For many of us, the stresses of life often make sleep elusive. If you’re struggling to shut down at night and get the rest you need, your whole life is affected. Sure, you can choose to take sleeping aids to knock you out. But that doesn’t get to the root of the problem. One of the best ways to help your body rest is to get real exercise. Here are three ways that hitting the gym will improve your sleep.
Research Shows That Aerobic Exercise Reduces Insomnia
In 2010, Northwestern Medicine conducted a study of 23 adults with sleep issues. Participants completed cardiovascular exercise four times a week for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, the previously poor sleepers reported a large jump in sleep quality. Additionally, they saw a reduction in depressive symptoms and daytime sleepiness. This research shows that time at the gym throughout the week not only increases the length and quality of nighttime sleep but also improves alertness and mood throughout the day.
Exercise Also Improves Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the affected person to stop breathing in their sleep for short amounts of time. More than 18 million adults in the U.S. have sleep apnea. Symptoms include snoring, interrupted sleep cycles, and daytime exhaustion. Several different studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise significantly decreases the negative effects of sleep apnea, even without weight loss. Additionally, these studies show that regular exercise increases the quality of sleep and cardiovascular fitness.
Regular Time at the Gym Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Oftentimes, our reduced sleep is connected to our stress levels. When your mind is full of tasks and concerns, it’s difficult to get to sleep and stay there. Exercise has been shown to lower stress levels and relieve tension. Also, time at the gym increases your brains resilience to stress hormones (since when you workout you stress yourself in safe and healthy ways). Both of these benefits allow you to hit your pillow at night with lower stress and ready to get good rest.
With lives as busy and hectic as ours tend to be, it’s hard to remember that sleep is essential for our well-being. If you struggle to sleep at night or find that your sleep isn’t as restful as it should be, you have options! Make time for the gym this week. This small addition to your routine makes such a big difference in your rest. Also, if you’re looking for the best gym around, look no further than FitPro West. Our expert trainers will meet you where you are and get you where you want to go.