Exercise for Sleep
People suffering from insomnia often are sedentary, don't exercise, and have (office type) jobs that do not require physical effort.
Exercise can make you feel good and sleep well, so be sure to include it as part of your total insomnia program.
Both the tiring and improved general fitness associated with exercise will help you to get a good night's sleep. The more active your body is during the day, the more likely you are to able to relax fully at night and fall asleep easily.
Exercise is also known to help with depression and anxiety, which are often the main causes of poor sleep.
For insomniacs, the best time to exercise is late afternoon or early evening, 5-6 hours before bedtime.
Amount and type of exercise depends on the individual's interest, age and level of fitness. For example, jogging, aerobics, or dancing will do.
Plan to exercise for 30-40 minutes, 3-4 times per week. You don't have to exercise to exhaustion, but you should engage in some physical activity that increases your heart rate and keeps your pulse elevated.
For exercise to be effective, you need to know your target heat rate (beats per minute) that you need to maintain during exercise: Take 220 minus your age, then calculate 60-75% of that. For example, if you are 40, your target heartbeat range is (220-40) x 0.6...0.75 = between 108 and 135 bpm.
Here is an alternative method for measuring the necessary level of effort: You should feel slightly breathless during exercise. You should not be able to sing, but you should be able to talk.
The key is to stick to your exercise program, making it part of your weekly routine. You should see the results after 2-3 weeks.
I exercise 2 times per week - on Tuesdays and during the weekend. I have committed to do it no matter what (otherwise one can always come up with some excuse to avoid it).
First, I jog for 15 minutes, followed by some pull-ups, push-ups, moderate weight lifting, and I conclude with stretches. I run on a treadmill instead of jogging outdoors, when it rains is or too cold outside.
Many people find that listening to music or watching TV really helps to pass the exercise time. Consider planning your exercise during your favorite TV or radio show, or watch some pre-recorded movies.
By exercising you will feel, look, and sleep better.