It’s No Sweat!

Exercise Is Essential For A Good Night’s Sleep

By Katie Kannapell Ryser

Most mornings – long before my alarm rings – one of my kids will crawl into my bed. It’s a gentle reminder that even though I don’t have to be up for another hour, they are awake and ready to start the day.

During these moments, my body aches for more sleep, but of course, children don’t quite understand this concept and I know I must roll out of bed and start my day earlier than planned.

As a business owner and mom of two young children, I understand the importance of sleep. But I also understand how it can sometimes feel impossible to get enough shut eye every night. It’s as if we are constantly in debt to our bodies, never re-paying it with enough sleep.

With so much going on in our lives, we crawl into bed at night wanting nothing more than to close our eyes and drift off into a peaceful rest until the next morning. But sometimes shutting off our mind and winding down at the end of the day can seem impossible.

The good news is, there are simple steps you can take to make it easier to get that recommended eight-to-nine hours of shut eye a night. Something as simple as exercising for 30 minutes a day can increase your ability to get a restful night’s sleep.

A 2013 study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine confirmed that when participants exercised for 30 minutes a day four times a week over a 16-week period, they slept as much as an additional 1.25 hours per night over their non-exercising counterparts.

When you exercise, you fatigue your body and mind. You sweat, you spike your heart rate and you have to concentrate on what you are doing. As a result, you are not only getting the numerous benefits of exercise, but when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day, falling into sweet dreams becomes easier.

Exercise not only improves sleep, but in turn, a good night’s sleep improves your workouts.

On those mornings when my kids crawl into bed and wake me up several hours before I intended, finding the energy to workout throughout the day seems daunting.

A lack of sleep slows your reaction time and reduces focus, giving you a lethargic feeling we’re all too familiar with. When that tired feeling settles in, the chances of having a good workout – or even going to the gym at all – dramatically decrease.

We need to get our bodies out of debt by making an effort to get good, restful sleep each and every night (or at least as many nights as we can).

Just as the studies show, it does not have to be an hour of exercise a day. You can start with small goals like adding a 30-minute exercise to your daily routine two or three times a week and see how your sleep improves as time goes on. VT