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Struggling to sleep? Exercise may be the key

Doctors say there is a link between sleep and exercise.

HOUSTON — Are you struggling to get a good night's sleep? There may be something that can help. In our series with UT Physicians, we look at the ways exercise may be the key to getting those extra Zs.

If you have difficulty sleeping, you are not alone. According to the CDC, one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep. In a study done by the Mayo Clinic, research finds that exercise may be the solution to your sleepless nights.

“It helps people fall asleep sooner and have a deeper quality of sleep,” Dr. Sudha Tallavujahula with UT Physicians said. “It releases a lot of endorphins and all of those feel-good hormones that people really need, that may minimize anxiety."

Cardiovascular exercises and stretching are some of the best workouts to help aid in sleep. How long you sleep is also a factor.  

"For most people, mornings are usually the best time to exercise,” Dr. Tallavujahula said.

If your schedule only allows evening workouts, that's perfectly fine unless you have trouble winding down after a workout. Then doctors recommend a three to four hour time frame between your workout and bedtime.

Moderation is key. And, if you are someone who has trouble getting to sleep, be mindful of what you're eating and the time you're eating. Try to stop eating two to three hours before calling it a night.

You can see more in our series on Health Matters here.

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UT Physicians is a sponsor of KHOU 11's Health Matters

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