How Exercise Helps You Sleep Better

Dr. Dan JensenSleep

Dr. Dan Jensen
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Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night, or wake up repeatedly throughout the night? You’ve probably heard that exercise can help you sleep better, but maybe it hasn’t been as successful as you hoped. Here’s everything you need to know about how exercise helps you sleep better.

Exercise is Good for Your Body

Working out a few times every week is great for your body. When you get your heart pumping, you improve your cardiovascular health, reduce your cholesterol levels, and manage blood sugar levels. With exercise you can maintain a healthy body weight, and have more energy throughout your day. Exercise is also good for your overall mood and mental health.

Exercise Helps You Sleep Better

When it comes to sleeping, moderate aerobic exercise can help! Exercising during the day can make it easier to fall asleep as soon as you go to bed, and help you sleep more deeply during the night. Exercise helps you sleep in a couple of ways. When you exercise, you tire your body, and encourage sleep. Exercise also improves your slow wave sleep, or deep sleep. When you exercise regularly, you’ll spend more time during the night in slow wave sleep, allowing your body to rest and recharge for the day ahead.

When to Exercise

Not only is exercise good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health, and can improve your mood, or break negative or depressive thought patterns that tend to keep you up at night. During moderate exercise, your body will release endorphins, a hormone that often makes you feel good. However, endorphins can wake you up, so if you’re exercising too close to bedtime, your body won’t have time to wind down for the night. Have you been working out in the evening, and sleeping even worse than before? That’s because the time of day you exercise can make a big difference.

Along with releasing endorphins, exercise raises your body temperature, causing you to sweat. This higher temperature is a sign to your body to wake up. Just like a hot shower in the morning can make you more alert, a jog before bed can make it very hard to fall asleep. If you do exercise in the late afternoon or evening, your body temperature will fall within one to two hours, allowing you to fall asleep.

Some people don’t notice any trouble sleeping soon after a workout, but on average, people have the best sleep results if they work out in the morning or early afternoon. Listen to your body, and find a routine that works for you.

How Much to Exercise

Doctors want you to exercise. It’s great for your overall health and wellbeing, and it will help you sleep. There’s no set number of minutes that you need to exercise, and even light exercise once or twice a week is a great start. Find out what works for you, and how much exercise you need to feel great.

It won’t take long to see the benefit of your workout, and even 30 minutes of exercise will improve your sleep quality that very same night. You don’t have to wait weeks to get the benefits or exercise, and you should notice a difference in your sleep within a day.

Doctors suggest that you exercise for 30 minutes three or four times per week to improve your overall health, stay in shape, and sleep better. Our advice is that you choose an exercise you enjoy, and don’t force yourself to do a workout you hate. Whether you go for a jog, do a HIIT workout, walk around your neighborhood, lift weights, run up the stairs, or join an active yoga class, any moderate aerobic exercise will help you sleep better.

Sound Sleep Medical

If you’re not getting enough sleep, visit us at Sound Sleep Medical to find out more about exercise and sleep hygiene. Our team of sleep specialists will talk about lifestyle changes you could make to help you sleep better, and rule out any sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Our goal is to help you fall asleep easily, stay asleep, and get the sleep you deserve each and every night.