Sleep and Exercise

It’s safe to say that for the past 5 years sleep has been one of the things that I struggle with the most. Due in part to a highly active brain, and lack of regular physical exercise, it’s really no surprise that falling asleep at night is something that I have trouble with. I go through periods of great sleep, and then terrible sleep, with the occasional night where I don’t get any sleep at all, and after 4 hours of restless tossing and turning, I turn to my trusty companion Netflix to fill the rest of the night.

This is why the past 10 days have been so infuriating for me. I’ve exercised 7 out of 10 days, and worked for 6 of them. So why is it taking me 2+ hours to fall asleep at night? This remains a mystery, but I am determined to fix the problem. I usually go to bed between 10:30 and 11:30 p. m., and wake up between 7:00 and 8:30 a.m. And I’ve heard that having a regular sleep schedule is one way to help improve sleep quality. Last night, even though it took me 2 hours to fall asleep, I was able to stay asleep for the majority of the night, so even though I got probably 6 hours total, I still woke up more refreshed than I have in over a week.

I’ve decided to set up a little experiment, partially inspired by advice from my mom. Tonight I will follow my typical nightly routine to the letter, except that I won’t eat a snack after dinner like I usually do (usually between 7:30 and 8:00). Tomorrow we’ll see how it goes, and add in “no screens 2 hours before bed time.” And then I’ll see what happens from there, if I need to work out for more than 30 minutes a day, or if I should shoot for 30 minutes twice a day. Since my nighty routine is pretty much the same every night, it’s really hard for me to understand why I can fall asleep in under 30 minutes one night, after playing games on my phone right up until I’m ready for bed, and then the next night I do the same thing and it takes me 2 hours to fall asleep.

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