Under the stars.. Walking at night helps you sleep

2023-11-28 2023-11-28T22:36:41Z
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ArabiaWeather - Studies indicate that walking regularly for approximately 30 minutes a day results in long-term health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease by up to 80%.

Walking at night regularly reduces the risk of heart disease

According to Tamana Singh, MD, professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, individuals who walk regularly have fewer heart attacks and strokes, enjoy lower blood pressure and higher levels of good cholesterol.

Singh adds that there is abundant evidence indicating that walking, as an aerobic activity, carries various health and psychological benefits, including reducing harmful cholesterol and managing weight by reducing the desire to eat, reducing blood sugar levels or even contributing to complete prevention, as well as protecting joints and strengthening joints. Functioning of the immune system, reducing the risk of cancer.

In addition, walking plays an important role in reducing tension and stress, improving sleep quality, and enhancing mood, due to stimulating the release of endorphins in the body.

Read also: Good sleep in winter protects you from diseases

The importance of walking before bed

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, walking is especially important for those who seek to get a restful sleep at night, given the exacerbation of sleep problems due to the rapid pace of modern life, where insomnia problems have become widespread. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about two-thirds of adults around the world suffer from symptoms of insomnia, and then face mood disorders, difficulty concentrating, and forgetfulness.

This high percentage is alarming, and Dr. Neil Bulfin, a regenerative medicine specialist in New York, explained this widespread prevalence in “Fortune.” He pointed out that behaviors that can cause sleep problems, such as excessive caffeine intake, prolonged exposure to blue screen light, or eating before bed, could be the reason behind this high percentage.

Besides health problems that affect our sleep, such as chronic diseases and breathing difficulties, walking at night before bed is indicated as a positive action for those seeking to challenge these many potential factors causing nighttime disturbances.

Research indicates that practicing walking at night before bed can contribute to improving the sleep process, as it can lead to falling asleep faster and improving sleep quality in general, according to the results shown by studies.

Dr. Bulfin points out that walking at night enhances the secretion of the sleep hormone known as melatonin, as a result of the effect of darkness and staying away from artificial lights and screens. This secretion sends a signal to the body, telling it it is time to calm down and reduce stress levels, preparing the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for functions such as regulating pupil size, bowel movement, and urine production) to enter a sleep-ready state.

Read also: What is the surprising link between sleep and mental health?

Important rules for walking at night

Before embarking on a night walking experience, you must understand the most important rules of this activity to ensure maximum benefit. Some of these rules are:

  • Light and quiet walking: If the goal is to improve sleep quality, it is preferable to walk at night light and quiet. There is no need to turn it into intense and rigorous exercise. Dr. Bulfin points out that the body needs more time to cool down after intense exercise, so it is preferable to perform it early in the day.

For your safety while taking a night walk, Dr. Bulfin and experts advise the following:

  1. Dr. Singh points out the benefits of walking with a partner or friend. “Companion walking provides many positives for our collective mental health, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation through talking, connecting and sharing experiences,” she says. Therefore, it is encouraged not to walk alone at night, and it is always preferable to have someone who knows where you are when you go out walking.
  2. He explains the importance of choosing the beaten path and going somewhere you know well. It is preferable that the road has familiar features and is free of obstacles, which makes you feel comfortable while walking.
  3. On the other hand, it is recommended to wear clothes and shoes with reflective markings to improve your visibility by cars and avoid dark areas. It is also preferable to wear a headlamp to illuminate the road ahead of you if there are unlit areas.
  4. Finally, it stresses the need to stay away from the edge of the road and keep walking in the designated pedestrian areas on the sidewalk, with the need to be alert and cautious while walking at night.

Do not use headphones while walking at night

If you plan to actively engage in night walking, be sure to avoid distractions, such as using a mobile phone, and leave your earphones at home. Dr. Bulfin recommends keeping all your senses focused while walking in the dark, warning that "whatever music or podcast you're listening to may still be on your mind right before bed, and may remain on your attention until the early hours of the morning."

Read also: Why do we need more sleep during the winter?

It is recommended to end the walking session about an hour and a half before bedtime, according to research results that indicate the need to leave a period of at least 90 minutes between the end of exercise and the beginning of the sleep period. It is noteworthy that the body's core temperature rises during exercise, and it takes about 90 minutes to return to its normal state. Based on this finding, Dr. Bulfin advises avoiding nighttime walking exercises just before bed.

In order to have the opportunity to shower, get ready for bed, and read in bed without strong lighting and distracting television programs or movies, it is best to avoid any activities that may affect the effect of melatonin stimulated by night walking.


Sources: Al Jazeera + websites

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
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