Sleep and Exercise

Sleep

Many of us hold the belief, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, and consequently our sleep suffers. However, sleep is vital to our bodies, brains and health. Naturally, sleep and exercise are unquestionably linked, where one improves so does the other and vice versa. So, how do we regain our sleep and how does exercise fit into this?

How to sleep better

To sleep better, we will need to make sacrifices. Two key ways we can help ourselves get better sleep are; routine before bed and an appropriate environment to sleep in.

Before bed, we should avoid over-indulging ourselves with food/drink and electronic devices. Unfortunately, ‘night’ mode isn’t as effective as once believed, so why not incorporate some reading time into our routine to help us sleep easier. Regularity in our bedtime and switching from a phone to a book isn’t just for kids, it helps our body to switch off.

While an appropriate environment might be slightly different for all of us, commonly it should be quiet, dark and cool (18°C). Many electronic devices have the ability to double as an alarm clock, wriggling their way back into the room. By removing the device and adding in an old-school alarm clock we are helping our sleep by reducing light and distraction when it comes to sleep time.

Sleep has an impact on exercise. Firstly, our muscles repair and rebuild while we’re asleep, so if you don’t sleep enough, you can say goodbye gains. Secondly, when we get better quality and quantity sleep, we perform better, which might be why some of us find ourselves in a rut even though we’re training.

How exercise helps

On the other hand, regular exercise has been shown to improve quality and quantity of sleep. Aerobic and resistance training also help people to fall asleep more quickly. This is because physical activity demands energy use, releases numerous hormones and increases our body temperature, so we need to sleep to recover from the stress exercise places on our physiology. Furthermore, exercise can be performed in a number of places. Exercising outside has the added benefit of some sun-time which can help kick our sleep-wake cycle back into rhythm.

How Absolute Balance can help

Here at Absolute Balance, we offer multiple group fitness classes and personal training sessions that can be tailored to you. As sleep and exercise are linked, scheduling time with Absolute Balance can help you reclaim your sleep, so you can feel fitter, healthier and ready to tackle the upcoming day.

William Ellis

Bachelor of Science (Exercise, Sports and Rehabilitation Science)

Exercise Physiology Student

References

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-athletic-performance-and-recovery

 

Nagare, R., Plitnick, B., & Figueiro, M. G. (2018). Does the iPad night shift mode reduce

melatonin suppression? Lighting Research & Technology, 51(3), 373-383. https://doi.org/10.1177/1477153517748189

 

Yang, P.-Y., Ho, K.-H., Chen, H.-C., & Chien, M.-Y. (2012). Exercise training improves sleep

quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems: a systematic review.

Journal of Physiotherapy, 58(3), 157-163. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1836-

9553(12)70106-6