It’s hard to feel much exercise motivation when you’re dead tired. You probably assumed that exercise is good for sleep, but the 2013 National Sleep Foundation Poll shows just how closely the two are connected.
People who exercised were much more likely to say they got a good night’s sleep almost every night even though everyone averaged about the same 7 hours a night on weeknights. Among those who exercised, 67 percent were satisfied with their slumber versus 39 percent of the non-exercisers. While vigorous exercise produced the best results of all, even a 10 minute daily walk helped. If you sit at a desk all day, you’ll also be happy to know that just taking a break and moving around will improve your sleep. Sitting for less than 8 hours a day produced about a 10 percent increase in “very good” sleep quality. Overall, 24 percent of non-exercisers complained about sleepiness compared to 12 to 15 percent of the active folks.
As the researchers point out, there’s a vicious circle at work here because it’s hard to get moving when you’re so tired you want to stay in bed. They suggest starting out gradually with low intensity routines and working your way up. You may also want to try all the usual home remedies for insomnia and talk with your doctor, who may refer you to a sleep specialist if you need more help. Meanwhile, some simple solutions that work for most people include going to bed and rising at the same time even on weekends, and keeping your bedroom quiet and dark.
Our Nexercise fitness and weight loss app makes fitness fun by letting you play games with your friends while you become more active. As a bonus, you may wind up sleeping better and enjoying all your daily activities more.