The Symbiotic Relationship of Sleep and Exercise

Important Tips to Help with Your Sleep Cycle For RLS sufferers, it is oftentimes nearly impossible to fall and stay asleep. Many have r...

Important Tips to Help with Your Sleep Cycle


For RLS sufferers, it is oftentimes nearly impossible to fall and stay asleep. Many have reported to the Foundation that they get as little as 2-4 hours of sleep per night. When the recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours each night, such little sleep can have debilitating effects on waking life.

However, it is recommended for those with RLS to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, as regular exercise can significantly improve and stabilize the sleep cycle. Studies from the National Sleep Foundation have continuously shown us that:
  1. Exercise reduces stress and tires us out, allowing us to have a longer and better quality sleep
  2. Sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy cost millions in medical costs and disrupt work and social lives
  3. Those that exercise report getting a better quality of sleep than those who do not, and are less likely to have sleep issues
Exercise in the early hours of the morning or afternoon can have a positive effect on the natural circadian rhythm, or "sleep-wake cycle." Exercise raises the body's temperature for roughly four to five hours before gradually falling, thus helping one feel sleepy in the evening around bedtime. However, it is important to note that especially for RLS sufferers, rigorous exercise before bed should be avoided, since it can stimulate the brain and prevent one from falling asleep.

Meditation, yoga or light stretching are great options for easing RLS symptoms before bed, as they can help settle both the mind and body. Additionally, the Foundation's Sleep Diary is a great resources to help find sleep cycle patterns and potential RLS triggers.

Other suggestions for getting a good night's sleep include avoiding technology before bed, sticking to a consistent schedule and cultivating a relaxing evening ritual for yourself. Remember to refrain from any activity that your doctor has specifically told you to avoid. Read more about healthy lifestyle habits for RLS sufferers on our website.

Check out the original article about sleep and exercise and its great infographics at CapeCod.com.

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Flickr Images