Sleep should be a welcome respite, but with our regular routines upended and an almost daily onslaught of anxiety-inducing news, many people are tossing and turning. A study published in June by the journal Sleep Medicine found a 37 percent increase in the rates of clinical insomnia among adults in China from before the peak of the pandemic.
Exercise can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and the amount of time spent awake at night, numerous studies have shown. It also increases sleep time and quality. While experts suggest avoiding vigorous exercise within an hour of bedtime (it raises heart rate, body temperature and adrenaline), stretching and meditative movement like yoga has been found to improve sleep quality. These types of exercises elicit the relaxation response, in which the body experiences a flood of calming hormones and physiological reactions that quiets the nervous system.
Excerpted from The New York Times