Do your resolutions for 2018 involve adding more exercise to your weekly routine? If you’re struggling to muster that much-needed motivation to get the ball rolling this month and haven’t been heading to the gym or going for a run as often as you would like then we have a theory here at Mattressman that we’d like to test…
Consider this: how did you sleep last night? In fact, how have you slept all week? If the answers to these questions are anything other than well and you don’t have a dodgy mattress that you can blame, you might want to think about how exercising can benefit your kip.
Of course, we are all aware of the health benefits that come with exercising and January is a time when a healthy lifestyle and exercising are everywhere – but what can keeping fit do for your sleep? And can you really get a better night’s sleep because of it?
Exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, and these feelings can often contribute towards a restless night’s sleep. Fortunately, anything from a light jog to a few stretches can reduce your cortisol levels, cortisol being the hormone produced by the body in response to stress. Not only that but exercising during the day can have a really positive effect on your wellbeing and mental health, which is good news if anxiety plays a large part in keeping you awake at night!
After a healthy dose of exercise, the drop in your cortisol levels should mean that you start to feel more relaxed and within a few hours, you should start to feel tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.
It’s said that you should avoid exercising right before bed as it can lead to a disrupted night’s sleep, however, it really does depend on the individual—after all, everybody’s different! If you’re unsure, stay on the safe side and leave a few hours or so between exercising and going to bed.
Regular exercise can also prevent you from feeling sleepy during the day…taking a midday nap every once in a while isn’t unusual but while a short afternoon nap is unlikely to impact your sleep negatively, anything longer can leave you feeling wide awake when bedtime comes around. So where does exercise come in? Well, if hitting the gym or yoga mat isn’t your thing, a brisk walk at lunchtime or getting up from your desk every few hours can make you feel much more alert during the day, which means that you’re less likely to slink off for a cheeky nap and throw off your bedtime routine.
It has been proven that people who exercise for 30-40 minutes four times a week are also more likely to feel energised during the day and sleep well at night, but choose the approach that best suits you and let us know how you get on.
Whether you’re planning regular gym visits or just want to add some light exercise to your weekly routine in 2018, you’ll not only be helping your overall health but your sleep too!