How to improve sleep through exercise

There is nothing more frustrating than insomnia – physically and mentally. It’s a catch 22… the more you can’t sleep, the more you want to sleep, then the more desperate to get to sleep you become, which stops you sleeping – YUCK. It’s well known that exercise can help you sleep – here’s why and how!


Timing can be everything when exercising to help sleep. It’s not the same for everyone, though. If you exercise in the morning, you might find that by the time it’s time for bed you’re relaxed. On the other hand, you might find that you spend the day recovering and by the evening you’re wide awake. Exercise just before bed and you might find the adrenalin keeps you awake. Then again, you might be so knackered that you fall asleep instantly. It’s important to find what works for you. Try a certain time to exercise for a week and if there aren’t any improvements, adjust this.

Exercise type

Aerobic fitness is known for helping you sleep easy. It’s tiring and keeps your heart, mind and blood healthy. As little as 10 minutes of cardio could help you sleep better. But you might find that other forms of exercise help, too. This might be yoga, to relax your mind and muscles, or a team sport to raise those endorphins. Do what makes you feel good about yourself – trial and error to see what works for you.

Doesn’t come immediately – up to 3 months

Studies have shown that exercise doesn’t help you sleep straight away – you have to be in it for the long game. It can take up to 3 months of regular exercise to have an impact on your sleep pattern. So be patient! If you’re struggling to stay committed to doing exercise because you haven’t yet seen the results, think of the other health benefits. If you’re all-round healthier and happier, you’ll probably find it easier to sleep.

Clear the head

Use exercise as a way to clear your head. Make a conscious effort to release the issues your brain is arguing over while you exercise. This will put your mind at ease so that when your head is resting on your pillow, you can take comfort from the decisions made while you were exercising.

Sleep improves exercise

Remember that while insomnia is a vicious circle, exercise can be a healthy circle when it comes to sleep. The better you sleep, the better you exercise. By staying committed to working out, you will eventually sleep better and you’ll be able to work out more efficiently. By exercising more effectively, you’ll then be able to sleep better – a positive catch 22!

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