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Research show that the majority of people suffer certain sleep problems and disorders. Paying attention to your sleep pattern can help improve you productivity and mood during the day. Good sleep also provides substantial long-term health benefits.

How a person feels during the day depends greatly on how well he or she slept the last night. Similarly, how well a person sleeps during the night depends a lot on their daytime routine i.e. their life style, exercise level, bedtime habits etc. These choices can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep.

Though sleep requirements may vary from person to person, 90 percent of adults usually need around eight hours of sleep for a fresh and active morning.

Today, there are millions of people around the world who suffer from sleep problems. A lot of research too has been done to look for effective ways to help people with sleep disorder. One of the most effective things which a person suffering from this condition could do is exercise.

Exercise Helps Improving Your Sleep Quality

A study on around 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, revealed that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week resulted in 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. The study also showed the importance of exercise for improvement of other health parameters. Less physically active people often complained about problems related to daytime sleepiness.

Exercise Early And Regularly

Experts say that at least 30 minute of physical activity daily helps in promoting high-quality sound sleep. Ensure you do any work out or exercise at least three to four hours before going to bed, as exercise stimulates the body to secrete certain hormones that activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. Increased level of alertness is fine unless you're trying to fall asleep.

A study conducted on a group of adults with chronic insomnia showed that when a moderate intensity exercise such as walking is performed, it helped to reduce the time required to fall asleep. Exercise also helped to increase the length of sleep as compared to the nights when participants did not do any exercise during the previous day. In the same study, it was observed that doing vigorous exercises like running, aerobics, and weight lifting did not improve the quality of sleep to a greater extent.

Similar studies have shown that regular exercises or long-term exercises do have an effect on the sleep of adults suffering from insomnia. In these studies, after around four to twenty four weeks of exercise, the adults with insomnia fell asleep more quickly, had better sleep quality and slept little longer than before they began exercising.

The Role Of A Proper Sleep Schedule

It is very useful to set up a convenient sleep schedule and try to stick to it. Getting up and going to bed at almost the same time, plus minus half an hour, be it on weekdays, weekends, holidays or days off, can help to set up a sleep cycle. If there is something that is not allowing you to sleep even after 15-20 minutes in the bed, it is better to get up and indulge yourself in some relaxing activity instead of continuing lying on bed.

Continue reading after recommendations

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  • S.D. Youngstedt Effects of exercise on sleep Clin Sports Med, 24 (2005), pp. 355–365
  • H. Yoshida, T. Ishikawa, F. Shiraishi, T. Kobayashi Effects of the timing of exercise on the night sleep Psychiatry Clin Neurosci, 52 (1998), pp. 139–140
  • S.D. Youngstedt, P.J. O'Connor, R.K. Dishman The effects of acute exercise on sleep: a quantitative synthesis Sleep, 20 (1997), pp. 203–214
  • Harmat L, Takacs J, Bodizs R Music improves sleep quality in students, 2008 May
  • 62(3):327-35.Photo courtesy of Betsssssy via Flickr:
  • Photo courtesy of William Brawley via Flickr:

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