GET MOVING AND QUIT TOSSING AND TURNING

A little exercise could go a long way towards helping to improve your sleep.

Regular exercise improves your heart health and blood pressure, builds bone and muscle, helps combat stress and muscle tension, and can even improve your mood. But who has the time?If you have trouble sleeping, maybe you should think about making the time.

Sounds like a catch-22, right? The most common excuse for not working out is being too tired. But working out is exactly what your body needs to prevent you from being exhausted in the future. Before you start pumping iron, keep in mind that exercise and sleep have a love-hate relationship. Work out at the wrong time, and it will keep you awake. Exercise at the right time and your body will be perfectly prepared to shut down when it’s time for shuteye.

Get moving in the morning.

Exercise right after getting up to help relieve stress, improve your mood and signal your body that it’s time to start the day. The best thing you can do is get outside. Being exposed to natural light in the morning, whether you're exercising or not, can improve your sleep at night by reinforcing your body's sleep-wake cycle. Also remember to talk to your doctor before beginning or modifying an exercise regimen.

The best time of day to exercise.

When it comes to having a direct effect on getting a good night's sleep, it's vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening that appears most beneficial. The reason has to do with your body temperature. That's because a good workout raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you're getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature acts as a trigger that helps ease you into dozing off.

Exercise doesn’t have to mean turning yourself into body builder. Here are some other ways to add activity into your daily routine:

  • Take a 20-minute walk on your lunch break.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park your car as far away as possible.
  • Walk to and from work.
  • Set an alarm to go off every hour, then stand up and move around when it does.
  • Use the restroom on another floor.
  • Leave something important in your car so you have to run out and grab it at some point during the day.
  • Deliver documents and packages to coworkers in person instead of by email.
  • Get a headset for your phone and walk around while you talk.
What kind of exercise is best for sleep?

Strength-training, stretching, yoga, and any other types of exercise have their benefits, but nothing matches the sleep-enhancing powers of a cardiovascular workout. When your heart rate is up and your muscles are pumping for at least 20 minutes, you’ll end up sleeping sounder and longer, plus you’ll feel more awake during the day.

If you suffer from sleeplessness, you should take the steps necessary to add at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise into your schedule three or four times a week. Choose whatever activity you enjoy and get used to an increase in activity leading to a decrease in tossing and turning.

 
 

TIP OF THE WEEK

AVOID THE SNOOZE BUTTON
Uninterrupted slumber is better sleep. Train yourself to get up on the first ring.