GUEST BLOG: By Morgan Paris, Certified Personal Trainer
For the last post of this series, we are going to be talking about something that a large number of American’s (about 70 million) want: better sleep. You may have heard some of these simple and effective ways to improve your sleep from The National Sleep Foundation:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as taking a bath or listening to music
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime
- Don’t smoke — not only is it a major health risk it can lead to poor sleep
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime; it can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night
But today, we’re focusing on one very important thing you can do to improve your sleep:
- Exercise regularly, at any time of the day
The National Sleep Foundation recently published a study showing the importance of exercise on getting a good night’s sleep. This study found that “Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%).”
While vigorous exercisers report having the best sleep, it is important to note that ANY amount of exercise or movement will help you sleep. If exercise is not a part of your routine, the best thing you can do to start experiencing improved sleep is to simply make sure that you don’t sit all day long. According to the study, “Those who sit for less than eight hours per day sitting are significantly more likely to say they have “very good” sleep quality than those who sit for eight hours or more (22%-25% compared to 12%-15%).”
How can you start to make a few changes in your daily routine to accommodate more movement and therefore better sleep?
- Get up from your desk at least every hour and take a walk around your office
- Go for a walk first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, right after work, or as the sun sets. This simple act will benefit you greatly. Even adding a 10 minute walk every day can give you what you need to sleep better at night.
Here’s to you and better sleep!
Find out more about adding exercise into your routine and schedule your complimentary in-home training session at www.morganparisfitness.com.