Many people even after sleeping for 8 hours feel sleepy and tired by mid-day. This can happen because of low quality sleep. Do you also feel the same way during the day? It might be the time to examine your lifestyle habits in terms of food and exercise. Did you know that including exercise in your daily routine can help you in getting better quality sleep. Let’s see how this actually works.

According to a poll in 2013 by the National Sleep Foundation in the U.S, people who worked out or exercised regularly seemed to have better quality sleep than people who did not do any physical activity even though they said they slept well every night. If you are inactive then even starting with adding a 10 minute walk initially every day could improve your likelihood of better quality sleep. In fact, it was also found in the poll that non exercisers are at a higher risk of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which a person stops breathing during sleep. Its symptoms often include tiredness, snoring, and high blood pressure. It also increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Not having enough sleep or lack of good quality sleep can also lead to weight gain. When you do not exercise it leads to poorer sleep which in turn makes you lethargic for the whole day and keeps your energy levels low. Therefore, not exercising and low quality sleep becomes a vicious cycle. In fact lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep will make you crave for comfort food like potato chips, ice cream, etc which in the long run will make you gain weight and attract lifestyle diseases. The major drawback of this vicious cycle is you start drinking more of tea/coffee to keep yourself going for daily activities. This adds more caffeine and sugar in your daily diet which if consumed in high quantity can affect your health adversely.

To have good quality sleep, try to inculcate the following in your routine:

1. Include a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity in your daily routine. If you are a beginner than start with light exercises like walking or running or you can even include some other physical activities like kickboxing. But, don’t exercise at the expense of your sleep.

2. Keep the environment of your bedroom calm and quiet with a comfortable mattress and pillow because this will help further relax your body and might help in improving sleep quality.

3. Before going to bed relax yourself and try some meditation or deep breathing. Switch off the television or laptop at least 1 hour before going to bed or you can include some relaxing rituals like a warm bath or listening to calming music.

4. Make a routine of going to bed and waking up at a same time daily. Stop spending extra time in your bed when you are already awake.

5. Don’t keep your desktop, work files or TV in your bedroom.

Include the above to improve sleep quality but if you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or "stop breathing" episodes in your sleep, you must get in touch with a physician for a sleep apnea screening.