all kinds of health risks.
Switching your internal thermostat
You’ve probably read this from us before, but the optimal temperature for your body to sleep is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the environment in which you capture your zzzz’s. We can’t really do anything about our inside temp, which stays at a lovely tropical 98.6 degrees. When you exercise in the morning or afternoon, however, you raise your internal thermostat above the norm only to have it get back on track by the evening. This drop makes you feel sleepy and ready to hit the sack. All because of exercise.
Sleep perchance to power lift
There are a few “this may be why” reasons for the great relationship between sleep and exercise. We feel like it’s worth it to check it out, see how it fits your lifestyle and how it feels to you. Just like diet, the best time of day and type of exercise for you depends on, well, you. Every person is different and what may work for me may not work for you. You may want to speak with your doctor about what would be best if you’re interested in creating a routine that leads to better nighttime rest. And summer is a good time to take that body movement outside in a variety of ways because not only does it feel good to be active in the warm, dusky sunshine, but natural light helps to smooth out your circadian rhythm. Bonus!
Enjoy a bit of “get up and go” to help you successfully call it a night. We’ll even spot you.