Exercise and Sleep

Exercise and balanced day-night rhythms go hand in hand. Many studies have found that people who are active and exercise the recommended amount feel less tired than people who exercise very little or irregularly. They also fall asleep easier and report a better quality of sleep. However, even the tiniest improvement in daily activity can have a massive impact when looking at the whole picture. So why not start today?

Usually, physical activity increases the quality of your sleep. However, a heavy training session can disrupt your sleep quality and ability to fall asleep if your body doesn't have enough time to wind down after the activity. Usually, in young individuals, you can fall asleep relatively easily after training, but the older you get, the more time you need to relax and cool off before you can get to bed.

We recommend listening to your body and be honest with yourself. Is having that heated badminton match or heavy jog late in the evening really the only viable option or would it be possible to schedule them to couple hours earlier instead. However, if the case is that you would otherwise exercise very or too little, a general rule of thumb is that exercising almost always has a net positive effect.

Example Habits to try:

Additional Reading

Buman, M. P., Phillips, B. A., Youngstedt, S. D., Kline, C. E., & Hirshkowitz, M. (2014). Does nighttime exercise really disturb sleep? Results from the 2013 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll. Sleep Medicine, 15(7), 755–761.

Driver, H. S., & Taylor, S. R. (2000). Exercise and sleep. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 4(4), 387–402.

Loprinzi, P. D., & Cardinal, B. J. (2011). Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep, NHANES 2005-2006. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 4(2), 65–69.