Running is a crucial component of many exercises. It promotes fat loss, strength development, and increased stamina. But did you also know that it also improves sleep? That’s right! A good run can enhance the effectiveness and quality of sleep.
Numerous studies have revealed that frequent running helps with sleep. People who frequently exercise are less likely to experience insomnia and other sleep-related problems, regardless of age. Running may also serve as a preventative function against these issues because physically active people tend to be less prone to experience them later in life.
Sleep disorder is a major problem faced by people throughout the world owing to the hectic lifestyle and changes in the natural ways of life. This problem is the onset of various life-threatening issues that can hamper your life.
Why Is Sleep Disruption Dangerous?
1. Lack of sleep impairs intelligence:
Proper sleep aids the process of thinking and learning. These cognitive functions suffer in various ways from sleep deprivation. It first affects concentration, reasoning, problem-solving, attentiveness, and attention. Effective learning is made more difficult as a result.
2. Persistent health issues:
You run the risk of developing major health issues like heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, a stroke, and diabetes if you have sleep disorders or chronic sleep loss.
3. Kills sex drive:
According to sleep experts, men and women who are sleep deprived report having reduced libidos and less desire in having sex. Increased tension, tiredness and depleted energy may be major contributing factors.
The signs of depression may be exacerbated by sleep problems and sleep deprivation. According to a recent study, those who have been given a depression diagnosis are more likely to get less than six hours of sleep each night. In addition, insomnia, the most typical sleep condition, has the largest correlation with depression.
6. Raised mortality risk:
The risk of dying from all causes is increased by not getting enough sleep. Particularly, sleep deprivation increased mortality from cardiovascular disease by double.
So If You Want to Survive, Keep Running!
Running regularly aids in overcoming the sleep disorder that poses a risk for the health issues described above. It has the following advantages:
1. Mood stabilization
By releasing hormones, endorphins, and norepinephrine, running improves your mood. These hormones support emotional stabilization and mental relaxation, promoting a healthy sleep cycle.
2. Intensifies the slow waves:
Running can intensify the amount of slow wave sleep that an individual gets. During the slow wave of sleep, the breathing, heartbeat, body temperature, and brain waves become extremely slow which helps the body to clear out toxins, consolidate memories, and release human growth hormones.
4. Reduction of obstructive sleep apnea:
Running regularly reduces the risk of excessive weight gain. This, in turn, can prevent the possibility of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition wherein breathing stops involuntarily for brief periods during sleep, causing low-grade shuteye and affecting the body’s supply of oxygen, which in itself is a pathway to potentially serious health problems.
5. Relieves stress:
The hormone cortisol gets released from the body as a response to stress. The higher the cortisol level, the higher the stress, and thereby more disrupted sleep. However, running, or any physical exercise decreases cortisol levels and brings about a feeling of relaxation, which is conducive to sleep.
6. Normalisation of the sleep-wake cycle:
Serotonin and melatonin are the hormones that regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Running helps the body to release tryptophan, thereby helping to synthesize serotonin, which eventually gets converted to melatonin. This helps in the betterment of sleep.
7. Tackling insomnia:
Low levels of thyroid hormones and the growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) are known to cause chronic insomnia. Running increases the levels of thyroid hormones in the body and also helps release the GHRH, which induces slow-wave sleep or deep sleep.
8. Regulating the body temperature:
Running helps to maintain the core body temperature. While running increases the body temperature, once it is stopped, the temperature starts dropping rapidly, which prepares the body for sleep. This post-exercise cooling induces a restorative slow-wave sleep.
How Much Should You Run To Get Better Sleep?
1. Although many studies have tackled the subject of insomnia and exercise, not many studies have estimated the optimum duration of physical activity that will ensure better sleep. However, a study on 2,600 men and women, aged between 18 and 85, found that 150 minutes of running a week provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
2. A regular habit of running can alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, but it’s not a quick fix. It will take some months to gain the benefits of running. Follow an active lifestyle and aim for 30 minutes or more of activity on most days to ensure a good night’s sleep.
3. If you are a beginner, you don’t need to start out running every day because you’re at a higher risk of burnout. It is ideal to start running every other day for 20–30 minutes.
4. Try to run first thing in the morning before your day gets busy. Or, you can also run during your lunch break.
5. You can join run clubs or running meet-ups in your area for added support and motivation.
6. If you’re an experienced runner, it is important to schedule your weekly training with plenty of variety. For example, one day a week you could do a long run and could spend another day on speed work.
Tips For A Good Run!
Going for a run will not only help you fall asleep more soundly at night, but it will also likely prolong your life. So run your way to sleep and live a healthy life!