Sleep plays an important role in your mental and physical health. It’s a critical process that allows the body to function and remain healthy. In the short term, lack of sleep can affect your mind and thought-processes while ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease and stroke.
If you suffer from insomnia or poor-quality sleep, you may have tried everything from a new mattress to prescription strength sleep aids. One thing you may not have thought of, however, is the martial arts. While the martial arts may not immediately spring to mind when it comes to cures for insomnia, disciplines such as Kung Fu, can go a long way toward a better night’s rest. Here’s why:
- It improves sleep quality. Powering through your training allows you to push yourself harder-mentally and physically. Research shows that exercise helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
- It increases energy levels. Regular and hard core workouts such as those performed as part of martial arts training helps to reduce daytime sleepiness and spikes energy levels. This means you will be less likely to require an afternoon nap.
- It reduces stress levels. It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep if you are stressed out all of the time. Martial arts classes not only allow you to release any negative energy you have built up, it also boosts your body’s production of endorphins. Both of these things will help to relieve stress and get a better night’s sleep.
- It encourages healthy choices. When you are tired during the day, you compensate by eating fatty and sugary foods to try to get a boost of energy. Of course, as we all know, this backfires and causes you to feel more sluggish. It also sets up a vicious cycle. Studies show that individuals who exercise on regular basis are more likely to eat a well-balanced diet than those who don’t. And when your body is fueled by the right kind of foods, you sleep better at night.
Poor sleep is often a symptom of a larger problem of not taking proper care of your body. The martial arts are a wonderful way to make sure that you do just that. And that is certain to help you sleep better at night!