When you exercise regularly, you’ll sleep better. One of the “forgotten” healthy habits is a good night’s sleep. Somehow,sleeping eight hours a night has gotten a nasty reputation and is equated with lazy people and those who have no fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, you need a good night’s sleep for your body and brain to work at optimal efficiency.
Sleep helps you lose weight.
One study at the University of Chicago identified the fact that in a group of people dieting, those who had adequate sleep actually lost more fat. While both groups of dieters lost the same amount of weight. The ones who rested shed over 56 percent more fat, while the other group actually lost muscle mass. The less sleep the dieter had, the hungrier he or she felt. That has to do with hormones. Lack of sleep tells the brain to create the same hormones that also makes you hungry.
You’ll keep your stress levels lower.
Stress can come from lack of sleep. It also lowers your ability to to handle situations without feeling stress. When you’re under stress, your body creates hormones such as cortisol, which is closely associated with abdominal fat. Not having an appropriate bedtime may be the reason you can’t get rid of the fat on your tummy. The right amount of sleep can also help you control blood pressure and may lower cholesterol levels.
Regular exercise can help you sleep better at night.
A study published in the the Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity found that getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week helped people between the ages of 18-85 sleep better. It showed a 65 percent improvement in the quality of sleep and lowered the probability of those mid afternoon yawns and stretches to stay awake. Some other interesting results in the study showed that the people who exercised were also far less likely—68 percent—to have leg cramps and they also increased their ability to concentrate even when tired.
Exercise helps you relax by burning off the hormones created by stress and replacing them with ones that provide a feeling of well being. You’ll find it easier to sleep at night.
Too little sleep is associated with inflammation, which can cause premature aging, arthritis, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. If you get less than six hours of sleep each night you’ll have a higher level of inflammatory proteins in your blood.
Not only does regular exercise help you sleep and improves your mood, the right amount of sleep is also a mood booster that can help chase away depression.
Some studies show that people who get adequate sleep not only live longer, they live better.