Having a regular exercise routine can help most people sleep better.
According to the Sleep Foundation, studies have shown that those who suffer from chronic insomnia and who exercise regularly can both fall asleep up to 13 minutes faster and stay asleep 18 minutes longer.
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The organization said exercise causes a change in a person’s core body temperature and mimics a similar change in temperature that occurs before a person falls asleep.
In addition, exercise can help realign a person’s internal clock – depending on the time of day a person is exercising – and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression that can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, ten to 15 percent of adults suffer from chronic insomnia.
As researchers continue to work to understand how physical activity affects sleep, some sports are reported to be better than others at preventing insomnia.
Sleep is an important part of a healthy life
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The Sleep Foundation says studies have found that regular aerobic exercise for extended periods of time can improve the quality of sleep, and moderate-intensity aerobic activities can reduce the severity of sleep-related breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.
The foundation also notes that some studies suggest that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can improve sleep quality more than high-intensity activities.
Medium-intensity aerobics includes walking, aqua aerobics, and biking on inclines, while high-intensity aerobics includes running, jogging, lap swimming, vigorous cycling, and physically demanding sports such as basketball and individual tennis.
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Running increases serotonin, which can improve the brain’s ability to metabolize the hormone and regulate sleep.
Resistance exercises like weight lifting, push-ups, sit-ups, and yoga are also important in improving various aspects of physical health.
Several studies have found that people with a regular exercise program are less likely to experience insomnia and sleep problems, although some people experience exercise-induced insomnia if they exercise too close to bed.
However, Johns Hopkins stresses that others are not affected by exercise and the issue has been hotly debated.
Michelle Drerup of the Cleveland Clinic said recent studies have found no evidence to support the idea that evening exercise keeps people awake, but she recommends keeping it at light to moderate intensity.
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The clinic recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week
On the flip side, Sleep.org points out that good sleep helps improve athletic performance, noting that the Stanford University men’s basketball team saw improvements in sprint times and shot accuracy after improving sleep quality.