We tend to have more brain power following exercise and a good night’s sleep. But what aspect of sleep might explain the beneficial effects of physical activity on the brain? Is it sleeping longer that enhances mental prowess?
Authors of a new study think they know—and insomnia sufferers should take note.
I had my life organized so my insomnia was under control. I’d accepted—not very gracefully—the fact that I was going to have to get vigorous exercise not just 3 or 4 days a week but EVERY SINGLE DAY. This was part of the dues I personally was going to have to pay to be a member of the Recovering Insomniacs Club.
The exercise routine I came up with wasn’t bad. But then calamity struck.
“Doesn’t everybody hate exercise?” a friend said as we were talking about ways to manage insomnia. It made me stop and think. I’ve known some couch potatoes in my day. Either they’re bored by anything not cerebral or they’re in thrall to their digital devices. Exercise can’t compete with their fascinating sedentary pursuits.
In this video book trailer, I talk about how I came to realize that exercise helps me sleep.
“What good is keeping a sleep diary,” Lawrence wrote to Ask The Savvy Insomniac recently, “when all it’s going to do is confirm what I already know?”
It might seem pointless—and like a whole lot of bother—to keep a sleep diary when you’ve lived many years with insomnia and know its shape and contour like the back of your hands. But I think it’s a valuable investigative tool.
Early birds often awaken in the wee hours of the morning and miss out on social activities in the evening.
Here’s how to sleep later in the morning and delay evening sleepiness using appropriately-timed light exposure and exercise.
For several years, I jogged, rode a bicycle or worked out at a gym three days a week. This physical activity was both a duty and a pleasure. It kept me healthy, and often it made me feel good. But it didn’t seem to affect my sleep one way or the other.
A new survey suggests that exercise generally tends to improve sleep.
Sat Bir Khalsa, a professor and researcher at Harvard Medical School, thinks that among alternative treatments for insomnia, yoga may also be a viable solution for people who feel too aroused to sleep.
I attended Khalsa’s presentation at a conference a while back. Here’s the gist of what he said.