Understanding the Exercise-Sleep Cycle
Exercise-sleep cycle is more than just having a routine for exercise and sleep. It is more about enhancing the quality of your sleep and exercise. Most of us have poor sleeping habits and do not exercise regularly.
You might be wondering somehow both are interlinked. Yes, there is quite a link. Interestingly, lack in any of them would negatively impact the other one. Whereas, improving anyone of them would positively improve the other one.
According to Better Sleep Council, Almost 70 percent of the Americans don’t get enough sleep. It is the lack of sleep linked to most of the memory and other cognitive problems.
We know both the activities are basic human needs. Yet, we fail to deliver our body and mind with either of them. Lack of which leads to several problems such as stress, brain fog, irritability, insomnia and the gloomy list goes on..
What’s the Science Behind it?
There is no rocket-science behind it. Just that being physically active helps you sleep better. Sleeping better improves your overall health. While you sleep, your body rests and performs the tasks needed to boost your next day with energy. Laterally, the muscles you have worked on during the day, grow during your sleep.
Therefore, having a good night’s sleep is crucial for our well-being.
Research suggests that even some aerobic or cardio exercise can improve the deep sleep stage. At this stage, the brain and muscle activity is the lowest when you are asleep. Therefore, the body and mind get a chance to rejuvenate properly.
7 Incredible things will start to happen once you balance your
We understand that the quality of your life starts to improve when you have a balanced exercise-sleep cycle. Here is a list of the most crucial problems a stable exercise-sleep cycle can resolve.
1 – Get your sleep disorders fixed within a few days of the cycle
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome will first get fixed. Physical exercise can fix them right away as they cause restless nights. Once you have them sorted out, your exercise-sleep cycle begins.
A study shows that exercise alone reduces 25% of the sleep apnea symptoms. According to Kelly Glazer Baron, a clinical psychologist at Rush University said, “There has been more and more research in the last decade showing exercise can reduce insomnia.” She also further mentioned that exercise led to better deep sleep and decrease in awakenings.
2 – Start to have more energy for the day just by improving your sleep quality
Less sleep and exercise leads to fatigue, which is not just physical fatigue but also mental exhaustion. Have you ever wondered why you get mentally and physically tired at the start of the day? Most of the times poor sleep causes such problems. You lose energy way faster and feel there is never enough time and energy to even complete your basic tasks.
What you need is a quality deep sleep at night. However, many of us struggle with the quality required. There are several reasons for that from stress to late night screen time. The best solution lies in the amount and kind of exercise you do.
3 – Once you have more energy, you will eliminate your daytime dizziness.
You can find several types of research which suggest physical exercise diminishes daytime dizziness. It applies to all age groups and fitness categories. Physical exercise is a universal solution to several problems including depression, obesity, and insomnia. Since it eliminates the symptoms of these problems, exercise has an indirect but effective impact on our ability to sleep.
4 – More power to fight the biggest monster keeping you up at night: Stress.
Surveys suggest that stress is the most common of all to keep us up at night. Stress is most of the times related to work, family, and financial issues. Humans tend to obsess about their problems when they are doing nothing. That occurs mostly at night when we are about to sleep. Constant thinking and worry don’t let our mind relax.
Exercise helps to eliminate such stress and negative thinking. It clears our mind and removes the symptoms of stress. Prolonged stress periods lead to depression, which is another life-threatening problem these days. All kinds of sleeping pills are counterproductive in the long run. Exercise is the best prescription for stress and depression.
5 – Eliminate the depressive demons inside you
Sleep will get you enough energy. You will be less stressed and won’t feel dizzy during the day. You will start to get more productive. As a result, you will have a better mood throughout the day.
You will have better stimulants in your body. Your brain chemicals will start to rebalance. Hence, demons of depression will start to leave your soul. Sounds somewhat spiritual? You bet it is. Physical exercise and a relaxed mind makes you spiritual and leads you to understand the higher consciousness.
6 – Become creative and have better cognitive functioning
Sleep deprivation has shown an adverse impact on the cognitive functions such as memory and attention. A study suggests that two hours less sleep for fourteen nights led to poorly performed neurobehavioral tasks. Moreover, sleep deprivation also strips away your creativity.
Therefore, better sleep patterns and sufficient sleep will make your smarter. There are studies which directly relate physical exercise and intelligence. The truth is your cognitive functioning improves, and no-stress lets you think freely.
7 – Let’s you exercise more and complete the cycle
Sleep gives you ample energy for the day. Your brain functions better than before. You have a happier mood through out the day. That means you are more active and efficient, which leads to greater productivity. Your motivation shoots up, and you want to exercise more.
The exercise-sleep cycle is now complete as it reinforces itself to give you a better life. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and that is the reason why it works.
Here is what you can you do to balance your exercise-sleep cycle
1- Best Time to Exercise..
Most physiotherapists suggest morning is the best time for exercise. However, not much research has backed this recommendation. Studies suggest different people have different energy levels at various times of the day. Best for your body is whatever suits you, given your work schedule.
“I encourage people to listen to their bodies to see how well they sleep in response to when they work out,” says Charlene Gamaldo MD, medical director at John Hopkins Medical Center for Sleep
Some experts discourage exercise two hours before you sleep. The endorphins released during exercise keeps the brain awake for some hours. Therefore, it’s best practice not to exercise late at night, but anytime during the day when you not in a rush and feel energized.
2 – How Much Sleep?
Most studies recommend at least two and a half hours of exercise with moderate intensity. Half an hour every day. Else hours divided at least three days a week with a day or two gap.
3- What Exercises?
Aerobic exercise and cardio are considered the healthiest for the most part, with moderate intensity. When you are out of breathe during exercise, but still can talk, is considered moderate. However, some strength training is important with at least a day of rest to every muscle group.
4 – Ideal Sleep Hours..
How much sleep is required for an adult? Experts suggest six to eight hours of sleep is ideal. Anything below the six hours will lead to several problems including mental fatigue to increased risk of heart stroke.
5 – Best Sleeping Position..
Back position is best to sleep in as it prevents back and neck pain. Next best is sleeping on either side. However, it may be healthy for you to sleep in other positions depending on the any health issue you currently have. Here is the list to counter your health problems with sleeping positions.
6 – Best Time to Sleep..
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” – Benjamin Franklin
Getting up early with the sunrise is considered the best time to wake up. Sleeping at least six hours suggests the best time for you to sleep. Getting up early gives you ample time for the daily tasks.
Answer to most of your problems..
We sleep less due to growing distractions. Stay up late at night glaring at our screens. False ideologies are created such as ‘sleep is for the weak’. Priorities everything else over exercise. Poor habits which keep us fatigued more often.
It is important to understand that our bodies are designed to sleep better and exercise more. Both reinforce each other for you to live a better and happier life. Exercise-sleep cycle is more important than before. Therefore, make sure an unbalanced cycle is not interfering with the quality of your life.