How Sports Improve Your Sleep
Inadequate sleep is a bigger issue than many of us think. Millions of people suffer from a range of sleeping disorders from insomnia to sleep apnea. It is critical to have consistent, undisturbed sleep as it reduces your chance of many health problems:
The list goes on.
Lack of sleep will also directly affect your daily productivity. Your work performance rate is more likely to decline and there will be a significant increase in judgement error.
Rather than remedying your sleep disorder through medicine and drugs, consider increasing your daily physical activity. It’s confirmed by research that playing a sport or exercising daily is an easy and effective way to help combat your sleep disorder. (And – arguably – one of the healthiest ways too).
Better physical activity helps your sleep performance both directly and indirectly:
By increasing your level of activeness during the day, your body and mind will be grateful to you during the night. Physical fatigue will come to you by the end of an active day resulting in an easier and more efficient sleep.
You could be up all night due to stress. Stress will keep your brain awake – so how do you shut your brain up? Physical activity will produce the endorphins you require to get a better night’s rest. You will also notice your stress decrease as you are playing a sport or exercising. As a result – less stress!
Decreases drug usage
By getting better sleep from physical fatigue, you typically avoid the usage of caffeine, smoking, and alcohol. A decent night’s rest will impact your mood and steer you away from depending on these drugs to combat your sleepiness and stress during the day.
It becomes a vicious cycle! You rely on various harmful substances to improve your cognitive performance – or even just get through the day. As a result, their impact will linger in you, affecting your sleep performance.
The easiest way to get your physical activity in? No membership required?
Join a sport! It may just be the simplest solution yet. You get wrapped up in the competitiveness, the rules, the teammates, etc. that you forget you are even exercising! It is a great way to get your exercise in without feeling alone.
If you feel like you cannot stick to a routine of exercising everyday. Sports are a great method to combat this. Your teammates will rely on you to show up and give your best for each game. This way you can ensure that you are getting your physical activity in the day and ultimately a good night’s rest.
Colten, Harvey R., and Bruce M Altevogt. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: an Unmet Public Health Problem. National Academies Press, 2006.
Faulkner, Guy E. J. Exercise, Health and Mental Health: Emerging Relationships. Routledge, 2010.
Singh, Tanushree. “Playing Sports Improve Mental Health.” Onlymyhealth, OnlyMyHealth, May 2018, www.onlymyhealth.com/how-do-playing-sports-affect-us-mentally-1475829703
“Why Playing Sports Is a Great Way to Relieve Stress.” League Network, PBC, June 2017, www.leaguenetwork.com/playing-sports-great-way-relieve-stress/