Can Exercise Cure Insomnia?

Can Exercise Cure Insomnia?

Insomnia is a widespread sleep disorder that leads to a severe lack of sleep. An insomniac often has difficulty falling asleep or is unable to sleep for long durations. Treatment depends on how severe the insomnia is. Some can be treated with medication, others through therapy. In many cases, the symptoms of insomnia can be improved with exercise.

How Exercise Helps Insomniacs

Regular exercise offers plenty of benefits to our health and well-being. It’s been proven to be an excellent treatment for sleeping disorders. However, it’s important to understand that there are factors that may contribute to the onset of insomnia such as excessive drinking, an unhealthy diet, stress and other factors.

That said, here’s how regular exercise helps people suffering from insomnia:

1. Exercise releases feel-good hormones. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are known as feel-good hormones, along with serotonin and dopamine all of which improves our mood, relaxes the mind and promotes better rest.

2. Exercise prevents indigestion. One of the reasons people have a hard time sleeping is because of the food we eat which in turn can cause indigestion. Exercise boosts the body’s metabolism and aids in proper digestion.

3. Exercise helps our body cool down at bed time. Our body temperature goes up during exercise but as the night time falls, it cools itself down. The cooling of our body temp then sends sleep signals to the brain.

4. Finally, exercise improves mood and prevents anxiety. Because you feel good after your workout, this helps you avoid conditions like anxiety and depression – both known to also cause insomnia.

Exercises to Prevent Insomnia

There are certain exercises that are more effective than others in preventing or managing insomnia. Generally speaking, I would advise against HIITs and hard workouts because they may cause fatigue quickly especially for people who are unable to get enough sleep. Moreover, it’s also important to keep in mind that strenuous workouts should be avoided in the evening because these exercises stimulate the nervous system, keep your heart rate up so you’ll end up unable to sleep.

That said, here are exercises we recommend to help with sleep:

1. Yoga

Yoga has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body. It’s one of the best exercises to treat insomnia. Try YogaWorks or join a yoga class in a gym near you to experience its full benefits.

2. Walking

Every day make it a point to walk for at least 30 minutes. Walking improves digestion, helps elevate your mood and is relaxing for the mind as well.

3. Meditation and breathing

Find a quiet spot in your home to meditate. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Inhale and exhale deeply several times. Do this for a few minutes and make sure no thoughts disrupt you.

If you have trouble sleeping and this has become a regular issue for you, it may be high time to consult a medical practitioner so the right diagnosis and treatment can be given.

Try this breathing technique to help you fall asleep a lot faster:

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