Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sleep Better & Cure Insomnia with Exercise

Restful sleep is important for overcoming the effects of unavoidable stress of everyday living.
But, what if you're experiencing problems in getting a good quality sleep?
It is seen that the most common reason is that you aren't getting enough exercise. Both mental and physical exercises are effective ways to help you experience a deeper, more restful sleep.
When you exercise, you're placing extra stress on your body and, in order to compensate for this added stress, your brain dictates a greater need for deep sleep to aid in recovery.Exercise on its own might be enough to overcome your insomnia.

You might have noticed that during the warmer months, when you're outside and active, you tend to get tired earlier in the evening? It is then easier to fall asleep at night. This is due to the extended amount of time you're exposed to sunlight and the physical activity.
When you exercise take care that you do so in a brightly lit area with a lot of sunlight. It increases your energy levels. Also, increasing your exposure to sunlight helps control the rhythm of body temperature.

You fall asleep when the body temperature has come down. The body temperature rises and falls in cycles. When you get up in the morning the body temperature is at its peak. It keeps on falling during the mrning and around noon, it has again fallen to its lower level. The difference is around 1.5 degree Fahrenheit.Then it starts rising again and is at its peak during the early evening hours, after that it starts falling again and is at its lowest around the time you might go to sleep.
You fall asleep only when the body temperature has fallen down.During the time that the body temperature is rising, you experience high energy levels, and then it is difficult to fall sleep.  That is why doing some sort of physical exercise just before going to sleep will make it hard for you to fall sleep. That is beause body temperature has risen, and you are feeling energetic!

The best time to exercise is about 4 - 6 hours before bedtime. Then by the time your bedtime approaches your body temperature has started falling and it is time to go to sleep. Here timing is important: go to your bed when you are feeling tired and sleepy. 

The Best Exercises to Sleep Better
Almost any physical activity can help you combat insomnia. However, cardio-cascular exercises seem to work better than others. These are the exercises that make your heart beat slighly faster.
Here's just a sampling of exercises to overcome insomnia:
  • Walking & Jogging Outside - This is probably the easiest way to get exercise, exposure to sunlight and beat insomnia.
  • Dancing - One of the most enjoyable ways to get exercise,
  • Bicycling - The movement and constant concentration needed are especially effective,
  • Stationary Bike - Not as effective as a real bicycle, but works great on rainy days,
  • Jump Rope - A good exercise to do that's stationery and requires little equipment,
  • Treadmill - Best when used next to an open window with plenty of sunlight pouring in,

It's very easy to exercise your mind while you're involved in physical activity.When you exercise for sleep, then exercise your body and mind at the same time: you may notice that you get a deeper and more fulfilling night sleep.
Some ways to do this while you're exercising are:
  •  Listening to an audio book or podcast,
  •  Reading a book, newspaper or magazine,
  •  Reciting something you need to remember,
  •  Doing simple math problems in your head.
Mix things up so your activities keep your body and mind fresh and active.Avoid doing the same exercises every day, as monotony causes the effectiveness of the activities, both physical and mental, to wane. 
You may also want to keep a journal of your exercise activities and your sleeping hours. Once in a while, you can analyze what combination of exercises - both mental and physical - gave you the best sleep results. And once you're equipped with this new found knowledge, you can create a custom workout, which will improve your health and help you beat the insomnia bug for good!


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