We’ve mentioned the benefits of exercising during the day to more easily fall asleep at night. Working out is known to reduce stress and increase alertness during the day. There are some specific exercises that are most effective in improving the quality of your sleep.
Cardio exercise that will get your heart rate up helps fight insomnia. Only a few minutes of intensive running, walking, cycling, or swimming can make a difference int he quality of your sleep. However, the ideal is to get at least two and a half hours of moderately intense or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise a week.
The calming poses, stretches, and breathing exercises in yoga are helpful with reducing stress. Yoga is known to have beneficial effects after daily practice over eight weeks. Strength training is also important, because your body is more inclined to fall into deep sleep to repair your muscles.
A minimal length at moderate levels of these exercises is enough to elevate your heart rate, leading to biological processes in the brain and body that improve your sleep. However, it’s important to schedule these exercises earlier in the day so as not to disrupt your sleep.
Aerobic exercises make the body release endorphins, creating activity in the brain that keeps some people awake. Exercise also causes body temperatures to rise, signaling to the body that it’s time to be awake. This is why you should not exercise within 2 hours before bed, so that the body can have proper time to wind down.