Very simple daily habit can help you fall asleep faster, according to new study

By Staff 6 Min Read

Scientists have unveiled a simple lifestyle change that can dramatically improve your sleep and help you feel more awake the next day – and it’s staring us in the face

Lavender sprays, calming music and masks are among countless remedies we use in the hopes of catching a better night’s sleep; but a new study claims that one simple habit can make all the difference – and it’s actually quite obvious.

The research, conducted by the University of Texas St Austin, unveiled that its all down to exercise, which can help us fall into a deeper ‘NREM’ slumber before our brains reach the ‘REM stage’. While this may sound complicated, NREM and REM are among just five phases we go through when our heads hit the pillow.

NREM generally takes place in the first half of the night and just refers to the point at which are bodies truly relax and repair. REM on the other hand, is when our brains become a little more active. Dreaming is most likely to occur at this stage – including lucid visions – where you have some level of control over the ‘plot’ of your dream.

“Regular physical activity has been associated with greater emotional wellbeing, and even just one bout of physical activity can elevate mood,” authors of the Nature study wrote. “On the other hand, poor sleep is associated with mood disorders and affective dysregulation, and sleep disturbances are often comorbid with anxiety and depression.”

The US-based scientists certainly aren’t alone in their findings, with their thoughts also backed by Rosey Davidson, a leading sleep consultant at Just Chill Baby Sleep. She told The Mirror: “Exercise plays a key role in promoting better sleep, through its positive impact on both physical and mental health.

“Engaging in regular physical activity helps regulate the body’s internal clock – circadian rhythm – which governs the sleep-wake cycle. Exercise can reduce cortisol (our stress hormone) and release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Both of these things will contribute to a better night’s sleep.”

While there isn’t a strict number of steps or ideal work duration required to achieve optimal levels of sleep, Rosey recommends just being as active as possible within reason. She continued: “Getting our steps outside, in the natural light, is far more likely to have a positive impact on our sleep too – with the added bonus of getting in some Vitamin D.

“There are other things we can do to tweak our sleep environment – bedding, temperature, banning tech – but exercise will directly affect our bodies on a physiological level. The best approach to sleep challenges will consider all aspects of health.”

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