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How to Design Your Exercise Routine to Optimize Sleep

No doubt about it, keeping a regular exercise routine is good for just about every part of your waking life. It improves your heart health, your muscles, bones, ligaments and joints, and even your mental health. But exercise is also useful for sleep health – the right routine can fight symptoms of sleep disorders, help relieve joint pain, and provide a deeper, more restful sleep night after night.

When it comes to those sleepy benefits, though, you’ve got to tailor your workout. Here’s a look at how:

Aerobic Exercise Can Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Aerobic exercise is the same thing as cardio exercise, so we’re talking things that get your heart rate going – swimming, running, biking. Moderate aerobic workouts – thing jogging at a pace where you can still hold a conversation – have been shown to improve time spent in deep restorative sleep stages. Because aerobic workouts also improve your body’s vascular health, it can also reduce or even eliminate sleep apnea symptoms with consistent commitment.

Yoga Can Improve Sleep Quality

Part meditation – part exercise, yoga is a go-to for people who want a bit of stretch and strength without the high heart rate, sweaty energy of a strength workout. Yoga helps sleep quality in two ways. First, taking time to clear your mind can help you unwind at the end of a long day, making it less likely stress will stop you from sleeping. Second, yoga lengthens, strengthens and loosens things like tight shoulders and stiff hips, which leads to a more comfortable sleep with less tossing and turning.

Stretching Before Sleep Can Relax Muscles

Flexibility is a key component of keeping physically healthy well into old age. In fact, hip mobility alone informs on your ability to walk, sit, stand, lay, bend, etc. Stretching for flexibility before you go to bed serves a similar purposed to yoga: it makes you slow down and concentrate on feeling your body stretch the tightness away, and loosening limbs and joints makes it easier to get comfortable when your head hits the pillow.

Walking Kills Two Sleeping Birds with One Stone

Taking a walk is never a bad idea. Unless that walk is directly through a swamp filled with alligators. A 30-minute brisk walk or hilly hike can gently help improve aerobic health. But it can also help you relax – tune into how your body’s feeling and take your mind off the stresses of the day. This can also be a great time to take your partner with you and talk about what’s happened that day, because talking also helps relieve stress.

Strength Training Tires You Out

Whether it’s bodyweight, resistance bands, free weights or barbells, strength training is a solid strategy for making sure your body is screaming at your brain to go to sleep by the time you get to your evening routine. Because you’re purposefully overloading your muscles, your body has a lot of work to do during the night to recover. This encourages deeper, more restful sleep, and may even help you sleep for longer.

When You Work Out Matters

You’ll hear people tout the pros of working out any time of day – in the morning to wake up, in the afternoon for afterburn, at night to fit it into your busy schedule. If you want your exercise routine to help you sleep better:

  • You can do yoga or stretching before bedtime

  • Do strength training a minimum of 1-2 hours before bed

  • Do cardio 2-3 hours before bed

Of course, you can do any to all of these things earlier in the day, if that’s what works for you. Just use these cutoffs as guidelines; you don’t want to run 6 miles at 10pm, shower and try to go to sleep, only to find out that you haven’t fully ridden out those post-workout endorphins yet.

Don’t Forget About Your Mattress

You can do all the exercising in the world and still lose sleep if your mattress isn’t working with you. Make the most of those stronger muscles and loosened joints with a customized memory foam mattress that supports your spine and major pressure points. That way, all the effort you put into supporting your sleep cycle pays out each morning when you wake up feeling rested and not rickety.

Browse our mattress models to get the best night’s rest no matter where you’re sleeping. In the road on an RV or van bed? Check. Long-haul truck cab mattress? Check. Custom-sized round mattress for no reason? Also check. Whatever your mattress needs, Custom Mattress Factory can make it happen.


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