Intense physical exertion does not always make it easier for us to fall asleep. If we have a problem with insomnia, only moderate activity, a maximum of a few hours before going to bed, can help us – especially … cycling. Which type of sport.
It has long been known that sitting is as harmful as … smoking, and the consequences of a passive lifestyle can be much more serious than we commonly believe. The key to our body functioning properly is movement.
If we are not active, our body behaves as if it was in lethargy, which starts to function slowly and it is difficult for us to switch to, for example, falling asleep at the right time. What effort has the best effect on it?
What sport makes us sleep better?
In the prestigious journal Sleep Medicine Revievs, scientists reviewed the 15 largest studies on the relationship between sleep and exercise. What did they manage to show?
It turns out that how intensely we exercise is more important than the sport we practice.
30 minutes of moderate exercise a day has the best effect on your sleep quality
If we want to sleep better after exercise, we should do it no later than 2 hours before going to bed. Thanks to this, both the quality of our sleep will be better and we have the best chance that the most beneficial sleep phases for our body will last as long as possible.
If we practice just before going to sleep (less than 2 hours before going to sleep), not only will it be harder for us to fall asleep, but also the quality of our sleep will be worse. A lot also depends on what lifestyle we lead every day and what kind of sport we do. Scientists managed to note that:
- For people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, intense exercise in the early evening makes it easier for them to fall asleep, and the quality of their sleep thanks to such activity is better.
- Cycling can both help you fall asleep and prolong deep sleep.
- High-intensity exercise, regardless of your sport and duration, can have a negative effect on sleep quality and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Exercise either in the morning or in the evening, but don’t change the time of day
According to the researchers, healthy young people and middle-aged people without sleep disorders should engage in any type of physical activity in the early evening at the latest, if possible.
Our body reacts better to cyclically repeated exercises in a similar period of time, and it is worse at changing the hours of their exercise.
Habits such as regular showering after exercise, as well as avoiding heavy meals after training, or even large amounts of water at a rapid pace (better to drink it in small sips at a slow pace to protect yourself from dehydration) can also have a big impact on sleep.