The following content is created in consultation with Mancini's Sleepworld. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC BAY AREA's editorial staff. To learn more about Mancini's Sleepworld, visit Sleepworld.com.
A good workout can make you feel more energized and alert. But did you know it can also help you sleep better? Read on to see how exercise can lead to deeper and more restorative sleep—and even improve issues like sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
According to experts, routine physical activity may help you:
Get more sleep: Physical activity expends energy, causing you to feel more tired and ready to rest at the end of the day. You'll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Get better sleep. Exercise may increase the duration of deep sleep, a physically restorative phase that supports immune function and cardiac health.
Reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise can help clear the mind, quiet the parasympathetic nervous system, lower cortisol levels and reduce blood pressure—all of which makes it easier to relax into sleep.
Decrease daytime sleepiness. Physical activity can address conditions that lead to daytime sleepiness, such as depression, diabetes, obesity and sleep deprivation.
Help with sleep disorders. Exercise can help lower the severity of sleep disordered breathing and may help to reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.
So how much exercise do you need in order to experience these benefits? And how can you squeeze in a workout when you're already struggling to make enough time to sleep? Here are some easy guidelines that can help.
Any exercise is better than none. Even small amounts of routine physical activity can help improve your sleep and overall well-being.
Any time of day is ok. Experts used to warn against exercising at night, thinking that it's harder to fall asleep after activity that raises the body's core temperature. It's now believed that working out before going to bed shouldn't hinder good sleepers from falling asleep.
You don't have to choose between sleep and exercise. Break your workouts into small chunks of activity during the day, and be creative. Running up the stairs in your home takes less time than going to the gym to use the stairmaster.
Another way to improve your sleep is to make sure you have the right mattress. Mancini’s Sleepworld can help. Call (800) 641-5337, visit us online at https://www.sleepworld.com or stop by one of our many northern California locations.