Saturday, November 23, 2013

Exercising and Sleep

If you have insomnia, exercise can help-but don't expect immediate results. Research shows it's more likely to take months before the benefits kick in.  But the effort will pay off!

Here are some tips and information on a recent study that may eventually, with patience, lead to a great night's rest.  

First never exercise in the evening, it raises your core body temperature and your energy levels.   Morning workouts are fine, but studies show mid-afternoon workouts are actually the best. 

Also, note, that a new study conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine suggests that while exercise definitely helps, it may take up to 16 weeks (four months) to see a difference.   But don't give up!  The biggest concern noted in the study was that the less sleep participants had (all women), the less they exercised. 

By the way, none of these women had an exercise program in place before the study.   The workout (usually walking on a treadmill) started slowly until the women were exercising just 30 minutes, about 4 days a week.  That's doable!  The women kept an exercise and sleep diary.  They also wore monitors that noted how long it took them to fall asleep, how often they woke at night, how long they slept and other useful information.   Eventually, the women improved their insomnia by adding a full 45 minutes to the length of their sleep. 

For any of you who haven't had the time, energy or luxury to implement an exercise program you now have a new incentive.  Why not start now?  Exercising, even walking 30 minutes every couple of days, offers too many benefits to lose out on.

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