We have all been preached to before about the many benefits of eating right and working out. However, we wanted to look deeper into the specific potential benefits exercising has on your sleeping habits. Could working out regularly really help you to sleep better? We are going to look into how exercise and sleep relate to each other and what you need to know in order to stay healthy and sleep great.
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Does Exercising Help You Sleep?
From just about any way you look at it, it is undeniable that working out regularly helps you to get better sleep. Working out in the mornings often leads to an increase in energy in the morning to afternoon, while simultaneously increasing sleep drive in the evenings.
When your overall health and wellbeing increases, this will benefit your sleep in many different ways. Poor health can cause all sorts of pain and sleep disorders like RLS, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and general discomfort.
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How does Exercise Increase Sleep Quality?
It is one thing to state that exercise helps you sleep, but how does it work? Why does working out increase your sleep quality? There is more than one answer to these questions and we are going to give you all of them.
Exercise Increases Sleep Drive
Your sleep drive is the urge to fall asleep and often times a high sleep drive leads to falling asleep easier and faster. When you exercise, you are expelling more energy, which often leads for having a much higher sleep drive in the evenings.
This is especially true when compared to those who have jobs that are not physically demanding. Which it takes a lot of mental energy, your body is not getting the exercise it needs in order to feel sufficiently tired in the evenings.
Working Out Gives You a Boost in Energy
As soon as you get your heartrate up and your body moving, this is going to give you a boost in your energy levels. Throughout workouts your body starts producing endorphins that make you feel great. You also get a boost in adrenaline which is a quick way to feel energized and alert.
This is what makes working out in the mornings or early afternoon such a great idea. You feel refreshed and energized after a workout, making it such a great way to start your day or give yourself a boost in energy to get through the afternoon slump.
Decreases Cases of Sleep Apnea
If you get on a healthy workout routine, often those who have an excess of weight will notice quite a bit of weight loss. Being overweight is one of the most common leading causes of sleep apnea.
The great news is that a bit of weight loss can completely take away most cases of sleep apnea caused by weight gain. You may even be able to sleep without the assistance of a sleep apnea machine. This is a huge benefit to exercise for anyone who is constantly having their sleep disrupted by sleep apnea.
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Lowers Chances of Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by a great number of different things. However, working out on a regular basis can help with a lot of them. Regularly working out can decrease the severity of depression and anxiety, which commonly lead to bouts of insomnia.
While lack of sleep drive is directly correlated with insomnia. Sleep drive is often greatly increased as you insert exercise into your daily routine.
It has been shown that those who exercise regularly see improvements in their sleeping habits and less bouts of insomnia overall.
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Increased Overall Health = Better Sleep Cycle
It is no secret that a balanced lifestyle with a consistent exercise schedule leads to improvements in health. When your body is active you are more likely to have increased mobility, muscle development, and overall a healthier happier body.
When your body is well kept and maintained, your health increases. This is to be expected what you have a balanced life that includes a consistent workout schedule.
The healthier you are, the better sleep you’re going to get. This is true for your mental health as well as your physical health. When your body is struggling to function at it’s best, complications can arise that take a toll on your health and therefore your sleeping habits as well. Keep your body and mind healthy and your sleep is sure to follow.
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Weight Loss & Sleep Benefits
Obesity can play a negative toll on your overall health and wellbeing. It can absolutely affect the quality of your sleep as well. Being overweight increases your likelihood of experiences restless leg syndrome, insomnia, general snoring, and sleep apnea. This only names a few of the many complications that obesity can have on your health and sleeping habits.
Weight loss not only minimizes a lot of negative side effects of obesity, it can completely reverse some of them. For instance, for many sleep apnea sufferers, weight loss can completely cure the problem. Allowing you to sleep comfortably and with disruptions or needing to use a sleep apnea machine at night.
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Potential Downside to Exercise & Sleep:
While there are countless reasons as to how exercise can help you get great sleep, there are some potential downfalls that are worth keeping in mind.
Pain & Discomfort Caused by Exercise
When you workout it is totally normal to have minimal aches and pains afterword. This includes the muscle soreness which is a great sign that your muscles are being activated properly and you are gaining muscle mass.
Even when these are healthy normal aches and pains, they are still uncomfortable. Which can unfortunately at times make it more difficult to sleep comfortably.
Overall, sore muscles caused by lactic acid does not last long and it less of an issue the more frequently you work out.
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Working Out RIGHT Before Bed
While working out in the late afternoon or even into the evenings is typically not much of an issue. Try not to plan your workout to end right before you plan on going to sleep. We suggest giving yourself at least an hour of downtime before you plan on heading off to sleep.
This allows for your endorphins and adrenaline to wear off before you try and get some shuteye. This should be easy to do as a small after workout meal and a shower should be enough time to give you this.
If you were to try to head off to sleep directly after your workout, this would likely be rather difficult. Exercising increases heartrate, blood pressure, adrenaline, and endorphins. All of which make it rather difficult to sleep. Which is why we suggest either giving yourself that boost in the morning, or give yourself enough time after you workout to cool down before heading off to bed.
Be Mindful of Pre-Workouts
Most pre-workout drinks are PACKED full of energy boosters like caffeine. If you are someone who prefers to workout in the afternoon or evening, a pre-workout could easily ruin your sleep. You could be left wide eyed and unable to fall asleep for hours after your typical bed time.
Pre-workouts can be a great addition to your exercise routine. However, we just suggest that you only use them if you prefer to workout in the mornings. This way you are getting that boost in energy in the mornings and it has well worn off by the time you are ready to go to sleep.
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Exercise and Sleep – Tips & Advice:
Changes Are Made Through Habits NOT Good/Bad Days:
By this we want to reinforce that one bad day won’t wreck your health journey. Even an entire bad week of skipping workouts and eating poorly will not completely ruin your sleep and overall health. It is your general habits and consistency over time that will really make a big difference in your health, sleep, and wellbeing.
Which means that one bad day is not going to ruin all your hard work. It also means that one day of exercising will not cure all of your health and sleep problems. It takes being consistent over time.
Keep Your Workout Routine Manageable
One way to help yourself be consistent over time is by setting manageable goals. You can always increase your routine and workout schedule overtime. However, we suggest creating a workout routine that is easily accomplished within your schedule and lifestyle. This is the best way in order to create real and meaningful changes to your routine.
Final Thoughts – Exercise and Sleep: Is Exercise Good For Sleep?
Your sleeping habits are often a good reflection of your overall health and wellbeing. Which is one of the reasons why exercising and sleep go so well together. Often when you are working out regularly, your overall health improves which in turn improves your sleep. Weight loss can help with relieving sleep issues such as sleep apnea and general aches and pains.
Working out in the mornings can give you a boost in energy, while simultaneously increasing sleep drive in the evenings. Overall, there are so many sleep benefits to exercising regularly that all of the potential downsides really hold no ground. When it comes to working out for better health and sleep, we highly recommend it.
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