What is the connection between exercise and getting a sound night’s sleep? Today we were going to talk about exercise with a parallel to sleep because sleep deprivation can cause you to not be able to lose weight, but it can cause you to gain weight. As a matter of fact, it can cause you to gain up to 30 pounds according to the Nurses’ Study (1) over a 10-15 year period. So, we’re going to talk about exercise, specifically when and what kind.
Now when is pretty important. There is a best time to exercise and that is five to six hours before you go to sleep. It all has to do with body temperature. The second-best time to exercise for sleep is in the morning. One of the reasons for that is because you expose yourself to daylight tied in with exercise it helps that body temperature go up. Because when you exercise your body temperature goes up and automatically (and by God’s design) when it’s time to go to sleep at night your body temperature starts dropping and then as you really go into deep sleep your body temperature is at its lowest. That is why exercising in the afternoon is good because you raise that body temperature and there are just enough hours there for it to start lowering. So then you can go into good healthy sleep.
Exercising right before you go to sleep is the worst plan because the body temperature is rising and now your body’s just going at high speed which has to do with your thyroid glands. Thyroid glands are thermostats plain and simple. There are so many people now, especially a lot of women that have hypothyroidism which means they’re thyroid glands are not working very well. A lot of it can be because they’re just not exercising the thyroid. If your temperature stays the same all the time the thyroid gets sluggish. So, when you exercise it triggers the body’s thermostat which is your body’s thyroid gland and if you don’t use it you’re going to lose it.
The key to remember is the best time to move is five or six hours before you normally go to sleep. The second-best time to exercise is in the morning, and again that helps stabilize your mood, clear your head. There are all kinds of good reasons to exercise in the morning besides body’s thermostat, but the worst time to exercise is at night before you go to sleep.
The last thing we want to point out is the kind of exercise. We know that people love yoga, yoga is awesome. We know that people love resistance. You need resistance to build the muscle mass. Here’s the key regarding exercise and increasing your internal thermostat, 20 minutes of cardio is what you need in order to get your body’s thermostat up and get your endorphins following. Just start off by moving and do a little bit more every day, make sure you are doing it 5-6 hours at least before you go sleep to raise your body temperature and you will be that much closer to a great night’s sleep.