This is how sport can help you fight insomnia, one of the great problems stemming from the pandemic.
What is insomnia? Insomnia is a persistent difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep that negatively affects the quality and duration of sleep.
To talk about insomnia, it is necessary to take into account two basic requirements for the diagnosis of this disorder, namely:
Difficulty sleeping is present despite all the prerequisites for sleep, such as lack of sleep, insufficient sleep, poor rest, etc.
Poor quality and duration of sleep cause daytime sleepiness.
Sometimes insomnia is a primary pathology of sleep, in fact the most common is that it is the consequence of various psychological or physical pathologies such as anxiety, stress, health and eating problems, etc.
Insomnia and sport
The existence of a relationship between insomnia and exercise has long been the subject of debate.
In this sense, several studies have been carried out, with the aim of clarifying, fundamentally, whether physical activity can one way or another remedy or promote insomnia.
In addition to sports activity, there is the possibility of performing a wide range of relaxing massages suitable for those who have difficulty falling asleep after exercise.
Insomnia: Is physical activity a cure?
Several studies have shown that a considerable number of people with chronic insomnia who practice regular physical activity combined with a good relaxing massage are able to fall asleep quickly and sleep longer.
These results have led experts to conclude that exercise could be a possible cure for insomnia.
How to promote sleep through physical activity?
The exact mechanism by which physical activity promotes sleep is not yet clear. There are different theories on the well-being obtained through sport and promotes sleep:
The body temperature of people who exercise rises during physical activity and then drops within hours of the activity.
A temperature drop very similar to that described above occurs at night, when the time for rest is approaching and the need to sleep begins to manifest itself.
Based on these analogies, experts hypothesized that exercise-induced temperature changes represent a signal to the brain that indicates the need for rest, comparable to that triggered by nighttime sleepiness.
Insomnia is usually a disorder related to the presence of anxiety, worry, stress, depression, etc.
According to some studies, physical exercise is able to alleviate the aforementioned conditions through the release of endorphins, a biological phenomenon typically induced by motor activity, therefore, acting on problems such as anxiety and stress, it is also indirectly capable of countering insomnia.
Sometimes insomnia is also due to alterations in the biological rhythms that regulate the sleep cycle.
According to some research, physical activity has the ability to promote the normalization of the circadian rhythm (consists of periodic fluctuations that occur in the body throughout the day such as blood pressure, water excretion, l urea in urine or hormone levels, suffer from variations throughout the day). the day), counteracting the phenomenon of insomnia in people who suffer from it.
Regarding this hypothesis, experts point out that the beneficial effects of exercise also depend on the time of day when the activity is performed and add that the person suffering from insomnia must identify the most appropriate time to do it. .
Does sport prevent insomnia?
Experts also believe that regular exercise, practiced for years, will reduce the likelihood of developing insomnia and sleep problems later in life, or at least delay their onset. This is why physical activity has a kind of protective effect against sleep disturbances.
Insomnia and exercise deficit: is there a correlation?
Physical exercise represents a possible remedy for insomnia, on the other hand, its absence seems to be a favorable element for suffering from insomnia similar to factors such as stress, health problems, work problems, age. advanced, etc.
With insomnia, it can be difficult to start a routine of regular physical activity, as difficulty resting at night leads to drowsiness and daytime fatigue.
Exercise against insomnia
For some people, the effect of exercising against insomnia depends on the time of day when the activity is performed.
Exercising late, around the time you usually sleep, could cause insomnia and difficulty falling asleep, this evidence is not valid for everyone (it should be clarified) but only for some people. .
According to experts, the reasons why exercising too late will lead to insomnia can be found in:
Endorphins released by physical activity: These endogenous substances with analgesic properties stimulate brain activity, which makes people more alert. As a result, finding the serenity needed to fall asleep is more difficult and you have to wait for the effects of endorphins to wear off.
Increase in temperature caused by physical activity: If the decrease in body temperature promotes drowsiness, its increase has the opposite effect. After physical activity, the body temperature does not begin to drop until after about 60 to 90 minutes, so exercising in the last hours of the day delays the drop in temperature necessary to stimulate dreaming.
What is the best physical activity to reduce insomnia?
The physical activity that has been shown to be the most effective in controlling insomnia is moderate aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day. Therefore, it is not necessary to play particularly intense sports for the body or to do long-term training.
A simple walk in the great outdoors for a reasonable amount of time may be enough at the end of the day to help you fall asleep and rest.
Experts also point out that it is very important to choose the preferred physical activity, as this allows it to be practiced in a calm way, without anxiety and stress (which will aggravate the already present difficulties in resting).
Exercise vs. insomnia: what really matters?
The physical activity that is practiced to fight against insomnia is most beneficial when it is regular, established in a daily routine.
Although some studies have shown that even a single workout can have positive effects, it is more advisable to do regular long-term exercise programs to ensure measurable and tangible results. When we talk about long term, it refers to a term between 4 and 20 weeks.
Insomnia training time: how to plan?
To fight against insomnia through physical activity, it can be useful to keep a diary in which you indicate, day after day, the time, type and duration of the training, as well as the quality of sleep. night each day: in fact, you can identify what time of day and how to train to sleep better at night.
To conclude, it is clear that adopting this approach requires, in the initial phase, a variation in the time, type and duration of training, in order to identify exactly what is best for the good. being and nighttime sleep.