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Exercises That Help Improve Your Sleep

6 January 2022 Categories: Better Sleep Tips Author: Katrina Stubbs
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No matter how you get your exercise or workout, there is no doubt that it is helping you get a better night’s sleep.

The Why And How Exercise Makes For A Better Sleep

There is no definitive answer to why or how exercise helps you sleep; but, exercise does help sleep not only with drift off but the quality of the sleep we are getting. 

There is also the argument about the time of day exercise takes place and how it will affect our sleep. Sleep experts suggest daylight can impact sleep quality, and recommend exercising during daytime hours before winding down in the hours leading to bedtime. The reasoning is that our body releases endorphins during physical activity and the increase in our core body temperature, which can cause us to be more alert. 

Light to moderate exercise is proven to increase the amount of slow-wave or deep sleep that we get, in turn giving our brain and body the much-needed time to recoup from our daily activity. It is proven that being active is beneficial to your overall health and sleep, and you can find a small sample of some exercises below that may get you started on the path to a happier and healthier sleep. Sleep quantity is not the only thing sleep experts look for, but rather the sleep quality.

Light Exercises And Stretches That Promote Better Sleep


This exercise is done on hands and knees and involves repetitive arching (exhale) of the back upwards and relaxing (inhale) of the belly downward.

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Breathe in and out deeply as you move into the next position.

Child’s Pose:

To do this exercise, you will start on your hands and knees. Then sit back onto your legs with your arms stretched out in front of you. Stretch out as far as you can and hold this pose. Your forehead should be able to touch the floor.

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Gently push your hips down for a full stretch.

Thread the Needle:

For this exercise, you will again start on your knees in a table position with only one arm on the ground at a time. Now extend your other arm up to the sky while twisting your shoulder back (inhale) and then sweep that arm under your chest, resting your previously raised shoulder and arm on the floor (exhale). Repeat this activity from side to side.

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Listen to your body and do not overstretch.

Low Lunge:

While positioned on your knees, step one foot forward and slide your other knee farther behind you. You can place your hands either on the floor framing your front foot or on your front knee. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then switch legs. Repeat as desired.

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This is a great stretch for your hip flexor joints.

Other light exercises can include but certainly are not limited to the Neck Massage with Balls, Bear Hugs and Snow Angels, Figure Four Stretch, Knee to Chest to Spinal Twist, Box Breath, Legs up the Wall, and various other yoga poses.

Lifestyle Specific Exercises

The choice of workout is determined by what needs we are trying to satisfy. Do you suffer from excessive stress that prevents you from getting a night of good sleep

Starting with a light walk can help clear your mind and relax the body. A relaxing environment while exercising helps to clear your mind and burn off any residual energy left from a day of dealing with those endless stressors.

If you need to burn off excess energy levels caused by sitting at a desk all day or by just having a low-energy job, you may benefit from exercise that comes in the form of Strength Training. Building your muscles will allow your body to use that remaining energy and provide you with the best opportunity for a healthier sleep.

Are you someone that finds themselves tossing and turning throughout the night due to pain or discomfort? Try Flexibility Training, and it will help alleviate these aches and pains. Allowing our bodies to stretch and become more limber before sleeping may help relax tight joints and stiff muscles, enabling our bodies to obtain a better night of sleep. 

No matter how you get your exercise or workout, there is no doubt that it is helping you get a better night’s sleep. No matter if you walk, run, jump rope, lift weights or do yoga, you can’t go wrong. When we exercise and how we exercise will be determined by the lifestyle that we lead and our desired outcomes. No one of us is the same, and therefore neither should be our workout regimen. Everyone knows their bodies better than anyone else, which will play a role in choosing your particular exercise program. It’s also vital to remember the importance of the relationship between your sleep and exercise as it is very bidirectional, and they affect one another equally. Poor sleep will promote less desire to exercise, and less activity will promote more inferior sleep quality.

Finding the healthy balance between both your sleep and your exercise will help eliminate the start of the revolving door and allow you to maintain a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Learn more about exercise and your sleep; book your free online consultation with one of our sleep experts today!

Katrina Stubbs Sleep Clinician
Katrina Stubbs

Katrina Stubbs is a Regional Manager and Sleep Clinician at Snore MD and brings over 15 years of experience in the medical field. She prides herself in providing exceptional patient care and education, not only to her patients but to the entire team at Snore MD.

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