Home » Health » Exercise Beats Sleeping Pills for Insomnia

Still taking sleeping pills to get a good night’s rest? New research suggests there’s a better way: Hit the gym.

Rush University clinical psychologist Kelly Glazer Baron tells CNN a growing body of evidence over the past decade has confirmed that regular exercise helps people sleep better than medication.

“In one study we did, for example, older women suffering from insomnia said their sleep improved from poor to good when they exercised. They had more energy and were less depressed,” he said.

Most sleep studies have confirmed sleep quality is enhanced in people who get the recommended amount of exercise — 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, along with strength or resistance training.

Brisk walking, light biking, and using a treadmill or elliptical machine all increase heart rate and cardiovascular fitness, which aids sleep quality.

Experts also recommend not exercising within six hours of bedtime, which can hinder sleep.

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