Does exercise affect sleep? The short answer is yes, it most certainly does. Researchers around the world have been working for years to pinpoint the direct cause of this correlation, but the concrete explanation continues to be elusive. However, it has been frequently observed and fundamentally proven that moderate aerobic exercise will increase the amount of slow wave sleep (deep sleep) that you achieve. It is believed that this is due to a combination of positive effects exercise has on the body, and we will discuss these effects in detail, below.

Benefits of Exercise

Aside from the obvious benefits of exercise, such as strength building, weight loss, and improving your cardiovascular health, exercise can provide a number of benefits that have a positive impact on your brain. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are a group of delightful hormones that increase the activity of your brain, improve your mood, relieve stress, and oftentimes create feelings of euphoria during your workout. Simply getting a regular dose of endorphins every day can be an effective fight against the most common causes of sleep deprivation in adults, but more directly, the brain coming down from the stimulation received by these endorphins appears to be a large contributing factor to improving your sleep. In other words, exercise not only helps remove obstacles that get in the way of a good night’s sleep, but also provides your brain with an adequate workout to help you feel tired enough to fall asleep faster.

The Timing Of Exercise

We discussed the important benefits to your body, as well as your mind, with a regular exercise routine, but it is also important to discuss the importance of timing. For many people, exercise can be a little too stimulating to the brain, and actually prevent you from falling asleep at your desired time, if you choose to workout too late in the day. Exercise raises your core body temperature, increases blood circulation, and stimulates your metabolism. Each of these effects actively work to stimulate your mind and body, similar to taking a hot shower in the morning to help you wake up. This is not something you want if you plan on going home and going to bed shortly after your workout, so it is advised to schedule your workout at least 2 hours before bedtime. Everyone’s body works differently, so there isn’t a preferred time of the day that experts recommend for exercise, so the best advice is to simply listen to your body and see which times of the day exercise has the best impact for you.

Jacksonville Sleep Center Can Help You Today!

Diagnosing and treating a sleep disorder is vital to your timely recovery and return to a productive daily life. At the Jacksonville Sleep Center, Dr. Nassar and Dr. Festic’s team of professionals specialize in helping patients get the great sleep they need. We offer the latest in technology for sleep disorder diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. If you are experiencing an imbalance in sleep latency, we can help. Schedule an appointment with us today and get your sleep back on track.