Everyone wants to feel their best. When I’m working with clients, there’s one piece of advice that I give time and time again to help people do just that. It's my simple "health hack" that can improve the quality of their sleep as well as their overall health and well-being:
How Movement Impacts Your Sleep
We've all experienced that great night's sleep after a full day of activity like hiking, exploring a new location, gardening, or packing and moving.
Many studies support the idea that physical activity can improve sleep. Research suggests that active people can expect to have a more sound, restful sleep, and exercise is linked to an increase in the duration of deep sleep. People who move regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular movement also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative sleep stages.
This is vital in supporting a healthy immune system, heart health, and lowered stress.
How Much Movement Will Help You Sleep Better?
The good news is, the physical activity required for these benefits doesn't have to be intense.
Think of accumulating movement throughout the day or week rather than trying to fit in more prolonged bouts of "exercise" in one sitting. Try adding in a few extra squats when you're getting up and down from the couch, a chair, or even the toilet.
Even light exercise—such as walking for 10 minutes a day—dramatically improves sleep quality. Nontraditional examples of movement like mobility work, varying sitting positions, standing workstations, and even focused BREATHING are great forms of movement.
Low-impact activities like a yoga app or gentle stretching are also fabulous forms of movement that can help you get better sleep.
The goal of a variety of movements is often more attainable and less frustrating than one of trying to "work out" or "exercise" for a specific amount of time every day. The little things add up, so keep moving in ways that bring you happiness but give yourself a break if you're not hitting gym classes, training for marathons, or sweating for hours a day.
Remember...the little things really do add up and can help promote a great night of sleep.
Cyndie Vasquez has more than 25 years experience in the health and wellness industry. Her focus on injury management and pain relief led to years of or teaching small groups and fitness classes. She has a bachelor of science degree in Sports Medicine from Pepperdine University and a doctorate in Chiropractic from Palmer West. She also has a number of certifications in posture and alignment like the MELT method, Foundation Training and Stick Mobility.