I love sleeping in. So much so I was consistently late to most of my college classes just because it was so hard to get out of bed for me.
That leads us to the question- with my 2 hours of bodybuilding every day- does exercise make you sleep more?
Yes. Exercise does make you sleep more! Exercise makes your body sleep more because it needs more time to rest and recover. It uses that time to repair the muscles and bones to make them stronger after your workout.
Some athletes report increasing their sleep from 6-7 hours a night to 8-9 hours a night! And this rest is important, as it reduces the chance of injury and makes you stronger.
Sleep Repairs Muscles After Exercsie
When you exercise, your muscles get tiny microtears in them. Your body repairs these when you’re asleep.
Unfortunately, your body doesn’t really repair these muscles when you’re awake. Well- they do repair- but incredibly slowly. When you’re asleep this process speeds up really quick and that’s where most of your muscle repair happens.
Whenever your muscle repairs itself, muscle growth happens. This is why your muscles feel so sore after a workout, they have these microtears in them.
When you finally go to sleep, your body fixes those micro tears and builds your muscle back stronger. Then that soreness goes away and you feel stronger.
This Means You Need To Sleep More
Because your muscle gets torn up and needs to be repaired, you need to sleep more.
This is why most non-athletes sleep so little, sometimes 6-7 hours a night because they don’t have many repairs needed for their body.
Meanwhile, someone who regularly exercises will have tons of muscle to repair in their sleep, resulting in them sleeping longer and being more tired.
This is a good thing though, as your body is making itself stronger and healthier.
Your Body Repairs Bones
A huge thing overlooked in the whole exercise community is how your bone strength grows when you workout too.
It’s not too common that you hear people that regularly exercise break a leg or break an arm- especially after a fall. Most will get bruises, but compared to someone of their age that doesn’t exercise, they are much better off.
When people don’t work out, their bones become weak, and when they fall or slip it can easily result in a serious fracture. This can end up being fatal depending on how your bone breaks.
It makes sense when you think about it. You are lifting heavy objects (the weights) and even running puts a lot of stress on your shins, often resulting in shin-splints right away.
Your bones repair and get stronger to handle this weight and extra stress. And it ends up saving you later on in life when you end up falling or getting in a car accident.
Exercise Helps You Sleep BETTER
Exercise helps you actually sleep better. Many people notice this as soon as they start working out.
They used to wake up frequently in the middle of the night, and once they start working out boom- they have the best night’s sleep of their life.
Exercise works in many ways to help you sleep better, let’s list a few.
Exercise Reduces Sleep Apnea and Obesity Related Sleeping Disorders
Having that extra weight on your body actually makes it hard for your body to sleep.
One of the biggest reasons Americans aren’t sleeping well is due to obstructive sleep apnea. To simplify it from medical terms, basically, you have gained weight in places that make it hard for you to breathe in your sleep.
This often leads in your airway getting blocked during your sleep, resulting in you waking up or not being able to get a good night’s sleep.
Most people notice significant improvements after losing weight.
Exercise Releases Hormones That Help You Sleep Better
After exercise, your body releases hormones that help you sleep better.
For instance, one common hormone you probably know is melatonin. Melatonin is the main hormone in charge of putting your body to sleep.
When you exercise, that melatonin release is stronger and slightly earlier, putting you to bed earlier and faster. That’s definitely what you need the night before an exam instead of having a sleepless night.
There are many other hormones and complicated processes that help your sleep, but I’ll keep it simple for now.
Exercise Reduces Hormones That Cause Stress and Anxiety Causing Better Sleep
How many of us have been there on those sleepless nights anxious and just staring at the ceiling?
I know I have. Especially the night before a big exam, new job, new opportunity- whatever.
Exercise reduces hormones like cortisol that cause stress and anxiety. This means you’ll have better sleep and also have an easier time getting to sleep.
Plus, for me, the exercise allows me to clear my mind for the day, so I don’t sit there at night thinking about everything.
Conclusion of Does Exercise Make You Sleep More?
That was a lot to take in, so let’s recap:
- Yes, exercise DOES make you sleep more.
- Exercise releases hormones that cause better sleep and reduce stress/anxiety.
- That sleep is NEEDED for muscle and bone growth- so you get stronger and healthier.
- Exercise reduces medical aliments that reduce your sleep quality.
Thank you for reading!