Thursday, June 10, 2010

Exercise Improves Insomnia

Exercise Improves Insomnia

For most people who are having trouble sleeping, there's a simple cure: exercise. In fact, when researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine asked sedentary adults with insomnia to exercise 20 to 30 minutes every other day in the afternoon, participants reduced the time required to fall asleep by half, and increased total sleep time by almost one hour.

Working out regularly has been shown to reduce episodes of insomnia, and improve sleep quality by producing smoother, more regular transitions between the cycles and phases of sleep.

What's more, exercise offers many other mental benefits:
Reduces stress
Sharpens your brain
Eases tension
Produces "feel good" brain chemicals (endorphins)
Releases epinephrine, the happiness hormone
Increases deep sleep

Moderate exercise lasting 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a week generally results in better sleep and more energy. You may have to find your own exercise rhythm--some people can exercise any time, while others do better if they work out in the morning or afternoon. But, vigorous exercise during the day and mild exercise before bedtime will not only help you fall asleep and stay asleep more easily, but will increase the amount of time you spend in the deepest sleep phase.

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