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It may seem odd to say that more activity can help you relax and rest better. But it may. Studies show that people who get at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a day may see better sleep quality as soon as that same night.
We know working out is good for our bodies in many ways. But it can also help your mental health in ways that improve sleep. Daily activity can help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. More importantly, it helps you get better, deeper sleep.
Does just any activity help you sleep better? Yes. What matters is picking something you like and sticking with it, experts say.
What matters even more is when you exercise. If you’re active too close to bedtime, it can backfire. That’s because:
Everyone is different. So when it comes to timing your exercise, you should listen to your body and see what works best for you, says the medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep.
Sleep and exercise impact each other in many ways, says the Sleep Foundation. Not getting enough sleep, or only getting poor quality sleep, can lead to lower levels of physical activity. And lower levels of activity can lead to worse sleep.
If you do exercise, in addition to it helping you sleep better, you may find it:
Better sleep can mean more energy, and it’s easier to exercise when you have energy, says the Cleveland Clinic. Boosting your activity level also helps:
If you’re not already active, start by adding a little activity in each day. You can build up to more activity over time and figure out what works for you. If you haven’t been active in a while, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your activity.
If you’re already active and still having sleep problems, look at the timing and intensity of your activity. You can keep an exercise and sleep diary to track what you’re doing and figure out what works for you. When you hit on what works, it will soon become routine.
Make sure you also:
If you’ve tried it all and good sleep is still hard to find, talk with your doctor. Don’t just keep putting up with it. Refreshing sleep is vital for your mind and body.
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