Exercise Improves Sleep Quality

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Getting enough quality sleep is crucial for overall well-being and maintaining good health. As someone who has personally experienced the positive effects of exercise on sleep, I want to share with you how regular exercise improves sleep quality.

I have always been active but not someone who enjoyed going to the gym. I started slowly by adding a 30 minute walk in the morning with my dogs and progressed to yoga two to three times per week. I found it calmed my mind and made me feel happier and more productive during the day. When my productivity went up I felt more tired at the end of the day which helped to send me to sleep. Find an activity that makes you happy, start slowly and enjoy!

The Importance of Sleep

Quality sleep is vital for various aspects of our lives, including physical and mental health, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. However, in today’s fast-paced world, many individuals lead sedentary lifestyles, which can negatively impact their sleep patterns and overall health.

Impact of Sedentary Lifestyle on Sleep

Living a sedentary lifestyle, characterized by extended periods of sitting or inactivity, can disrupt our sleep-wake cycle. Lack of physical activity can lead to increased feelings of restlessness, insomnia, and difficulties in falling asleep. Furthermore, it can contribute to conditions like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, further compromising the quality of our sleep.

Why Exercise Improves Sleep Quality

Regular exercise positively influences sleep quality through various mechanisms. Let’s explore some of the ways in which exercise improves sleep quality:

Hormonal Balance and Sleep

Engaging in physical activity helps regulate the release of hormones in our body, such as melatonin and cortisol, which play crucial roles in our sleep-wake cycle. Exercise promotes the natural production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep, leading to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience.

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

Exercise has powerful effects on our mental well-being, including the reduction of anxiety and stress levels. By engaging in physical activity, we release endorphins, commonly known as “feel-good” hormones, which alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress. As a result, we can achieve a calmer state of mind, making it easier to fall asleep and maintain a deep sleep throughout the night.

Increased Body Temperature and Sleep

During exercise, our body temperature rises, and afterward, it gradually decreases. This post-exercise drop in body temperature signals to our brain that it’s time to rest. This natural temperature fluctuation aligns with our circadian rhythm and promotes a smooth transition into sleep.

Regulation of Circadian Rhythm

Our circadian rhythm acts as an internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Regular exercise helps synchronize this rhythm by promoting a consistent schedule and routine. By engaging in physical activity during the day, we signal to our body that it’s time to be awake and active, leading to improved alertness during the day and better sleep at night.

We recently purchased a Hatch Alarm Clock and now wonder how we made it all these years without one. These are some of the benefits:

  • Sleep better: Personalize a sleep-wake routine to help you fall asleep, stay asleep & wake up refreshed.
  • Wake up naturally: Gently wake to a custom Sunrise Alarm Clock that supports healthy cortisol levels.
  • Sounds + lights + more: Create a mood any time with a library of soothing sounds, white noise & lights at your fingertips. Relax with a soft-glow reading light without the eye-straining blue hues.
  • Expand your library: Your Restore comes fully loaded with high-quality nature sounds and white noise to drown out distractions and help you drift to sleep.
  • Control via app or touch: Control with soft-touch buttons on the device, or use the free companion app for iOS or Android. Device requires Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

When you are getting ready for bed at night this alarm clock has a yellow glow that slowly fades to a deep rose colour that mimics the setting sun. You can play white noise all night, we love the rain sounds, and in the morning 30 minutes before you

Promoting Deep Sleep

Deep sleep is a crucial phase of the sleep cycle associated with physical restoration and memory consolidation. Exercise can facilitate deeper and more restorative sleep in several ways:

Relaxation and Calmness

Physical activity, especially relaxing exercises like yoga or tai chi, can induce a state of relaxation and calmness in both the mind and body and improve sleep quality. This promotes a peaceful transition into sleep, ensuring a higher proportion of deep sleep throughout the night.

A product that has been proven to enhance sleep and promote calm are sleep masks. My family and I have been using sleep eye masks for years. You can get all types of sleep masks in different price ranges and quality. We prefer the Manta Blackout Sleep Mask because they are super comfortable and block 100% of the light. Another sleep mask we used for a long time is the LKY Digital Blackout Mask. It is 3-D so it doesn’t touch your eye and it is meant for side sleepers. It is less expensive, comes in different colours and blocks 100% of the light. These masks only work if you use them. Find the one that is most comfortable for you and see how amazing sleeping in the dark can be.

Physical Fatigue

Engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise during the day helps to physically tire the body, making it easier to fall asleep and experience uninterrupted periods of deep sleep. Regular physical activity promotes muscular fatigue, allowing your body to fully recover and recharge during the night.

Weight Management and Sleep

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for sleep quality. Regular exercise supports weight management by burning calories, increasing metabolism, and preserving muscle mass. By maintaining a healthy weight, you reduce the risk of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia.

Establishing a Healthy Exercise Routine

To maximize the benefits of exercise on sleep, it’s important to establish a healthy exercise routine. Here are some key considerations:

Types of Exercise for Better Sleep

Incorporate a combination of aerobic exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises into your routine. Aerobic exercises like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming are great for cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Strength training exercises such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises help build muscle strength. Flexibility exercises like yoga or stretching promote relaxation and improve joint mobility. Yoga is a fabulous exercise that you can do anywhere, at any age and it is inexpensive. For the beginner yoga enthusiast, I recommend the Balance Go Yoga Kit.It has everything you need to get started and ease into your yoga practice.

Timing and Duration of Exercise

Engage in exercise earlier in the day or at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime may increase alertness, making it harder to fall asleep. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with two or more days of strength training exercises.

Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment

In addition to regular exercise, creating a sleep-friendly environment can further enhance the quality of your sleep. Consider the following tips:

  • Make your bedroom a peaceful and comfortable space, with a supportive mattress and pillows. We recommend the Novilla Gel Cooling Mattress and Coop Home Goods Side Sleep Pillow.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and at a cool temperature to promote optimal sleep conditions. We recommend 100% Blackout Curtains that block light and heat from your bedroom. These curtains come in a wide range of colours and lengths for every window.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. I have always been a big reader before bed. I find reading for 15 minutes makes me sleepy and it is a great transition from daytime busy to quiet slumber.
  • Limit exposure to electronic devices before bed, as the blue light emitted can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt your sleep. We highly recommend the Ocushield Blue Light Blocking Filters for your phone, laptop and tablet. They are inexpensive, block blue light and protect your screens. Check them out.

Conclusion

Regular exercise offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being, and one of those benefits is improved sleep quality. By incorporating exercise into your routine, you can enjoy more restful nights, better overall health, and increased vitality during the day. So lace up those sneakers, get moving, and experience the transformative power of exercise on your sleep!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can any type of exercise improve sleep quality?

A. While any type of exercise can have a positive impact on sleep quality, moderate aerobic exercises, strength training, and relaxation-focused exercises like yoga or tai chi are particularly beneficial.

Q. How long does it take to notice improvements in sleep quality through exercise?

A. The effects of exercise on sleep can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience improvements in sleep quality within a few weeks of starting a regular exercise routine, while others may take longer. Consistency is key.

Q. Can exercising too close to bedtime negatively affect sleep?

A. Exercising too close to bedtime may increase alertness and make it harder to fall asleep. It’s recommended to finish exercising at least a few hours before bedtime to allow your body to wind down.

Q. Can exercise help with specific sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea?

A. Exercise can be beneficial for individuals with sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to receive personalized advice and guidance.

Q. Are there any precautions to consider before starting an exercise routine for better sleep?

A. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s always wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine. They can provide tailored recommendations and address any specific concerns you may have.

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Whitney Blair

I am Whitney Blair and I am passionate about healthy sleep at every stage of life. I understand the desperation you feel when in search of great sleep and how detrimental it can be to your physical and mental health. This website was designed to bring you comprehensive knowledge to help you and your loved ones achieve great, restorative sleep.


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