News and Updates

The latest updates and tips from the Teen Sleep Hub

Exercising & Sleep

With the World Cup starting in November, it’s a constant reminder of the positive benefits that exercise has on sleep. It isn’t a myth that exercising regularly tends to help people sleep better. Did you know that athletes often focus on sleep as much as their diet and exercise routines?

Exercising often and effectively can tire your body out gently, resulting in a better sleep when it’s done right! Releasing built-up tension through exercise has many benefits, including reducing stress before bedtime and dropping your body temperature, which promotes a better sleep.

The benefits include the obvious ones too with exercise not only good for sleep, but sleep is good for exercise. Exercising can create a positive cycle of sleep, building muscle tissue, and growth hormones.

When is the best time to exercise to help you sleep?

If possible, morning or afternoon exercising is the best. If you exercise too much or too close to bedtime, it could have a negative effect. When you go to bed, it’s a time to relax and chill out, but exercising too much can cause you to feel too awake to wind down in time.

This being said, exercising in the evening is much better than none at all. It’s a good idea to make sure you have enough time to wind down afterwards, though. You could always consider yoga or a gentle stroll to help you relax as part of your wind down routine.

How often should you exercise each day/week if you’re struggling to sleep?

20 to 30 minute sessions, three times per week should do the job! This is providing you do aerobic exercise which boosts oxygen consumption, improves breathing, and strengthens your heart and circulation.

Can you exercise too much?

You can overdo it! If you exercise too much it can do the opposite and be counterproductive, leading to you feeling extra alert when trying to sleep. Although people believe that exercising a lot can tire you out and help you sleep, this can sometimes be incorrect, so sticking to a routine of 20-30 minutes is more beneficial.

What exercise will help?

Moderate to aerobic exercise like walking has been found to help people fall asleep faster. Swimming can help you to relax your mind and body, which can improve sleep. Aerobic exercise boosts oxygen consumption, improves breathing, and strengthens your heart and circulation. As mentioned, yoga is also known for its relaxation and sleep benefits. If you suffer with tension, gentle stretching before going to bed can also help.

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Problem Sleeping?

Call our National Sleep Helpline, open between 7pm and 9pm five days a week, Sunday to Thursday.

03303 530 541