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Can Lack Of Exercise Cause Insomnia

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Sleep Deprivation Stage : 48 Hours

Can Nighttime Exercise Cause Insomnia? | Insomnia

The stages of sleep deprivation become even more worrisome when you reach 48 hours without sleep. At this point, your body is under a significant amount of excess stress.

Studies have found that the immune system of people missing out on 48 hours of sleep is usually drastically different from well-rested people. For instance, your levels of white blood cells fall dramatically, making it difficult for you to fight off disease.

A study of healthy people who had been deprived of sleep for 2 days found higher levels of nitrogen in the urine too. This indicates huge levels of stress in your body.

Additionally, your reaction time will be seriously impaired by this point. Youll struggle to keep yourself out of danger and be unable to make even the simplest decisions.

How Goodpath Can Help

Insomnia is a wide-spread problem with many different causes. It affects a persons physical and mental health and their ability to function well in daily activities.

Please take our assessment about your insomnia. We will provide you with a personalized care plan based on your responses. Take this step today to feel better every day.

Exercise Helps You Sleep

Sept. 17, 2010 — Running to the medicine cabinet or to doctors for sleeping pills may be one way to battle chronic insomnia, but aerobic exercise might be the best prescription, new research indicates.

Scientists at Northwestern University say sleep problems affect millions of adults, who could likely improve their quality of sleep, vitality, and mood with regular aerobic exercise.

The researchers say the study is the first to examine the effect of aerobic exercise on insomnia in middle-aged and older adults. About 50% of people middle-aged and older complain of symptoms of chronic insomnia.

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What Types Of Exercises Are Best For Insomnia

While the options for exercise routines and movements are numerous, note that only moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, like walking, has been shown to relieve insomnia. Vigorous aerobic exercise, like running or resistance weight lifting, has not been shown to improve sleep.

Just a single 30-minute exercise session can reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep, and help you sleep longer overall. But these effects are stronger when you undertake a regular exercise program. Studies have shown that long-term exercise enables individuals with insomnia to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and enjoy better sleep quality than they did before exercising.

Moderate aerobic exercise can help relieve other symptoms associated with insomnia, too. For individuals with comorbid insomnia and anxiety, it can significantly lower pre-sleep anxiety, reducing the anxious thoughts that make it tough to fall asleep.

After a period of four to six months, a regular moderate aerobic exercise routine can also reduce depression symptoms and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Overall sleep quality improves, and youre more likely to feel well-rested upon waking up. Best of all, the participants in these studies enjoyed the same results regardless of whether they exercised in the morning or late afternoon.

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How Does Exercise Affect Sleep

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Exercise improves sleep quality . It increases the overall amount of time you spend asleep, as well as the amount of time you spend in slow-wave sleep , specifically. Also known as deep sleep, slow-wave sleep is the most restorative stage of sleep. Human growth hormone is released , your heart rate and breathing slow down, and your body physically repairs itself.

While exercise improves sleep quality and duration for all ages, its effects can vary depending on your age and overall health. For example, older adults who take up a regular exercise routine enjoy better sleep efficiency . Among adolescents, a 12-week exercise program increased the amount of time they spend in rapid eye movement sleep, a stage of sleep tied to cognitive performance.

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Can Lack Of Sleep Cause High Blood Pressure

When most people think about high blood pressure, they might have the image of a poor, high salt diet and lack of exercise. And if thats what you were thinking might be behind your high blood pressure, theres a chance that youre right.

Smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, excess sodium, and other factors, including chronic kidney disease and genetics also make you more susceptible to hypertension. But one thing that often gets ignored? Lack of sleep.

Sleep regulates hormones like cortisolwhen people are chronically sleep deprived, the nervous system isnt able to regulate these hormones which can lead to elevated blood pressure.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona last year found that even just one or a few poor nights of sleep could cause a sudden spike in blood pressure. The 300 men and women who participated did not have any known heart conditions and were monitored through the night. There was a positive correlation between sleeping less and higher blood pressure spikes during the night, building on other evidence just how important sleep is for our heart health.

Theories Behind Exercise Influencing Sleep

There are numerous findings regarding positive effects of exercise towards good sleepers however, there is less evidence to prove the efficacy of exercise on sleep sufferers. Furthermore, future research is required to identify the role of acute and chronic exercise on sleep. On the other hand, we could be able to see some misconceptions & predicted positive hypothesis towards effects of exercise here, which will help us to gain knowledge regarding the exact working mechanism behind exercise promoting sleep among population.


Exercise before bedtime

Time of exercise is the most important parameter here that could have an acute effect on sleep. There are common questions that usually arise among individuals regarding the perfect time for performing the exercise. Individuals believe that performing exercise before going to sleep can have a negative impact on their sleep. Though, on observing the findings from research has proved doing exercises 2 hours before going to sleep can actually improve the quality of sleep among individuals or have no effect for others. Another, recent evidence shows that performing 1 hour session of exercise at 60% VO2 max or 3 hours session of exercise at 70% VO2 max by aerobically fit individuals 30 minutes prior going to sleep did not affect the sleep quality.

Exercise Duration

Exercise and Fitness

Exposure to Outdoor light

Anti-Depressant effects

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Other Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

In addition to causing or worsening anxiety, sleep deprivation can have other negative effects on your health and wellbeing. Other effects of lack of sleep include:

  • Impaired memory and mental function. When you dont get sufficient sleep, you may find it more difficult to think clearly, process complex information and remember specific details.

  • Lack of alertness and energy. You may start to feel tired and less energetic during the daytime. Even a mild amount of sleep deprivation can affect your reaction time and level of alertness.

  • Increased blood pressure. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to increases in blood pressure and heart rate. And high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and/or stroke.

  • An increased risk of chronic health problems. Over the long term, lack of sleep may increase your risk of dealing with chronic health issues such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

  • A higher risk of injuries and accidents. Because sleep deprivation affects your level of alertness and ability to concentrate, you may be more likely to suffer an injury when youre sleep deprived.

Beyond its effects on your health, lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your relationships and general quality of life.

You may feel less inclined to spend time with your friends and family, exercise or do other things that normally bring you pleasure and satisfaction.

The Physical Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Does exercise help decrease insomnia?

Sleep deprivation occurs any time that you get less sleep than your body needs. The degree of sleep deprivation can range from total acute sleep loss to chronic deprivation due to a reduction in the total sleep time. This can occur over one night or stretch over weeks, months, or even years. If someone requires 9 hours of sleep to feel rested, it is possible to become sleep deprived by getting 8 hours of sleep.

Most of the physical side effects from sleep deprivation are relatively minor and, thankfully, easily reversible. And the cure? Get some sleep. If you do not sleep enough, you may be faced with myriad consequences, including:

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Testosterone Production And Sleep

Testosterone production is largely sleep-dependent. Your levels rising during sleep and plateau at approximately 90 minutes. Then, they fall when you wake up.

As such, sleep deprivation and insufficient sleep are likely to result in lower overall testosterone production resulting in a more physically-driven form of ED .

Are Some Kinds Of Exercise Better Than Others Before Bedtime

Not all exercises are equal when it comes to how they affect your sleep. Thats why, if you want to work out in the evening, its important to choose your activity wisely. Consider the exact timing of your exercise, too.

In general, if youre going to exercise at night, its best to do light to moderate-intensity activity. This level of activity may help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep.

Its also important to complete your workout at least 1 hour before bedtime. If possible, aim to finish at least 90 minutes before you head to bed. This will give your body enough time to wind down.

Examples of light to moderate-intensity activities include:

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Does Lack Of Sleep Cause Anxiety

Just about everyone has felt a little high-strung after a bad nights sleep, and more and more, researchers are finding that a lack of sleep can contribute both to short-term irritability and to a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders over the long term.

In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers found that poor quality sleep amplifies reactions in parts of the brain associated with anxiety, such as the amygdala and anterior insula.

Interestingly, these reactions were strongest in people who displayed high levels of trait anxiety, suggesting that those who are already prone to anxiety may experience the largest increase in anxiety if their sleep is affected.

Other research has found that people who are affected by sleep issues such as insomnia may have an elevated risk of developing anxiety.

Put simply, sleep deprivation doesnt just affect your mood it appears to cause physical brain reactions that can trigger anxiety.

Insomnia Often Results From Excessive Worrying


You lie down in bed for the night, and your mind becomes swamped with all of the stressors in your life perhaps things that happened to you earlier in the day, or maybe all the tasks you must complete or start on the next day.

So you cant fall asleep because you keep re-enacting the days earlier stressful events, including how you should have handled them, and/or, youre envisioning the next days stressors and what the outcome might be.

This anxiety shakes up the body and incites a fight or flee hormonal environment.

Problem is, you cant fight or flee while lying in bed. Instead, youre trying to get to sleep.

The inability to fall asleep compounds the stress. Dont be surprised, then, if you start feeling palpitations or PVCs.

Another consideration is this: Insomnia is frequently caused by stress, and so are PVCs.

They may occur together but not necessarily have a cause-and-effect relationship.

To help relieve insomnia and PVCs, dont go to bed without first creating a to-do list for the next day, complete with any phone numbers and names of contacts whom you must do business with or interact with.

If you intend on visiting websites, have them already bookmarked.

Have your breakfast already prepared as much as possible .

Have next-days clothes laid out and shopping list made, etc. Dont eat close to bedtime have your last fluid intake three hours before, if possible, so that youre not awakened by natures calling.

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Seek Treatment For Anxiety

If you often feel anxious before bed or during the daytime, its important to seek treatment from a qualified mental health provider.

Almost all anxiety disorders can be treated successfully with the following either alone or in combination: medication, psychotherapy, addressing habits and making lifestyle changes.

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, you can receive help by talking to your primary care provider about your symptoms. They may refer you to a specialized mental health provider for further treatment.

As part of treatment for anxiety, you may need to use anti-anxiety medications or meet with your provider on a regular basis for therapy.

Alternatively, you can consult a licensed psychiatry provider from home using an online psychiatry service. With online treatment, youll receive a personalized plan, ongoing follow-up care and, if necessary, medication to help control your anxiety symptoms.

With treatment, its possible to gain control over your anxiety and your sleep habits to improve your wellbeing and quality of life.

Lack Of Sleep Increases Your Calorie Intake

We all know that you need to eat at a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories a day to lose weight. However, due to the increase of ghrelin in the blood you are most likely to eat more than you should. A controlled trial done in 2010 showed that subjects who slept for just four hours a night ate an average of 559 more calories than those who had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep .

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Insomnia Can Increase Your Appetite

Lack of sleep affects your hormones, which leads to overeating. Ghrelin and leptin are the two hormones in our bodies that regulate hunger. Ghrelin stimulates your appetite, while leptin decreases it. Any time you are sleep deprived, ghrelin levels go up while leptin levels fall, leading you to snack and overeat.

Habit Matters More Than Time Of Day

How Lack of Sleep Can Cause Weight Gain | Insomnia

If you want to stick with exercise long-term, it has to become part of your routine.

Its important to develop exercise as a habit, says Dr. Drerup. Consistency is key. Pick a time of day that works for you and exercise at the same time every day. If you try to just fit it in when you can, its hard to keep doing it.

Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Cant get in 30 minutes at once? Two 15-minute chunks or three 10-minute chunks will help, too.

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When Should I Exercise For Better Sleep

The best time of day for exercise depends on the individual . Historically, experts cautioned against exercising at night . Exercising is an energizing activity that raises your core body temperature, which is the opposite of what happens before sleep. Your body temperature naturally lowers in the evening about two hours before bed, signaling to your brain that its time to fall asleep.

However, the increase in body temperature and energizing effects of exercise may wear off in 60 to 90 minutes . More recent research has found that as long as you complete your workout at least that long before bedtime, it may not interfere with your ability to sleep. Studies show that low- to moderate-intensity exercise, such as yoga or walking, can be performed at night with no impact on sleep.

When it comes to high-intensity workouts, like running or heavy weightlifting, things get a bit less predictable. Some people can fall asleep without a problem , while others may take a bit longer and find themselves waking up during the night. Vigorous exercise may be more effective in boosting sleep if its performed earlier in the day giving your body plenty of time to cool back down.

Sleep Problems Not Related To Age

At any age, its common to experience occasional sleep problems. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may be dealing with a sleep disorder:

  • Have trouble falling asleep even though you feel tired.
  • Have trouble getting back to sleep when awakened.
  • Dont feel refreshed after a nights sleep.
  • Feel irritable or sleepy during the day.
  • Have difficulty staying awake when sitting still, watching television, or driving.
  • Have difficulty concentrating during the day.
  • Rely on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep.
  • Have trouble controlling your emotions.

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Cut Down On Your Alcohol Intake Especially At Night

Not only does alcohol contain empty calories that can cause weight gain, but it also messes with how well you sleep. At the initial stage, alcoholic drinks may make you feel sleepy, but this effect fades fast. If you do drink at night, try and ensure that your last glass is taken four hours before your set bedtime .

How Does Exercise Improve Your Sleep

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Research has shown that physical activity can be as effective as prescription sleep meds. There are a few reasons why.

Daylight exposure sets your bodys clock

Try to exercise outdoors, Dr. Drerup says. You get natural light, which helps your body establish a good sleep-wake cycle. It tells your body when to be alert and when to wind down.

Cant get outside? Indoor workouts still help you get better sleep.

Exercise relieves stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are sleeps worst enemies. But exercise can relax you and fight off the things that keep you tossing and turning. Exercise is probably the best anti-anxiety medication we have, Dr. Drerup says. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals that combat stress and anxiety.

Exercise tires you out

The more active you are, the more your body pushes you to sleep at night. Activity increases your sleep drive, Dr. Drerup says.

But dont push yourself to exhaustion with every workout. Just make sure youre getting some movement. Being active during the day, even doing things like chores or short walks, can increase your sleep drive, she says.

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Drerup noticed a change that was harming peoples sleep habits. They werent getting out or moving as much, making it harder to fall asleep.

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