by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire
I am the head trainer at Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire, which if you don’t already know is a gym where 99% of our camps are female only! In my time here, I have learned that strong, hard working women seem to value the little sleep they get. 🙂 Aside from getting in your workout, sending the kids off to school, running to work, somehow putting food on the table, tucking your kid into bed for “the last time”, your day is full of time for naps, I am sure!
I am ready to let y’all in on a little secret about how to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and overall, sleep better. Exercise. Really, it can be that simple!
Exercise helps the release of chemicals in your body such as serotonin, and dopamine which are some of your “feel good” chemicals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that assists in your sleep cycle. This chemical helps to influence your mood, and high levels can assist in decreasing anxiety and stress. One way to elevate this is through consistent exercise! Aside from directly helping you sleep, it also is a destressor which allows you to wind down after a long day and get to sleep quicker, rather than lying awake thinking about everything!
Dopamine is another chemical that is released during exercise. People commonly refer to this chemical as the one that makes you happy. Again, increased levels of dopamine help to decrease stress, and give you the feeling of a “runners high”.
Even though this is an article relating to how exercise affects sleep, it is still important to know that one of the first changes you will notice, when you begin exercising is having more energy! Exercise does make you tired, and will help wear you out to sleep better at night, but when in a regular exercise routine, those people have more energy throughout the day, and have an easier time getting up and out of bed in the morning!
Sleep is important in your day to day life, and is especially important when in a regular exercise routine. The time that your body is asleep, is the time that your body uses to recover! This can often be overlooked, when we are a society driven by success, and we don’t typically give ourselves 6-8 hours a night for quality sleep. A suggestion I usually make is set an alarm when it is time for you to go to bed, and stick to it!
There are so many various benefits to sleep, and we need to unlock ways to get more rest, maybe, as it turns out, we have had the answer right in front of us the whole time. So next time someone tells you they go to bed at 8:30, you should follow their lead!