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Sleep Disorders and Solutions

The Surprising Link Between Exercise and Better Sleep

The Surprising Link Between Exercise and Better Sleep

Do you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep at night? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. These disorders can significantly impact your overall health and wellbeing, making it important to find effective solutions.

One solution that you may have heard of is exercise. That’s right, exercise and better sleep are actually linked. In this article, we’ll explore the evidence behind this claim and provide practical tips for incorporating exercise into your daily routine to improve your sleep.

How Exercise Affects Sleep

Various studies have shown that exercise can have a positive effect on sleep. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers and mood boosters. These endorphins can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are two of the leading causes of sleep disorders.

Additionally, exercise can also tire out your body, making it easier to fall asleep at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who regularly exercise have been found to spend more time in deep sleep, which is the most restorative stage of sleep.

Finally, exercise can also help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, which controls your sleep-wake cycle. By exercising at the same time every day, you can help your body learn when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep.

Types of Exercise That Promote Better Sleep

Not all types of exercise are equal when it comes to promoting better sleep. Some forms of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can actually stimulate the body and make it harder to fall asleep at night. However, there are several types of exercise that are particularly effective at promoting better sleep:

– Yoga: Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that can help reduce stress and anxiety, while also helping to stretch and relax the body.
– Tai Chi: This ancient Chinese practice involves slow, controlled movements that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
– Walking: Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that can be done at any time of day. It can help tire out the body, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
– Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can also help tire out the body. Additionally, the water can have a calming effect on the mind and body.

Tips for Incorporating Exercise into Your Daily Routine

If you’re not currently exercising, it can be tough to know where to start. Here are some tips for incorporating exercise into your daily routine:

– Start small: If you’re not used to exercising, start with just 10-15 minutes a day and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising.
– Find an exercise buddy: Exercising with a friend can help keep you motivated and accountable.
– Schedule exercise into your day: Treat exercise like any other appointment and schedule it into your day. Try to exercise at the same time every day to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
– Choose activities you enjoy: If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re less likely to stick with it. Choose activities that you find fun and enjoyable.


If you’re struggling with sleep disorders, exercise can be an effective solution to help improve the quality of your sleep. By understanding the ways in which exercise affects sleep and incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you can enjoy better sleep and overall better health and wellbeing. Remember to start small, find activities you enjoy, and schedule exercise into your day to make it a regular part of your routine.

The Surprising Link Between Exercise and Better Sleep FAQ

What is the link between exercise and better sleep?

Research has shown that regular exercise can improve the quality and quantity of sleep. Exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increase endorphins, and regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, all of which contribute to better sleep.

What type of exercise is best for improving sleep?

Aerobic exercises, such as running, biking, or swimming, have been shown to improve sleep the most. Resistance training and yoga can also have a positive impact on sleep quality. It is recommended to exercise at least 3-4 times a week for better sleep.

When is the best time to exercise for better sleep?

It is recommended to exercise earlier in the day, ideally in the morning or early afternoon, as exercising too close to bedtime can actually have negative effects on sleep. The body needs time to cool down and relax before sleep.

How long should I exercise to see the benefits on sleep?

Research has shown that exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week, can improve sleep quality and duration.

Can too much exercise have a negative impact on sleep?

Yes, excessive exercise or over-training can cause physical stress and lead to sleep disturbances. It is important to have a balanced exercise regimen and listen to your body’s signals.

Can exercise help with specific sleep disorders, such as insomnia?

Exercise can be beneficial for those with insomnia, as it can help reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting an exercise program if you have a sleep disorder.

How long does it take to see the benefits of exercise on sleep?

Research has shown that the benefits of exercise on sleep can be seen in as little as four weeks of regular exercise.

Are there any specific exercises or stretches that can help improve sleep?

Specific stretches or exercises have not been shown to directly improve sleep, but incorporating relaxation ( The One Yoga Sequence You Should Never Miss for Ultimate Relaxation ) techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, into your exercise routine can help relax the body and mind for better sleep.

Can exercise be used as a sole treatment for sleep disorders?

Exercise can be part of a healthy sleep routine, but it is not a sole treatment for sleep disorders. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

What are some other lifestyle changes I can make to improve my sleep?

In addition to regular exercise, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and managing stress can all contribute to better sleep.

Related Products for Improving Exercise Sleep Quality

  • Adjustable Bed Base

    An adjustable bed base allows you to elevate your head and feet to find the most comfortable position for sleeping. This will support healthy blood flow throughout your body, reducing pressure points and relaxing your muscles. Additionally, the ability to adjust the bed’s angle will help to relieve snoring and sleep apnea, leading to more restful sleep.

  • Weighted Blanket

    A weighted blanket is a unique blanket that is filled with glass beads or other materials. The additional weight of the blanket applies deep pressure to the body, which can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. The theory is that the blanket simulates the feeling of being held or hugged, which can soothe anxiety and stress.

  • White Noise Machine

    A white noise machine produces a constant sound, such as ocean waves or rain, which can help to mask other noises and create a more peaceful sleep environment. These machines are especially helpful for individuals who live in noisy urban or suburban areas or those who have partners who snore or make other disruptive sounds.

  • Aromatherapy Diffuser

    An aromatherapy diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils into the air. Different oils have different properties, some of which can promote relaxation and sleep. For example, lavender and chamomile are often recommended for their calming effects. Aromatherapy can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to fall asleep more easily.

  • Sleep Tracking Device

    A sleep tracking ( Unlock the Secrets of Your Sleep: The Surprising Benefits of Sleep Tracking Revealed! ) device can provide feedback about your sleep quality, time spent in various stages of sleep, and the number of times you wake up during the night. This information can help you identify patterns and make changes to your sleep habits. Additionally, some devices may offer features such as guided meditations or breathing exercises to help you relax and fall asleep more easily.

  • Meditation Cushion

    Meditation cushions are designed to elevate your hips, align your spine, and support proper posture during meditation. Studies have shown that regular meditation ( The Mind-Blowing Health Benefits of Meditation You Have to See to Believe ) can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia. A cushion can help to make your meditation practice more comfortable and effective.

  • Yoga Mat

    Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on balance, flexibility, and relaxation. Practicing yoga before bed can help to quiet the mind and prepare the body for sleep. Having a dedicated yoga mat can help you create a comfortable and clean space for your practice.

  • Eye Mask

    An eye mask can block out light and create a darker, more restful sleep environment. Light pollution from electronics, streetlights, and other sources can interfere with your body’s natural sleep cycles, so creating a dark sleeping space is important. Additionally, a comfortable and attractive eye mask can make sleep more enjoyable and relaxing.

  • Anti-Fatigue Mat

    If you do a lot of standing during the day, an anti-fatigue mat can help to reduce pressure on your feet and legs, improving circulation and reducing discomfort. This can lead to better sleep quality, as you will be less likely to experience aches and pains that can keep you awake at night.

  • Essential Oil Set

    A set of essential oils can give you a variety of scents to choose from, depending on your mood and needs. Different oils have different properties, and choosing the right ones can help promote relaxation and sleep. In addition to lavender and chamomile, other popular sleep-promoting scents include bergamot, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood.

Pros & Cons of Exercise for Better Sleep


  • Exercise helps you fall asleep faster: Exercise helps your body expend energy and tire you out, so that you can fall asleep faster and more easily.
  • Increases the duration of deep sleep: Exercise has been shown to increase the duration of slow wave sleep, which is the most restorative type of sleep. This means that you may wake up feeling more refreshed and energized.
  • Improves overall sleep quality: Exercise can improve the overall quality of your sleep, and reduce the amount of time you spend awake during the night. Regular exercise can also improve sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety: Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can otherwise lead to sleep problems. By reducing stress levels, exercise helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Improves daytime alertness and productivity: Exercise has been shown to improve daytime alertness and productivity, which can be beneficial for those who suffer from daytime sleepiness due to poor sleep quality.
  • Improves overall health: Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, and can improve overall health. Getting enough sleep is also essential for good health, and exercise can help you achieve both.


  • Can be difficult to maintain: Sticking to an exercise regimen may be difficult for some people, and may require time management and motivation.
  • Can be tiring: If you don’t get enough rest after exercising, you may feel tired and lethargic during the day. This can negatively impact your productivity and overall wellbeing.
  • May not work for everyone: Exercise may not work for everyone who suffers from sleep problems. While it can be effective for many, some people may need additional treatments or therapy to help them sleep.
  • Requires a safe environment: Exercise should be done in a safe space, with proper equipment and guidance. Engaging in exercises that are too strenuous or dangerous can lead to injury and further sleep problems.
  • The timing of exercise matters: Exercising too close to bedtime may actually interfere with sleep, as it raises your body temperature and heart rate. It’s recommended to finish exercise at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • May require medical advice: If you suffer from a medical condition or take medication, you should consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program, as some types of exercise may not be suitable for you.

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