Did you know that people who follow a regular exercise schedule have fewer nights of sleeplessness? It’s true. Insomnia is not a common occurrence when exercise is part of your daily schedule. It has also been noted that exercise promotes a better night’s sleep by improving sleep quality. When you exercise, you experience smoother transitions between the various cycles and phases of sleep throughout the night. When you add exercise to your day, it has been shown that many fall asleep faster, stay asleep more easily, and remain in the deepest “Stage 4” sleep for a longer period of time.


For an excellent night of sleep, try doing vigorous exercising through the daytime and a light exercise routine at bedtime. (However, do not exercise vigorously right before bedtime. This may hinder your ability to fall asleep.) A moderate exercise regimen of only 20 to 30 minutes three or four times every week will not only give you a better, more restful night of sleep, but it will also increase your energy level throughout the day.


Sleep aids have become a regular prescription and over the counter purchase for many people. However, for many, exercise added to your daily routine can overcome sleep problems without the need for medications.


How is it that exercise combats sleeplessness?


There have been two finding that are important in relation to sleeplessness and exercise:


  1. Those who experience sleeplessness and insomnia have been shown to lead more sedentary lives than those that are good sleepers. This may be due to the fact that the normal rise and fall of a person’s body temperature does not happen in those that do not participate in physical activity. The disruption of this normal body rhythm can lead to insomnia. Insomnia reduces a person’s energy, causing their physical activity to go down even more. This fact can compound the problem, since the decreased activity will disrupt the body’s normal functioning even more. It is a vicious cycle of lack of activity = lack of sleep.

  2. When you do exercise, there is a significant increase in your body temperature. A few hours later, a drop in body temperature can be measured. That drop in body temperature after an exercise routine can make it easier for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.


When you choose your exercises, some that you should look at if you have difficulty sleeping are the ones that involve significant use of your legs. That vigorous use of the leg muscles can act like a tranquilizer, making sleep much easier to achieve.


Aerobic exercise is considered to be the best type of activity to combat sleeplessness. This is because these exercises allow more oxygen to enter the blood, due to the fact that you normally breathe deeply while doing aerobic exercise. Some examples of aerobic exercises are:


  • Jogging

  • Swimming

  • Bike riding (stationary or outdoor)

  • Jumping rope

  • Treadmill use

  • Dancing

  • Walking

  • Running

  • And many more activities!


Even as little as 20 minutes a day, 4 times a week can have significant benefits. Not only will you have more energy, but you will also find it easier to enjoy a good night’s sleep.


As stated earlier, exercising vigorously is not something to do right before you try to go to sleep. The rise in body temperature and the stimulation from the exercise can make it much harder to achieve due to your muscles and circulation system working at an increased rate. However, working out in the morning, afternoon or early evening will normally provide you with a better night of sleep.