After a hard day’s work, nothing feels better than falling into bed and expecting a visit from Mr. Sandman. But if that moment feels like a distant memory, you’re not alone: More men than ever are having trouble falling and staying asleep.
So what’s going on? If you’re not getting any exercise – or you’re exercising at the wrong time of day – then finding a remedy to your sleepless nights may be easier than you think.
Here are 4 simple rules of exercise if you want a better sleep:
1. If it feels right, keep it up
Our bodies are regulated by a 24-hour internal clock. For some guys, getting up early for a jog makes them feel like they can rule the world. For others, working out after dinner feels most productive. The general rule is this: If it feels right, keep it up.
2. Focus on making it a habit
Research suggests exercise at any time of day can help your body clock regulate sleeping and waking patterns, but doctors agree it’s best to avoid intense exercise in the last three hours before bed. The most important thing is to choose a time of day that works for you, so that exercise becomes a habit. Studies show this can take a few weeks to become habit, so stick to it.
3. The secret to early-morning exercise
If you want to take a crack at morning exercise, don’t sacrifice sleep to do it. Make sure you go to bed earlier to accommodate the wake-up call. This could take some getting used to, but head for bed at least seven hours before you have to wake up.
4. The law of evening sweat sessions
For evening exercise, aim for a start no later than 7 p.m. Working out raises heart rate and body temperature which aren’t ideal for sleeping. But if evenings are the most convenient time of day for you to exercise and it doesn’t mess with your sleep, then rock on.
The main point to take away is that you just need to exercise at the same time every day to make it a habit. Try one of our awesome workout routines at home, or take a 20-minute walk during the day and see if Mr. Sandman doesn’t come running.
- Mental Health Canada – Understanding sleep. Accessed Aug. 3, 2015. http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com/article_detail.asp?lang=e&id=28
- Can exercising at night hurt your sleep? Accessed Aug. 3, 2015. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/08/late-night-exercise.aspx#_edn3