We all know that physical activity is good for our bodies, but did you also know it’s good for getting zzzs? What’s more, we’re not even talking about a full workout. Just ten minutes of aerobic exercise a day––as simple as a walk around the block or a quick bike ride––can improve the quality of your sleep dramatically.
When should you take your walk? Early morning and afternoon strolls are preferable, as this raises your body temperature slightly during the day, allowing it to then drop at night, which triggers sleepiness. If you’re able to walk or bike outdoors instead of on a treadmill or stationary bike, so much the better. You’ll both absorb natural sunlight, which aids in sleep, as well as create new neural connections in your brain as you move through space.
No time for even a ten-minute walk or a bike ride? No problem! Take the stairs in your office or a shopping mall instead of the elevator. Park your car in the farthest spot in the parking lot you can find. Pace the floor as you speak on the phone. Have a walking meeting with a colleague instead of a sedentary one in a conference room. There are plenty of ways to get “sneaky steps” into your day that will translate into better sleep at night.