5 reasons exercise improves sleep

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve your sleep quality. According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, quality sleep can help boost your overall mood, reduce stress, and lower your risk of serious health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease. So, if you’re finding yourself becoming more and more restless every night, it might be time to change up your exercise routine. Here are 5 reasons why exercise might improve sleep.

1. Relieves stress
Cortisol, aka, the stress hormone is a type of hormone that rises in level the more stressed out you become. It can greatly affect the quality and duration of your sleep. According to a 2021 research review from Biomolecules, taking a brisk walk and doing high-intensity training can help with lowering your cortisol level which may result in better sleep.

2. Establishes a solid sleep-wake cycle
Your sleep-wake cycle is called a circadian rhythm, it tells you when you should be sleeping and when you should be waking up. It’s possible to develop a sleeping disorder due to a disruption in the circadian rhythm. According to an article review from 2019 by Brendan M. Gabriel and Juleen R. Zierath, adjusting your workout schedule to fit your circadian rhythm may alleviate sleep disturbance.

3. Helps relieve sleep disorder symptoms
If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep disorder, then it might be time you take exercise more seriously. A study in 2021 suggests that regular physical activities help adults with insomnia and sleep apnea symptoms and improve their sleeping patterns.

4. Improves the quality of your sleep
Exercise can also improve your quality of sleep. A randomized controlled trial in 2020 suggests that high-intensity training specifically improves your total sleep time, sleep efficiency (the ratio of sleep time to the time spent in bed), and wake-after-sleep onset (the amount of time spent awake after falling asleep).

5. Makes it easier to fall asleep
Physically demanding activities often increase your need to go to sleep. It’s easier to fall asleep when you’re tired. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the pressure to go to sleep (homeostatic sleep drive) builds up gradually the longer you stay awake. It lowers with a night of quality sleep and builds up again the next day. Exercise, in particular, increases your homeostatic sleep drive and makes falling asleep much much easier.  

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/5-reasons-exercise-improves-sleep