Working out regularly has so many positive health benefits. It can reduce stress, boost alertness during the day, and even improve your sleep quality. There’s no one perfect exercise that will enhance your sleep—any type of movement is better than none—but these three specific activities are scientifically proven to help you get better slumber.
Activities that get your heart rate up, such as running, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming, have been shown to improve sleep and battle insomnia. Even small bouts, such as 10 minutes, may help, though the goal is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity) aerobic exercise each week.
Building muscle has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, and it can also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently throughout the night. So try doing exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep dips, squats, lunges, calf raises, sit-ups, and push-ups that will make you stronger.
Yoga’s relaxing poses and stretches, as well as the calming breathing exercises that accompany them, may be especially helpful if stress is what’s keeping you from falling asleep. Those with insomnia who do yoga daily for eight weeks are likely to fall asleep faster and increase the amount of time that they spend sleeping.