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How Exercise Affects Your Sleep

Last updated 3 years ago

According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea is typically associated with people who are overweight, as excess weight can stress the neck area and make it more difficult to breathe. Not only can regular exercise help lower someone’s risk of developing sleep apnea, but it can also help calm the body and enhance overall sleep quality.  

Prevent Sleep Apnea
In addition to affecting a person’s ability to sleep at night, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications including stroke, heart attack, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Unfortuantley, many people who suffer from sleep apnea have lower energy levels, which make it more difficult for them to commit to an effective exercise program. As a result, physicians often begin treating sleep apnea through continuous positive airway pressure therapy and then gradually recommend exercise as sleep quality improves.

Regulate Body Temperature
Even though exercise can help speed up metabolism and boost energy levels, it can cause a poor night’s sleep if someone exercises right before bed. During exercise, body temperature rises, and it can take up to six hours to begin to drop. Having a cooler body temperature is associated with an easier time falling asleep, so people need to give their bodies time to cool off. It’s best to exercise at least three hours before bed, usually in the late afternoon.

Achieve Sound Sleep
Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, alleviate stress and muscle tension, and regulate mood. For these reasons, exercise helps people feel better when they finally lie in bed at the end of the day. In fact, exercising can help people sleep sounder by preventing interrupted sleep, which allows people to feel more energized and awake during the day.

Call (240) 912-4683 to schedule a consultation with Sleep Services of Maryland. Our physicians are certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and are dedicated to helping our patients restore energy and vitality to their lives. We treat a range of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.


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