In 2011, Dr Scott Collier from Appalachian State University wanted to investigate the effects of exercising at different times of the day. He took the volunteers, split them into three groups and had them walk on a treadmill at a brisk pace.
- Group A exercised at 7am.
- Group B exercised at 1pm.
- Group C exercised at 7pm.
The results were astonishing.
Group A - the early birds - got 75% more deep REM sleep than the other
Amazing, right? Remember, REM sleep (which stands for rapid eye movement) is the type of sleep that refreshes and restores us, as well as the type of sleep that releases human growth hormone - a critical hormone for the growth and repair of our bodies cells. If you already exercise consistently, try moving your workouts to the morning, and see if this makes a difference to your sleep. But what if you don’t already exercise consistently? Or what if you hate going to the gym?
Well, here’s some great news!
Did you know that as little as 10 minutes of low intensity exercise such as walking can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep?
This same research has also shown that people who exercise on a regular basis also reduce their risk for developing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. (And as a bonus, 10 minutes of walking a day is enough to lower your blood pressure and improve your sleep).