Many adults struggle to get their recommended 8 hours per night for one reason or another. If that reason is because of work or parent duties there is little exercise can do, but if you are a restless sleeper and don’t regularly exercise then it might be your best option.
The reason exercise can help improve your sleep boils down to two things it effects, your body and mind. Some exercises are more beneficial to you physically whilst others are more beneficial to you mentally, so its about getting the balance of what you feel is most disrupting your sleep. For example if you feel like you have too much on your mind and can’t switch off once you are in bed then you might want to opt for exercise that has more chance of relaxing your mind.
Yoga is one such form of exercise that is particularly beneficial to your mind. Consistent yoga workouts are proven to relax your mind and reduce stress, which can help ease you off to sleep because your brain is less active.
Yoga isn’t just great for your mind though, and it still has its physical benefits. Though it is regarded as a low intensity workout, it can show great results in both strengthening your core muscles and improves the synchronicity of your vital organs.
There are a number of different Yoga poses which you could incorporate into a morning or evening routine if you feel like trying it out, and the longer you stick with it, the longer you will reap the rewards of a good nights sleep.
To illustrate what aerobic exercise is we have outlined two examples, jogging and swimming. Aerobic exercise means “with oxygen”, this is because of your increased heart rate and therefore increased intake of oxygen whilst doing them.
Aerobic exercise also substantially increases your body temperature, which then gradually lowers as your body relaxes, which is great in the run up to getting into bed. This is because aerobic exercise should last a minimum of 15 minutes, so as you continuously exercise, your body continues to generate heat until you stop.
The reason we chose these two examples (other than both being aerobic) is that they provide different levels of impact, meaning one might be more beneficial than another depending on your health. If you have had long term knee or ankle problems swimming is going to be your best option due to the lack of impact for example. If you are fit and able jogging is probably you best bet, and is obviously much more accessible.
If you don’t fancy either of these two you could try cycling (which is another low impact exercise) or if you perhaps enjoy team sports of which there are plenty that offer good (high and low impact) aerobic exercise.
A number of studies taken over the last 5 years have proven that exercise can help you get a better nights sleep. Finding the right exercise for you (especially if you don’t already exercise semi-regularly) can be the most difficult part of this. As previously mentioned there are plenty of different forms of aerobic exercise as well as yoga, and there is certainly something out there for everyone.