Exercise & Sleep – Ashley Johnston AEP

We have all heard how much exercise can help you with your weight, bone density, mobility, balance, mood and mental health. But how does it help with sleep?


There have been studies that have looked into this such as High Self Perceived Exercise Before Bed, Tai Chi for Sleep Quality in Older People Or a collective of studies that compares a number of results like in Interrelationship between sleep and exercise: a systematic review have found that there is the potential for exercise to help you fall asleep more quickly and can improve sleep quality. However there is still some debate about how exercise can influence sleep quality and duration as well as some studies showing that there is a difference for individuals depending on age, intensity of exercise as well as time of day to exercise.


To break it down, here are some of the things that were reported on:

  • Some individuals who participate in 30 minutes of exercise will notice a difference in sleep quality the same night
  • Exercise participation by those who are middle aged or elderly have a higher chance of having the improvement to their sleep patterns.
  • In those who are older the type of exercise that was participated in could be anything for lower to moderate intensity, however with those who are young adults or adolesces the better sleep quality related to exercise where the heart was elevated to a high level.
  • Exercise interventions as lower intensity at Tai Chi for older individuals can have a sleep quality benefit.
  • Exercising should be for most individuals be done 1-2 hours before trying to sleep as for some people the endorphin release from exercise can increase brain activities and keep you awake.
  • Exercise increases body temperature an can have an effect like taking a hot shower to wake you up.
  • Regards less of the type of exercise that is participated in, if you perceive that the work out was hard there is a correlation to better sleep patterns.


As with many activities, exercise interventions and even personal preference about what time of day you wish to exercise have the potential to have a positive correlation to improving your sleep quality. All individuals will have a different response to how exercise and sleep patterns interact.