Can Exercise Ease Insomnia?

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

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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.

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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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