Tossing and turning in bed is exhausting for sure. Many of us have been there. Helping yourself fall asleep at night might seem like a challenge that you just don’t really know how to overcome. Luckily, things you do during the day can help. Add in some exercise regularly, and you’ll be able to see great benefits to your sleep. This post will cover 10 exercises you can do to improve your sleep.
How exercise can help you sleep
You might wonder – won’t exercise just keep me awake instead of going to bed? It turns out that moving throughout the day is known to support better sleep. It can also be beneficial for those who suffer from sleep apnea, as it can decrease its severity1. You can also pair exercise with sleep-promoting supplements, like Maxler Melatonin or Liquid Melatonin, which are a great and easy way to boost sleep quality.
Why timing and frequency matter
If you’re trying to get the most sleep benefit from your exercise, you need to consider when you train. That’s because after exercise, our body releases endorphins which can cause some people to remain wakeful. That’s why many people can’t sleep after exercise. Additionally, it increases body temperature, which is the opposite of what you want when falling asleep. Therefore, try to finish your exercise about 1-2 hours before bed2.
If you abide by that, it doesn’t really matter when you exercise – whether in the morning or in the afternoon. Ensure you’re getting 30 minutes of exercise daily of moderate intensity, and you’ll be improving your sleep quality in no time3.
Our top picks for better sleep
If you’re ready to make a difference in your sleep, then try one or more of these 10 exercises!
Tried and tested – walking
Swimming for better sleep
Yoga for winding down
Work on breath control with breathing exercises
Mindful meditation exercises
Progressively relaxing muscles
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Any sort of cardio will do, but brisk walking, at a pace where you’re still able to chat to someone is a great option4. It’s low impact, requires no equipment, and can be done with your best buds!
Swimming is another great low-impact option that works out the whole body. This form of cardio can support sleep if you do it regularly5.
Yoga can be a great option for getting you into a relaxed state before bed. It can be especially useful for those over 60 and women6.
Breathing exercises for sleep can be a great way to calm down and relax. Try techniques like belly breathing for a relaxed breath or yoga breathing. An easy breathing exercise is box breathing – inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold again for four seconds7.
Stretches can help your blood flow and relax your muscles, so you’re prepared for the oncoming slumber. It might also lengthen your REM sleep, which is important for memory8.
If you’re not big on getting sweaty, mindfulness exercises can be a great way to support sleep. It can help you calm your thoughts, become less reactive emotionally, and live in the present moment9.
Think cardio is the only way? For those who like to go to the gym, regular resistance training can help with mood and improve sleep quality10. Why not try a gym session or do some resistance exercises at home?
Sometimes, you can employ mental techniques to help you fall asleep. This can be especially useful if your brain feels a little bit too loud and your thoughts are still racing. For this technique, mentally scan your body and relax every muscle group to help you get into the sleeping mood11.
Another one for those who might not want to hit the gym before bed. Visualization exercises can help you relax and unwind as you prepare to drift off. Picture places or memories where you feel calm or choose a guided relaxation exercise12.
If you’re a fan of short bursts of intense activity, rejoice! HIIT can be a great way to improve sleep quality, especially if you don’t tend to get much exercise daily13. Just remember to practice it regularly for the best effects.
Supplements to pair exercise with
To help you boost your sleep even further, consider adding sleep-promoting supplements alongside your exercise. Maxler ZMA Sleep Max is a melatonin-mineral formula that contains additional herbal extracts for good sleep and brain health support. Alternatively, try Sleep Gummies with Melatonin, which is a tasty way to try melatonin.
Sleep is crucial for performance, cognitive function, mental health, and overall well-being. If you’re finding it hard to hit the pillow and fall asleep, exercises like walking, breathing exercises, or yoga can be a great way to help you improve your slumber. Take control of your sleep for a healthier and happier you.