Researchers don’t completely understand how physical activity improves sleep.
However, we do know that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep.
The Timing of Exercise May Matter
Some people may find that exercising close to bedtime seems to keep them up at night. How does working out affect the mind?
Aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins. These chemicals can create a level of activity in the brain that keeps some people awake. These individuals should exercise at least 1 to 2 hours before going to bed, giving endorphin levels time to wash out and the brain time to wind down.
Exercise also raises your core body temperature. The effect of exercise in some people is like taking a hot shower that wakes you up in the morning. Elevation in core body temperature signals the body clock that it’s time to be awake. After about 30 to 90 minutes, the core body temperature starts to fall. The decline helps to facilitate sleepiness.
HCA Midwest Health is the official healthcare provider for Heartland Soccer Association and we work with parents and coaches to keep athletes safe and on the field of play year round, learn more about our services at www.hcamidwest.com