How regular swimming can improve your sleeping habits02/19/2021 | Written by Nikos Kaskaras in Fitness & Nutrition Tips
Living in the 21st century is greatly challenging. On the one hand, technological evolution is providing humanity with tools that even the most imaginative writer of science fiction could hardly predict, thus boosting the perspectives of societies as a whole. On the other hand, current demands are steadily increasing the obligations of our daily lives. Where does all that lead? To more intense acceleration of the pace that we all need to move and work, to greater insecurity and finally to increased levels of anxiety. One of the most important side-effects of that situation is the disturbance of sleep that can lead to a spiral of negative consequences. Here, I will try to clarify as vividly as possible, how regular swimming can be enormously helpful and drastically improve your sleeping habits.
One in five Australians have sleeping disorders
Stats are striking and should ring bells: According to the Parliament of Australia, approximately one in five Australians-a staggering 20 % of the population is affected by a significant sleep disorder. Another research, published by Sleep Health Foundation, is even more worrying as it reports that more than half of adult Australians are suffering from at least one chronic sleep symptom. This can result in further health implications as other health issues, including cardiovascular disease, mental health, diabetes and obesity, can occur because of not sleeping well. Living a healthy life is not possible if there are serious, long term sleep disorders. What is even most worrying is that the report found that relatively few Australians talked to their doctors about their sleep issues.
Why is it important to sleep well?
Like all animals, sleeping is vital for the healthy functioning of humans. Sleeping patterns differ from age to age. Infants and toddlers spend most of the day sleeping (11-15 hours), adults need 7-9 hours of sleeping and older, aged at least 65 years, should sleep 7-8 hours. Inadequate sleep negatively affects vital functionings like cognition, attention span, speed of reactions and mood stability. Furthermore, sleeping disorders worsen physical health. Sleeping well boosts our organisms in many ways by:
- Strengthening our immune system
- Preventing heart disease and diabetes
- Increasing fertility and sex drive
- Lowering blood pressure
- Helping to maintain a normal weight
It is crystal clear that without getting a night of good sleep, it is impossible to live a healthy, fulfilling life. It is therefore essential that it should be one of our top priorities and not neglect any worrying signs of sleeping issues.
How swimming improves sleep
Lack of exercise is one of the main reasons that can disrupt our healthy sleeping. Busy daily schedules and the need for the majority of professionals to sit on a chair for most of their workdays are potential factors that can play a big role. Lack of movement and less free time can result in sleeping problems. Urban life may have enhanced material wealth but can also enslave people in a way of life that is not meant for human nature. Exercising our bodies is essential for our health and could be a decisive factor for maintaining a healthy sleeping cycle.
How can swimming improve sleep? Here's a list of possible beneficiary means:
- Swimming reduces anxiety and lowers stress levels
- Swimmers accomplish a full workout of their bodies
- Swimming increases energy levels
- Swimming burns calories
- Swimmers diminish the risk of diseases
Swimming combines physical and mental health
The basic advantage of swimming in regards to the improvement of sleeping habits is its combination of physical and mental benefits. It's an excellent athletic activity for releasing all the tension and getting out of you all negative feelings and stress as it stresses the whole of your body providing a combination of possible techniques, depending on your level. At the same time, it boosts mental health and psychological mood because of the water effect. The properties of water are ideal for causing feelings of relaxation and peace of mind, which can be crucial for having a healthy sleep. What's best is that you don't need to spend hours in a swimming pool, for managing to sleep like a bird afterwards. Neither you need to be a super athlete or have the body of a body-builder. Swimming is for all.
Why swimming makes us so tired
To clarify things further, it's good to know why swimming makes the human body to feel such increased levels of fatigue, thus leading to sleeping easily when going home, after the practice. I referred previously to the properties of water and how helpful can be for us. This is because water conducts heat more quickly than air. That's why human bodies lose heat at a greater pace in water than in the air even when the temperature is the same. As a physical result, your bodies will need to spend greater levels of energy to maintain its temperature, thus making you feel more tired. This particular property of water also explains the great fatigue we experience when entering out of the pool at the end of our swimming session. Our bodies try to “get back” the lost temperature and this process makes us feel even more tired while at the same time all parts of our body are in the physical rehabilitation process, extending even further the fatigue feelings. You should keep in mind though, that swimming lessons for helping your sleep shall take place in the evening hours after your working day is over. Swimming in the morning has other advantages, rejuvenating your energy levels and preparing you for a creative and energetic day.
How much swimming you need for a good sleep
Another significant advantage of “swimming for sleeping” sessions is that you can set the pace and volume of your training. As I noted earlier, you don't need to be a super athlete to make it work for you. Even 30 minutes of swimming per day for three days a week can produce results and transform your sleeping patterns. Of course, it would be best to hold a daily swimming routine, especially during the first weeks, so that you could feel regularly the fatigue effect and prepare for a good night's sleep. In any case, the crucial factor is taking the first step and getting the help you need for solving this intense issue. Nevertheless, swimming can be a salvation for insomniac people. Combining it with a healthy diet and the avoidance of alcohol consumption before sleeping is quite a certain prerequisite for achieving a healthy sleeping cycle. Not to mention that, for non-competent swimmers, it can also be a life surviving skill!