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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Can Exercise Help my Insomnia?

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Aug 16, 2013 12:27:00 PM

Can regular exercise help treat cases of insomnia?There is quite a bit of research out there to suggest that the right kind of consistent exercise can have great benefits for chronic insomniacs.

The Stanford University School of Medicine studied how exercise affects sleep patterns of people 55-75. The test group was not physically active and had insomnia and when asked to add 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise every other day in the afternoon 50% reported they fell asleep faster and slept nearly one hour longer!

Moderation is key because the goal here is to help the body relieve some stress if anxiety plays a role in your insomnia. Often a heavy or high intensity workout will heighten the body’s stress levels. 

Our bodies tend to thrive on routine and consistency, so introducing a regular routine of exercise and healthy life habits could help our bodies reestablish our sleep cycles. Again it can also help with relaxation as our bodies settle into “knowing what is next.”

Finally when is the right time to have this regular, moderate exercise? Some studies show that increasing your body temperature 4-5 hours prior to sleep can be helpful for insomnia. This is believed to be because it encourages a bigger drop in body temperature right around bedtime. This helps you not only fall asleep quicker but even stay asleep longer! 

Topics: alaska sleep clinic, insomnia

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