Sleeping well improves alertness, memory, mood, stress level and more. What’s the secret to a good night’s sleep? It’s no secret. There’s a lot you can do to sleep better. One important part is making physical activity a part of your daily life.Physical activity improves sleep in a few different ways:
- Being active increases the amount of slow wave sleep (deep sleep) you get. This part of the sleep cycle is the most restorative stage.
- Exercise helps your body get in its best sleep-wake rhythm – it helps set your sleep pattern (circadian rhythm).
- Physical activity reduces anxiety and over-excitement, both of which can have a negative impact on sleep.
Here are a couple of myths (or “fairy tales”) about exercise and sleep you might have heard.
Myth: You shouldn’t exercise if you’ve had a bad sleep the night before.
One bad night’s sleep won’t affect your daily workout routine or athletic ability. But if poor sleep is a common occurrence, talk to your doctor.
Myth: You shouldn’t exercise in the evening.
It is okay to exercise at night. But give yourself a few hours between exercising and heading to bed. Give your body and mind some time to relax and make the transition from your runners to your slippers.
Bottom Line: Being active on a regular basis is one lifestyle choice you can make to help get a better sleep. Learn how to get started with your physical fitness.
Keep in mind: diet, stress, and substance use (including tobacco) all influence sleep and your overall health. Join the HealthyFamilies BC community for practical tips on improving and maintaining your well-being. Ask about sleep and exercise or other physical activity questions by calling the Physical Activity Line (8-1-1), comment below, or send us a comment on Twitter @HealthFamilyBC and @TeamPAL. Good night!