How You Can Hack Your Sleep with Exercise
Regular exercise has tons of well-documented health benefits, but have you considered how much impact your afternoon workout has on your nightly snooze? New research indicates that exercise — particularly moderate to intense exercise, whether it be cardio, strength training or yoga — may also help you sleep better.
Sleep is one thing we could all use more of these days. The CDC estimates that approximately one in three Americans doesn’t get the seven hours of sleep they need for optimal health. Anyone getting less than that coveted seven hours of sleep per day is putting themselves at an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.
But when was the last time you got seven or more hours of sleep for multiple nights in a row? Between work, family obligations, and other life responsibilities, that might be hard to recall. For better or worse, you’re not alone. If you’re among the one third of Americans not getting the sleep you need, you might want to boost your workout frequency and intensity.
A 2017 systematic review of the interrelationship between sleep and exercise discovered that there is mounting evidence suggesting that physical activity is an effective intervention for people who don’t get sufficient quantity or quality of sleep. While the physiological function of sleep in regulating hormonal and metabolic processes is still not completely understood, the study suggests that there is reason to believe that moderate aerobic exercise or resistance training can be beneficial to one’s sleeping habits.