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3 How sleep, exercise connection works Don’t exercise too much or too close to bedtime Good sleep and good health Home Articles Fitness Gym and tonic: Why working out makes you a sleeping beauty 3 mins read | Dec 12 2022 264182 Gym and tonic: Why working out makes you a sleeping beauty

DR A.Pal • 30 Jun,2023


Sleep and exercise are said to be perfect bedfellows. A good night’s sleep can enhance workout performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and keep the body and muscles healthy. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, can weaken one’s immunity.

Raj Sipani, a 35-year-old entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast from Noida, Uttar Pradesh, recalls how he experienced the benefits of an excellent sleep pattern once he started working out regularly.

“I have been working out for more than ten years now, and what began as a hobby has now become my passion,” Sipani says. “I go to the gym every day — mostly in the evenings after work ­— not just for fitness but [also because] it reduces the day-to-day stress and tension. I usually manage to get a good, deep sleep after my workouts as my body feels light and fresh, and the endorphins contribute to my happy state the next day.” 

How sleep, exercise connection works

Exercise has a chemical effect by creating more adenosine in the brain, and adenosine makes us feel sleepy. Some recent studies have found that high-intensity exercise results in a significant increase of the sleep-promoting substance adenosine.

It is widely understood that physical activity leads to the body becoming fatigued and, therefore, boosts sleep. What is also important is that it contributes to overall health in a big way. “This is because physical activity is known to improve the quality as well as duration of sleep,” says Dr Sudheer Kumar Tyagi, a neurosurgeon with Apollo Hospitals, Delhi. “It is actually a kind of a treatment for people who suffer from insomnia and helps in stopping the usage of sleeping pills, which may be detrimental in the long run.”

A June 2021 study on the effects of exercise on sleep quality and insomnia in adults found that regular physical as well as mind–body exercises primarily improved subjective sleep quality rather than physiological sleep quality in adults.

Jesmin Singh, a 29-year-old copywriter from Delhi, has added yoga, dance and Pilates to her fitness routine following her doctor’s advice. “I have a desk job, so I was not very active physically and was having difficulty falling asleep at nights,” she says. “Now, I sleep better as I get exhausted post work and my physical activities.” 

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