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Sleep and Exercise

Getting a good night’s rest is important for so many aspects of our lives including our overall sense of wellbeing. Much research has been done to investigate the relationship between exercise and sleep health, and studies have shown that if you exercise, your self-reported sleep quality is much improved.Woman sleeping in bed

Studies looking at the effect of exercise on sleep determined that acute exercise significantly improved a variety of sleep measures. Specifically, exercise increases total sleep time by decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep, enhancing the efficiency of sleep.

Three Ways Sleep Impacts Exercise Performance

  1. Boosts Mental Alertness- Without proper sleep, your mental alertness takes a hit. Sleep loss impairs your focus, memory, and judgment and learning capacity, so you’re not at your best mentally when you’re tired. Many sports require athletes to make split-second decisions, so if they’re off their game, it could have a major impact.
  2. Lowers Tension Levels, Increasing Game Success- Stress and tension can have a negative overall effect on athletes, leading to an unfavorable result. When you get a better night’s sleep, you can lower your tension level which in turn makes you more likely to function at peak performance
  3. Reduce Injury Rates- Quality sleep contributes to everything from a healthy immune system to increased alertness to muscle recovery. In a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports(2016) it was determined that athletes who got over 8 hours of sleep during weekdays reduced the odds of injury by 61%.

Takeaway? Healthy sleeping routines are crucial for exercising at peak performance!man asleep on a bed with white sheets

Trouble Sleeping?

Try these natural sleep aids—

  • Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender has been proven to be beneficial to both the quality and duration of sleep and improve general mental and physical health without the side effects of other sedatives.
  • Chamomile Tea- Chamomile has an antioxidant called apigenin that is known to decrease anxiety and initiate sleep.
  • Fenugreek- this ancient herb offers calming benefits to reduce your before-sleep stress levels. You can buy it as a juice online or in a health food store.
  • Valerian Root- valerian is one of the most popular herbal sleep aids in Europe and the US and is available as a supplement in capsule or liquid form.

6 Best Sleep Trackers

Have you ever felt like you aren't getting the recommended eight to nine hours of rest you need, but can’t quite figure out what the problem is? A sleep tracker can be a huge help. Sleep trackers monitor everything from breathing rates to heart rates to shifts in body positioning. Then, they cull and analyze tons

5 Best Sleep Apps

Are you trying to track your sleep so you can get a better night’s rest? You’re already using apps on your smartphone during your waking hours, so why not add at least one more to improve your sleep cycle and get your circadian rhythm in tune? Download some of the best sleep apps today and

Sleep Deprived? Try This Type of Exercise.

A Review by Alyssa Bialowas Sleep deprivation is becoming more and more prevalent these days and unfortunately can have major health implications. Sleep influences everything from your mood to your weight to the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, and a lack of sleep can result in insulin resistance (De Souza et al. 2017). On

3 Ways Sleep Impacts Sports Performance

Alyssa Bialowas The importance of quality sleep for athletes is often underrated. While a major focus is constantly put on physical training and nutrition, sleep takes a backseat. However, sleep is just as important for the overall health of athletes, and can impact sports performance in a very real way. Quality sleep is essential for

3 Ways Elite Athletes’ Training Affects Sleep & Wake Behaviors

Alyssa Bialowas Elite athletes undertake extensive training and physical demands. This can affect their daily life, including their sleep patterns and behaviors. Australian Rules football, rugby union and soccer are three of the most popular football codes played in Australia. Each sport has various demands on players due to the physical contact, types of movement

Do Female Athletes Need More Sleep?

Hadley Seward Do female athletes need more sleep? Female athletes face different challenges than our male counterparts. Women are more likely to sustain sports-related injuries than men [1]. We experience hormonal fluctuations throughout the month that can affect how our bodies build or break down muscle. And, as it turns out, we have different

5 Exercises To Improve Your Sleep

Catherine O'Brien Sleep, like exercise, is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It is no surprise that there is a wealth of research on the link between exercise, sleep and performance. The aim of this article is to shed some light on the scientific relationship between exercise and sleep and to highlight five types

4 Tips for Balancing Sleep & Exercise

Gillian White, HBSc, MSc, PhD (C) One element of our training regime that is critical to making training gains and performing better in all aspects of life, from muscular strength and endurance to learning and memory, is sleep. This is the time when our body’s organs that have been on demand all day have time

Exercise, Airways, and Sleep Apnea Prevention

Gillian White, H.BSc., M.Sc., PhD (C) University of Toronto, Department of Exercise Sciences As previously discussed in the recent “What’s keeping you awake” article, both acute and chronic exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality. In a study using older adults (ages 50-76), sleep quality was shown to improve by 34%, sleep latency (how

Is Quality Sleep a Predictor for Sports Injury?

Hadley Seward - certified sleep consultant and certified health coach Getting enough sleep should be a priority for everyone--for physically active people, it’s especially important. Lack of sleep can slow reaction time and make you less alert--but does it also mean you’re more prone to injury? There have been several studies examining the link between

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