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Move More, Sleep Better

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By Kerri BlackBurn, Practicing Kinesiologist

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 36% of Canadians already reported experiencing sleep difficulties such as issues with falling asleep, staying asleep and early morning awakenings. Is the solution as simple as adding more movement into our day?

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 36% of Canadians already reported experiencing sleep difficulties such as issues with falling asleep, staying asleep and early morning awakenings. Since the onset of the pandemic, the shift to work-from-home schedules (or lack of defined schedules), plus the addition of increased stressors and mental health concerns, the prevalence of sleep disturbances has increased to 51%. More importantly, these sleep disturbances that a majority of us are facing influence our risk of infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic conditions at a time when we are trying to stay in peak health. 

 

Is the answer as simple as adding more movement into our day? Quite possibly.

 

Since the start of the pandemic, social distancing measures have played a role in decreasing our physical activity levels. Research has shown those who engage in physical activity are 33% more likely to meet sleep guidelines. Individuals with chronic insomnia who engage in regular physical activity are also found to fall sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The timing of our physical activity may also be an important factor to consider. Some research shows that getting active in the early morning can positively impact sleep quality compared to the same activity later in the day. If you prefer activity in the evening, yoga has been shown to have similar effects through its encouragement of relaxation

 

Keep in mind, our changes can be small. As little as 10 minutes of walking per day can increase sleep quality. If you’re ready to make a change, Find a Kin to help you. 

 

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