While it’s a pretty well known fact that exercising daily and getting a good night’s sleep can lead a person to a healthy lifestyle, an issue that’s rarely covered is the best time during the day to exercise in order to sleep soundly at night.
How Much Exercise
Let’s face it, those nights where you don’t get enough sleep, you will pay for it the entire next day, (especially as you’re dragging through that evening Pilates class). The Mental Health and Physical Activity journal has come up with the best ways to ensure your exercise routine and sleep patterns can work together so that you get the most out of your bench presses and snooze sessions. People who exercise moderately at least 150 minutes per week sleep 65% better and longer than those who do not.
When to Exercise
The time of day you exercise can have a direct effect on your sleep patterns. For those of you who like to workout at night, beware. Exercising vigorusly too close to bed can stimulate your muscles, heart and brain which can leave your mind racing when you finally reach your mattress at night. Try to avoid exercising less than three hours before your bedtime.
The best time of the day to exercise is the morning, which for a lot of you may be a lot harder than it sounds. While it can be difficult to think of exercising anything besides your right to coffee early as dawn is breaking, working out after waking up can help to relieve stress, improve your mood and your energy levels for the rest of the day, serving as a natural caffeine. All of these factors indirectly lead to a better night’s sleep. If you’re still not jumping aboard the morning workout train, you can still have a successful afternoon / early evening workout that can positively contribute to a solid night of sleep.
How to Exercise
The best exercise to ensure you’re sleeping peacefully through the night are cardiovascular workouts, better known as “cardio”. Cardio exercises help to elevate your heart rate and get your muscles moving for 20 minutes or more at a time. Try to do a cardio routine at least four times a week. Feel free to change up your cardio of choice throughout the week to keep your workouts fresh and fun. Many people shy away from cardio exercising simply because of the misconception that they always has to involve running. Cardio exercise can be anything from jogging or brisk walking to swimming or spin classes. As long as you’re breaking a sweat and feeling the burn in 20 minutes or more, you’ll be successful in keeping your energy going throughout the day and hitting the mattress hard and long at night.
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