Physical activity and a great night sleep

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Everyone values the importance of a good night’s sleep, but not everyone knows the vital role that physical activity and exercise play in sleeping well.

Let’s celebrate ‘healthy sleep’ with some quick tips.

Circadian Rhythm or 24-hour Body Clock

Our bodies have a 24-hour ‘circadian rhythm’ or internal clock, and you can either have a healthy circadian rhythm or a disrupted unhealthy one.

Light exposure and healthy physical activity are two important factors to help regulate your circadian rhythm. Getting outdoors early in the day and exercising, for example walking the dog or a group bike ride can give you the double benefit of entraining your 24-hour body clock and the additional benefits of exercise.

What is your Chronotype?

Chronotype is the natural inclination of your body to be active and sleep at a certain time Early riser “morning people” or late ‘night owls” will gravitate towards their preferred schedule of exercise and still receive benefits from sleep.

Any type of exercise will help improve sleep quality including aerobic exercise, strength training, yoga, and higher intensity interval training, but beware higher intensity cardio and strength exercise up to 90 minutes before bedtime can reduce the total amount and overall efficiency of sleep.

What about mindfulness exercises?

Exercising the mind, including relaxed deep breathing exercises just prior to sleep can be a great way to wind down and has been shown to decrease sleep latency (time to fall asleep) as well as overall sleep quality.

Does it have to be a structured exercise?

Make sure you are physically active, try to get over 7000 steps a day, and get outdoors, when you can, for example taking a brief walk outdoors at lunchtime.

What are the benefits of great sleep for performance?

Consistent good quality sleep of at least seven hours in duration has been shown to improve fitness gains made from exercise including improved cardiovascular health and muscle strength. Good quality sleep is also protective against depression and other mood disorders and all causes of death.

In Summary

Regular Exercise (at least three or more times a week any exercise, 30 minutes duration minimum) can help you get a great night’s sleep which can in turn help improve your overall health and wellbeing.

If you are on the NDIS program and have problems sleeping see your ORS Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist who can tailor an exercise program to suit your preferences and also provide advice about optimising your circadian rhythm.

Happy World Sleep Day from ORS

To learn more about our amazing staff visit Our Expertise.

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