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5 Reasons Exercise Improves Sleep

Just in case you needed another example of how important exercise is for your health, here are two.  First, being physically active leads to better sleep.  Second, when you get enough sleep, it impacts almost every aspect of your health.  It may seem too simple to be effective, but making time for exercise might be the magic bullet you have been looking for to boost your overall health while helping you fight the battle of the bulge.  Read on to learn how exercising helps improve your sleep which in turn improves your life.


Exercise Helps You Fall Asleep

The National Sleep Foundation says that physical activity is an important part of safeguarding a good night’s sleep.  Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and even helps you stay asleep during the night.  A study conducted at Northwestern University showed that aerobic exercise can actually help alleviate insomnia.  Participants that exercised reported a consistently improved quality of sleep as well as less daytime sleepiness than a control group that did not.


Exercise Alleviates Stress

One of the most common things that keeps us up at night is stress.  We worry about work, obsess about money, and work ourselves into a mental frenzy that makes sleep impossible.  We also tend to clench the muscles in our shoulders, neck, and back when we are stressed which can lead to painful knots which also impact our sleep.  Exercising helps eliminate stress by clearing our minds and removing the symptoms of stress from our bodies.


Exercise Improves the Quality of Your Sleep

Along with making it easier to fall asleep and easier to stay asleep, researchers have found that exercise improves the overall quality of your sleep.  Although there is much that is still unknown about how sleep works and what it impacts, most experts agree that when each stage of sleep is equally necessary and important.  They also agree that when you are deprived of one stage, your body will try to balance things out by dedicating more time to that stage the next time you sleep.  When people exercise consistently, the amount of time they spend in each stage of sleep changes, in essence rebalancing back to normal.


Exercise Helps You Get More Sleep

Researchers have also found that exercise can increase a person’s total sleep time when done consistently.  Looking across the various studies and research findings indicates that when people adopt a consistent exercise regimen, their total average sleep time increases.


Exercise Decreases Daytime Sleepiness

Research has shown again and again that consistent physical activity reduces daytime sleepiness.  This is true across almost every age and fitness level.  Experts believe this link is so pervasive because of how exercising impacts the most frequent causes of daytime sleepiness including depression, obesity, diabetes, and sleep deprivation.  Since exercise helps to alleviate the symptoms of these problems, it is also helps mitigate the impact those conditions have on our ability to sleep.


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