Can Exercise Ease Insomnia?

It works, but don't get started too close to bedtime.


Can tiring myself out with exercise before bed be a helpful remedy for my insomnia, or is it likely to make matters worse? Nothing else seems to help.

Exercise is "nature's best tranquilizer," but vigorous exercise before bed may be more of a stimulant because of the endorphin effect. Instead, try taking an early evening walk, which may help you relax and help you sleep when followed by a warm bath. Also, keep in mind that vigorous exercise is not recommended for at least 90 minutes after a heavy meal since during that time blood tends to be shunted away from the brain—that is what makes you sleepy after a meal—and from the heart into the digestive system. Vigorous exercise too soon after a meal could cause heart problems. To help you control stress and even your body weight, I would encourage you to do vigorous exercise before, not after, your evening meal.

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