If you’ve ever woken up feeling groggy and have only felt worse throughout the day, you know just how important a good night’s sleep can be. Beyond just feeling energized and refreshed, catching some Zs can also help with your workout regimen.
Researchers conducted a 16-week long sleep and exercise study – published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine – with two groups of women: those who engaged in regular physical activity and others who remained inactive. Researchers found that the participants who exercised had reduced levels of insomnia compared to those who did not work out. However, they reported having exercised for a shorter period of time on the days following a poor sleep. The conclusion: Sleeping may have an even greater impact your ability to exercise than vice versa. Follow these tips to achieve a better night’s sleep:
Get a massage
It’s no secret that a massage can put you in a serene state, but more research on just how relaxing this type of therapy can be is surfacing. As it turns out, massage can promote a better – and longer – night’s sleep.
A pilot study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing evaluated the effects of massage on women ages 65 years or older and that had dementia with sleep disturbances. Researchers found that those who received a three-minute slow stroke back massage before bed reported an average of 36 more minutes of sleep per night compared to non-massage participants.
Keep a personal massager by your bedside table and treat yourself to a few minutes of this therapy before you drift to sleep. Not only might this help your workout tomorrow, but it can also sooth sore muscles from today’s physical activity.
Drink chamomile tea
If you’re in the habit of sipping on a warm cup of tea before bed, make sure it’s chamomile. Tea connoisseurs frequently turn to this ancient plant-based brew for its anxiety-relieving effects. What’s more, it may reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and help with digestive health. One to three cups per day will do the trick, so consider swapping out your breakfast and lunchtime beverages for this drink as well.
Get enough daytime sunlight
According to HelpGuide.org, a good night’s rest is more achievable if you have a regular wake-sleep schedule, part of which involves getting enough sunlight during the day. Those brilliant rays are nature’s way of telling you it’s time to be alert, so getting exposure to the sun may help you fight drowsiness. Open up the window shades, exercise outside or take a walk on your lunch break.