Exercise and sleep
Interesting snippet on the NY Times website today on whether or not exercise helps you sleep.
But physical activity during the day and sleep onset at night were closely linked: every hour of sedentary activity during the day resulted in an additional three minutes in the time it took to fall asleep at night. And the children who fell asleep faster ultimately slept longer, getting an extra hour of sleep for every 10-minute reduction in the time it took them to drift off.
Now I know that my sample of one is fairly meaningless, but I definitely noticed a big change in how long it took me to fall asleep at night when I became more physically active. I suffered from fairly regular bouts of insomnia from the time I was a teenager well into my mid twenties. Now I still sometimes act like some kind of giant toddler when I’m tired; refusing to go to sleep, holding out until I’m so tired that flossing and brushing my teeth takes a huge amount of effort – but once I hit the pillow, I’m generally out in less than fifteen minutes.
I’m interested now though in whether or not there’s any truth to the idea that you shouldn’t exercise past a certain time at night because it will prevent you from falling asleep.