Why exercise is the secret to a good night’s sleep.

Struggling to sleep? It’s time to move.   

 There’s nothing more frustrating than lying awake at night tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep.  

When that all-important body clock is out of whack it starts to impact on your health, wellbeing and productivity. 

People resort to all sorts of measures to try and get a good night’s sleep. But there’s one incredibly simple thing you can do to reset your body clock and restore healthy sleep habits.


In fact, the benefits can go both ways. Physical exercise can promote good sleep, and when you sleep well you may feel more motivated to be physically active during the day.  

In this blog we’ll look at the biggest sleep mistakes people make, and how our O-health team can help your body get back in sync. 


The importance of a good night’s sleep 

Sleep health is essential for productivity and focus. It helps to physically restore and refresh, ready to tackle the new day. We can’t live without sleep and poor sleep habits can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Most adults of all ages need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 

 After middle age, our body clock gradually changes. As we get older, the hormones that help us sleep are released earlier in the day.  

Sleep problems tend to increase when there’s not enough exercise or interesting activities in your day, or you go to bed too early. Exercise during the day will help you feel sleepier at night. 


Why is sleep important?  

A good night’s sleep is important for your overall health and wellbeing. From decreasing pain and stress, to increasing your physical and cognitive performance. It helps you recharge and feel refreshed, ready for whatever the day brings. If you don’t prioritise your sleep it can have long-term impacts on your health and reduce your day-to-day productivity.  

Your sleep cycle is regulated by an internal body clock based on a 24-hour cycle. After waking up from your sleep you’ll gradually start to feel more tired throughout the day, feeling most tired in the lead up to bedtime.  

Your internal body clock is the reason why you feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep and why you start to feel tired around your usual bedtime. 

Medical conditions and sleep  

Many common medical conditions can impact your sleep and might be the reason for poor sleep health. These include sleep arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, incontinence, indigestion, heart disease and lung diseases such as asthma or COPD. Sometimes these symptoms worsen during the night making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.  


If you’re living with any of the above conditions, we can help. We have therapists specifically trained with the knowledge and expertise to help you manage your condition and offer strategies to improve your sleep quality.  


Why can’t I sleep? And what should I do about it?  

Struggling to sleep? You might be making one of these common sleep mistakes:  

  • Not going to bed and getting up at consistent times each day  
  • A poor sleep environment  
  • Not getting ready for sleep  
  • Frequent use of sedative drugs  
  • Using alcohol to help sleep  
  • Using a television in the bedroom  
  • Staying in bed when you are unable to sleep.  


Try these tips for a better night’s sleep:  

  • Have a consistent time that you go to bed and get up every day.  
  • Relax an hour before going to bed  
  • Avoid screen time one hour leading up to bed time  
  • Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach.  
  • Get some sunlight during the day  
  • Avoid taking a late afternoon/evening nap as it can make it hard to sleep at night. 


How can O-health help me improve my sleep? 

Moving your body delivers so many health benefits, and that can include alleviating sleep-related problems and improving the quality of your sleep.  

Moderate daily exercise can reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. And staying active can also stop you from feeling sleepy throughout the day.  

 Need some help to get started? 

 Make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiologists. They’ll get to know you and the type of exercise you do and don’t enjoy. Then they’ll develop a personalised exercise plan to get you more active during the day so you can sleep soundly at night.