Next Dispatch: Wednesday, 29/05/2024

Walk Your Way to Better Sleep

Pursuing a peaceful night’s sleep can lead us down various paths, but have you ever considered that the simplest route might be the most effective? Picture this – your daily walk may hold the key to improving your sleep quality. Seems straightforward, doesn’t it?

Join me in this journey as we unpack the science behind these everyday tactics and discover how they can transform your sleep routine. Let’s set forth on this exploration together, shall we?

The Importance of Daily Walks for Health

You might wonder why a simple daily walk is so pivotal in the quest for better sleep. The answer lies in the vast health benefits this simple activity provides.

From a physical perspective, daily walks can contribute significantly to your cardiovascular health. They keep your heart robust and pumping, promoting better circulation and lowering the risk of heart diseases [1]. Plus, these strolls can aid in weight management, reduce blood pressure, and even strengthen your bones and muscles. Pretty impressive, right?

However, the benefits aren’t just physical. Daily walks can do wonders for your mental health too. Ever felt a sense of calm and clarity during or after a walk? That’s because walking, especially in natural surroundings, can reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-esteem, and improve mood [1]. It’s the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

So, by integrating daily walks into your routine, you’re not only setting a strong foundation for overall health but also creating a favourable environment for quality sleep.

How Walking Influences Sleep

At its core, walking is a form of exercise, and regular exercise is quite beneficial for sleep. Research suggests that physical activity, like walking, can help increase the time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase [2]. During this phase, the body repairs muscles and tissues, stimulates growth and development, boosts immune function, and builds energy for the next day.

Another study found that postmenopausal women who walked for an hour in the morning were more likely to reduce the time it took to fall asleep at night [3]. Similarly, research on older adults has shown that a regular walking routine led to better sleep quality, shorter time to fall asleep, and less sleep disruption [4].

Furthermore, walking can also aid in syncing our body’s internal “clock” or circadian rhythm, which manages our sleep/wake cycle. Exposure to natural light during a morning walk can help reset this rhythm, improving nighttime sleep [2].

The simple act of walking is more than just a good workout. It can have a profound impact on how well we sleep at night. Fascinating, isn’t it?

How Walking Can Be Incorporated into a Sleep Routine?

Now that we’ve understood the science behind the benefits of walking for sleep let’s explore how we can practically incorporate it into our daily routine.

The timing of your walks can have a significant impact on your sleep. One popular suggestion is to take a morning walk. This is because exposure to natural sunlight early in the day can help synchronize your circadian rhythms, leading to improved nighttime sleep[5]. But if you’re not a morning person, worry not! An evening stroll can also be beneficial, as long as it’s not too close to your bedtime, as it can interfere with sleep onset [5].

As for the duration, a study suggests that even 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, can drastically improve nighttime sleep [6]. But aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour for the best results.

Lastly, make sure your walks are enjoyable. Choose a route you love, perhaps through a park or along a picturesque street. Invite a friend along or listen to an engaging podcast. The more pleasant the experience, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Snug Scent and the Role of Natural Scents in Sleep Quality

While physical activity, like walking, plays a crucial role in enhancing sleep, the power of sensory experiences should not be underestimated. That’s where Snug Scent comes into the picture. Snug Scent specializes in crafting natural home scents designed to create a serene and comforting atmosphere, facilitating better sleep.

The power of smell is fascinating! A certain scent can transport us back in time, trigger specific emotions, and yes, even promote better sleep.

For instance, consider the popular lavender. Lavender is widely recognized for its soothing properties and has been scientifically shown to enhance sleep quality [7]. So, as you return from your daily walk, let the calming scent welcome you home, creating a perfect environment that encourages relaxation and sleep.

Creating an Effective Sleep Routine Incorporating Walking and Natural Scents

Alright, let’s piece together what we’ve learned so far to create an effective sleep routine.

Step 1: Start Your Day with a Walk

Begin your day with a refreshing walk. Aim for at least 30 minutes but feel free to extend if you enjoy it. Remember, this is not only about physical health but mental well-being too. Cherish this time for yourself. Exposure to morning sunlight will help reset your circadian rhythms and prepare your body for a restful sleep later [8].

Step 2: Create a Snug Scented Environment

After your walk, welcome yourself home with a comforting aroma. Choose a scent that resonates with your mood or needs for the day. For example, the Lemon and Spearmint blend is perfect for the morning due to its energising and uplifting scent. Lavender and Ylang-ylang scents can be a fantastic choice for nights when you want to enjoy deeper, more restful sleep.

Step 3: Prepare for Sleep

In the evening, initiate your wind-down routine at least an hour before bed. This could include reading a book, meditating, or maybe even taking another leisurely stroll. As your bedtime nears, make sure your sleeping environment is conducive to sleep – dark, quiet, and cool. If you need tips for a better night’s sleep during the hot summer night, read our Sizzling Summer Nights: My Tried-and-True Tips for Sweet Sleep article.

Step 4: Personalise Your Routine

Remember, every individual is unique. What works best for one person might not work as effectively for another. Feel free to experiment and personalise this routine until it feels just right for you.
A peaceful night’s sleep is not as elusive as it seems. With a regular walking routine and the calming influence of scents, quality sleep can become your new normal.

Before wrapping up, let’s address a few frequently asked questions that people often have regarding walking, natural scents, and sleep.

Q1: Can walking before bed help sleep?

Yes, walking can indeed help promote sleep. However, try to avoid vigorous exercise too close to your bedtime as it might interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Light to moderate evening walks, on the other hand, can help in relaxation [9].

Q2: What are the benefits of natural scents for sleep?

Natural scents, especially from essential oils like lavender, are known to enhance sleep quality. They help create a soothing environment, promoting relaxation and thereby aiding in sleep [10].

Q3: How long does it take for exercise like walking to impact sleep?

You might notice improvements in your sleep within the first week of incorporating regular walks. However, the most significant benefits often manifest over weeks to months of consistent exercise [11].

In this busy world, quality sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. So let’s lace up those walking shoes, indulge in the soothing fragrances by Snug Scent, and journey towards the realm of rejuvenating sleep.

Sleep well!

  1. Mayo Clinic – “Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health”
  2. Sleep Foundation – “How Does Exercise Help Those With Chronic Insomnia?”
  3. Journal of Sleep Research – “Exercise and Sleep in Community-Dwelling Older Adults”
  4. National Institute on Aging – “A Good Night’s Sleep”
  5. National Sleep Foundation – “Can Exercise Help You Sleep Better?”
  6. Mayo Clinic – “Exercise: Stress relief in motion”
  7. Journal of Medical Association Thailand – “Effect of aromatherapy on pruritus relief in hemodialysis patient”
  8. Sleep Foundation – “Natural Light Exposure, Sleep, and Depression”
  9. Mayo Clinic – “Exercise: Stress relief in motion”
  10. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine – “An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women”
  11. Sleep Foundation – “How Does Exercise Impact Sleep?”

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