If you’re like most people, you consistently feel like you’re not getting enough sleep. Whether you wake up feeling exhausted or you find yourself spacing out during the work day, getting high quality sleep is absolutely essential to your health. Instead of reaching for that medication bottle to put you into dream land, why not try a more natural alternative?
Let’s take a look at how exercise can help you get a better night’s rest and have a more productive day.
Exercise: Is It Really THAT Good for You?
There’s a reason you’re always hearing about how good exercise is for your health and it doesn’t just have to do with getting a better body. The benefits of exercise support your body on an aesthetic level but there are so many other and more impressive things going on behind the scenes.
Exercise supports your overall health. A few examples include flushing away harmful toxins, boosting your day-to-day mood, and improving your sleep. Just how is being active boosting how well you sleep at night?
Ever notice how good you feel after a workout? Exercise supports the release of feel good hormones in the body. These chemicals help to boost your mood but they also decrease stress.
Stress negatively impacts sleep. If you’ve ever tried going to sleep with a world of trouble on your mind, you know exactly what I’m talking about. When you’re stressed, your body is producing high levels of cortisol. This is a hormone that is released when we need to take action. Not exactly the best chemical to be in your body when you’re trying to nod off.
It’s important to clarify that there is GOOD stress and BAD stress. Bad stress, called distress, is when you are fearful, nervous, or angry about a situation. It puts you in a negative mood. It makes you feel terrible.
Good stress, also called eustress, is when you are presented with a challenging situation but feel motivated to succeed. For example, you’re learning a language and your goal is to hold a conversation in this new language for 10 minutes. You’re being stressed (in a good way) to succeed.
Exercise is eustress. It stresses your body and in response, your body boosts the levels of deep sleep it gets. Why? It’s during deep sleep that your body does the most work in repair and recovery.
Exercise promotes higher levels of oxygen in the blood. Breathing well isn’t something you’d normally think about but it is one of the keys to healthy sleep.
Oxygen is a nutrient. Your entire body needs oxygen and when levels are high, your body thrives. If oxygen levels are low, bodily processes take a dive. This includes sleeping. Talk to someone with sleep apnea and you’ll see what I mean.
If you’re not getting enough oxygen to your brain during sleep, the quality of your sleep is going to be poor. You won’t be able to successfully enter deep sleep and you’ll feel exhausted in the morning.
Exercising on a regular basis promotes oxygen efficiency in the body. That means more oxygen is able to reach the organs that need it. More oxygen results in more sleep.
Tell Us What You Think!
Have you noticed a difference in your sleep since you started exercising?
Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!
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