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How to Optimize Your Exercise for Better Sleep, According to Fitness Experts

Wondering how you can improve your sleep using exercise? Look no further! This article provides tips from fitness experts on how to optimize your routine for better slumber.

Nicole Taylor
How to Optimize Your Exercise for Better Sleep, According to Fitness Experts
Table Of Contents

Do you ever miss those childhood days when you could just fall asleep so easily? If you're finding it hard to drift off at night, it might be because your body isn't exhausted enough.

Obviously, as an adult with responsibilities, you can't just spend all day playing like a carefree child. But there are ways to make sure your routine is optimized for sleep.

We understand that you can't be on your feet all day, so we have created a workout routine designed to help you get the most blissful sleep.

Follow the tips below for a healthier, happier life!

How Does Exercise Help You Sleep Better?

Exercise and sleep have a two-way connection, meaning an increased physical activity leads to improved sleep, which in turn, leads to more exercise.

Here's exactly how exercise helps you have a better sleep:

Increases Adenosine Levels

Adenosine is a neurotransmitter in your central nervous system that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It causes drowsiness, lowers body temperature, and controls your circadian rhythm. With more adenosine in your system, you are more likely to experience quality sleep-wake cycles effortlessly.

Induces Deep Sleep

Exercise not only aids in falling asleep faster but also staying asleep for longer periods of time. In addition, exercise is linked to the amount of time your body spends in deep, slow-wave sleep (stages 3 and 4 of non-REM sleep) when your body repairs itself the most.

Slow-wave sleep is vital for immune functions, muscle recovery, memory processing, and hormonal balance.

Reduces Stress and Depression

Regular physical activity rids the body of stress and tension, which indirectly supports better quality sleep. Exercise boosts your self-confidence, improves your mood, and makes you a happy person in general, with more endorphins flowing into your system.

Helps With Insomnia

The most frequent sleep disorder, insomnia, usually prevents people from sleeping soundly. Normal causes of insomnia are depression, stress, and anxiety; however, the endorphins produced during regular exercise may help control these symptoms.

With regular exercise, it'll be so much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep longer than usual.

Which Exercise and How Much of It?

Now that we know exercise works wonders for your sleep, the natural next question is which exercise and how much of it.

When you read "regular exercise," you are led to believe it's going to be a long-term affair, and it may make the decision (to never even bother) for some of us who aren't so good at long-term commitments or perhaps aren't patient enough to wait for results that take time to ripen.

BUT the best thing about sleep and exercise is that you see the results instantly. It's not going to take you months or years before you can have a peaceful onslaught of overwhelming drowsiness; you can experience it the same night you indulge in 30 minutes of exercise.

The average adult in the United States should exercise 150 minutes each week, or 30 minutes 5 days a week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 30 short minutes, and you can get a perfect sleep boost that very night.

The BEST part? There are no restrictions in terms of the type of exercise; just do what you love and will be able to follow in the long run, whether it is aerobics, strength training, Yoga, Pilates, or anything!

Optimizing Exercise for Better Sleep

Exercise is great for the body in multiple ways, and it helps you reboot with sound sleep. Here are a few ways to optimize your workout routine to support a healthy sleep cycle:

Experiment With Timing and Intensity

If you are exercising to cure insomnia and get better sleep so you can feel fresh and be more productive during the wake hours, you may want to find out what time and intensity works best for you.

Different times work for different people, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for exercise timings. Early risers like it in the morning, but some people prefer it in the evening. You can experiment with timings to find out which slot your circadian rhythm loves.

Wait, isn't working out in the morning the best thing? Well, it was considered the best time for exercise until science proved you could work out any time without worrying about harmful effects.

There is no harm in exercising in the evening as long as your exercise time is two hours away from your bedtime. Endorphins from physical activity will settle in two hours, and you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

In fact, working out late may even help some sleep better as the quick rise in body temperature is followed by a quick drop, and lower body temperatures induce sleep.

For some people, the time for exercise doesn't matter at all; you can work out anytime, and it will support better sleep. So move your muscles whenever you want and sleep like a baby at night!

Don't Overdo Physical Activity

With so much advice out there about the benefits of exercise, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that more is always better. However, when it comes to sleep, moderate activity is usually best.

Too much exercise can actually have the opposite effect, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. The key is to find the right balance for your body. Moderate activity for 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week is just perfect for better sleep.

And if you're struggling to get enough exercise during the week, even a short 10-minute walk can make a world of difference.

More isn't better here; it's actually something like "something's better than nothing" when it's about sleeping better at night.

Follow the Routine

What works best for an optimized sleep cycle is to follow your sleep and exercise routine. You can experiment with timings, but once you know which time works best for you, you might want to stick to it.

Getting regular exercise can help regulate your circadian rhythm and promote a healthy sleep-wake cycle. In addition, setting a specific time for exercise each day can help make it a habit and align with your circadian rhythm better.


1. Is it bad to exercise every day?

No, as long as you don't overdo it. Adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes each week, but this can be broken up in a way it works for you and your schedule. To avoid injury, give your body and muscles time to heal properly. Daily workouts are wonderful, but it's also crucial not to over-exercise.

2. Is it good to sleep after exercising in the morning?

After a workout, some people may become fatigued. However, going to sleep in the morning after a workout can be worse than beneficial. You'll experience sleep inertia- the name given to a groggy feeling after long naps.

Long daytime naps make it more difficult to fall asleep at night, as well as delay your muscle recovery period. Instead, you can make do with power naps of less than 20 minutes. They energize the body and take care of grogginess too.

3. What is the best thing to do after a workout?

It's critical to drink water after a workout to improve muscle flexibility and reduce inflammation. Additionally, eat protein-rich foods like chicken, turkey or salmon. You can try delicious and healthy DMoose whey protein shake for quick and effortless replenishment.

If your workout was particularly intense, do a 5-minute quick cooldown of walking or gentle stretching to allow your heart rate time to return to normal.

4. Why do I feel so tired the day after working out?

It's typical to feel sore the day after working out, although there are a variety of other reasons why you might be tired the next day. You may have worked out too much, exercised too long, or done it frequently without resting.

Sleeping poorly at night, as sleep is important for muscle recovery, or not eating properly or drinking enough water can also contribute to exhaustion the day after working out. Both nutrition and hydration are essential for peak athletic performance and energy levels.

5. What are the signs of overtraining?

Overexerting yourself when working out doesn't just mean being a little sore for the next few days. Overtraining is uncommon muscle soreness that someone gets if they don't take sufficient rest in between workouts, and it typically happens after exercising for consecutive days or weeks.

Some potential signs of overtraining are weakened performance, fatigue, sleeplessness or low moods, extended recovery times, susceptibility to sickness, and loss of appetite.


So, what's the best way to get a good night's sleep? The answer is actually quite simple – find an exercise routine that works for you and stick to it! Moderate exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration, so make sure you factor in some time at the gym or going on walks into your day.

And don't forget, everyone's body is different – experiment until you find the exercise timing that works best for you. Just be sure to follow a routine each night, so your body knows when it's time to wind down. How do you plan on improving your sleep using exercise?

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Nicole Taylor

Nicole is a professional freelance writer specialized in sports nutrition and home based exercises. She publishes a website dedicated to home exercise and has contributed articles to magazines as well.

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