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Does Exercise Help you Sleep Better?

Updated: Jan 5

Exercise is good for so many things: It reduces stress, improves your mood, helps keep your body healthy, and the list goes on. But what about sleep? Does working out make people sleep better? The answer is yes! Exercising regularly will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply—but it's not just any workout that does this. You'll reap the most benefits from exercising if you do it at least three hours before bedtime. If you've always assumed that working out makes it harder to get a good night's rest, read on for tips on how to get started with an exercise routine that will leave you feeling awake but calm enough to drift off into dreamland.


Working out helps people sleep better.

You know how it's really hard to fall asleep if you're feeling anxious or stressed? That's because the stress hormone cortisol is released in your body when you have those feelings, and it interferes with the quality of your sleep.

Exercise has been shown to effectively reduce anxiety by reducing cortisol levels. It also helps improve mood and sleep habits, which can also help you get more restful sleep. Working out at least three times a week has been shown to lower anxiety, improve mood and increase energy levels—all things that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer! This is not to forget how it can help with mental health here in Hong Kong and beyond.


Exercise helps you get to sleep faster.

You can also get to sleep faster by exercising. Studies show that people who exercise a few hours before bed fall asleep faster and have more energy throughout the day. The key is to find an exercise routine that works for you. Exercise is a great way to relax your body and mind as you wind down for the evening. It doesn't matter if it's yoga or jogging—as long as it makes you feel good about yourself, then it works!

In addition to getting you into bed sooner, exercising before bed will help improve both how deep and how long your sleep is. One study found that those who exercised daily had a far better quality of life than those who didn't—and there were no adverse effects from exercising at night either!


It also helps you sleep more deeply.

You may not be aware of it, but your body goes through a natural sleep cycle every night.

The first stage of that cycle is light sleep, followed by deeper stages of sleep until you reach REM (rapid eye movement), when dreaming occurs. When you wake up in the morning, it's often because you've been in REM for several minutes at a time—the last stage before waking up completely.

In order to get better quality sleep, though, you need to make sure your body gets into deep sleep during the night—and exercise helps you do just that! A study from 2007 found that people who exercised regularly were able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than those who didn't exercise regularly.


Exercising regularly improves your mood and reduces anxiety.

Exercise helps you sleep better in two ways. First, it improves your overall sleep quality. If you exercise regularly, your body will be more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Second, exercising reduces stress levels, which can be a major cause of insomnia. In fact, studies found that people who exercised regularly had higher quality sleep than those who didn’t exercise at all.

Exercising also helps increase your energy level during the day so you can function better at work or school and not feel as tired or sleepy during the evening hours when it’s time for bedtime activities like reading or watching TV before going to sleep


The intensity of your workouts doesn't matter.

The key to getting the most benefit from your workouts is consistency. Research shows that even moderate-intensity exercise can help you sleep better and longer, so don't worry about working out too intensely or not hard enough to see results. Also, remember that intensity isn’t just about how hard you work out—it’s also measured by how much effort you put into each movement and the amount of time spent exercising (i.e., if you spend an hour walking at a slow pace, that counts as moderate-intensity exercise).


Exercising every day can help you stay consistent and make it a habit.

Now that you know how exercise helps you sleep better, it's time to put those benefits into action. The best way to start is by making a habit. A habit is something that becomes familiar, automatic, or routine over time. You can do this with exercise by making it part of your daily schedule and sticking with it for months until it feels natural for you—like brushing your teeth every morning and night. That way, when bedtime rolls around, you will go right off into dreamland!

  • Make a goal: Set aside time each day (even if just 10 minutes at first) that's devoted solely to exercising—no matter what! This will ensure that no matter what happens during the rest of the day (you get stuck at work late), there'll always be some downtime scheduled for moving around.

  • Find an activity: There are so many different types of workouts out there: dancing classes; boot camp; martial arts; yoga; CrossFit...the list goes on! Just find something that sounds fun and appealing (or maybe none of those things do). Keep in mind that exercising puts your body under pressure. Thus, you'll need to push yourself regardless of what activity you pick.

  • Schedule your workout session(s): Put them on your calendar just like any other appointment or meeting so there's no question about whether or not they'll happen.

  • Stick with it!: Once those sessions start happening regularly enough that they're automatic/routine/habitual behavior instead of conscious decisions made each day (known as "making" them), congratulations—you've built yourself an exercise habit!


How you move matters as much as how much you move.

To help you sleep well and feel better, it's important to make sure your body is moving in a way that works for you. That means making sure that you're doing exercises that are flexible enough to adapt to your individual needs without sacrificing safety or effectiveness. For example, if running hurts your knees, don't run! Instead of running, try walking fast on an incline (this can help improve circulation). Or if cycling isn't something you enjoy doing, try swimming laps at the pool instead.

In general:

  • Make sure whatever exercise form you choose is safe for your body - meaning it doesn't cause any pain or discomfort

  • Make sure whatever form of exercise makes sense for who YOU are - this means going at a speed/pace/intensity level that feels right


You'll fall asleep easier if you work out in the morning or afternoon.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night and you want to try exercising, exercise in the morning or afternoon. This will help stimulate your brain and trigger it to release more melatonin, which helps induce sleep. If you find that you're having difficulty waking up early in the morning, try exercising later in the day instead.

If you're going to exercise regularly, set a specific time for it every day so that your brain can learn how to fall asleep easily when it's time for bed. Make sure that this time doesn't conflict with any other activities that are part of your daily routine (such as eating dinner), or else those behaviors might disrupt sleep patterns.


A good night's rest is crucial to the benefits of exercise.

A good night’s rest is crucial to the benefits of exercise. Sleep is vital for recovery and repair, memory consolidation, learning new skills, emotional regulation, creativity, and even our emotional well-being. Sleep helps us regulate our mood; it also enables us to learn new skills and have better long-term memory because we are able to consolidate what we have learned during sleep.

In order for you to maximize your performance as well as your fitness gains from an intense workout session or exercise routine, it is important that you get enough quality sleep every night. If you don't get enough quality sleep at night, then these effects can cause problems such as poor muscle growth or decreased strength due to a lack of recovery time within the muscle tissue itself.


Try some gentle stretching after a workout if you're having trouble falling asleep at night.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try some gentle stretching after a workout. Stretching helps relax your body, which will help reduce muscle soreness and can also make for a better night's sleep. If you're having trouble winding down in bed, some gentle stretching before bedtime might be just what the doctor ordered!



So there you have it, all the things we have been thinking about. I hope this article has inspired you to in some way to think of your next gift. Don't forget to share any extra ideas you have with us in the comments.

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