Does Running Help With Sleep

As someone who loves both running and getting a good night’s sleep, I’ve often wondered about the relationship between the two. Does running really help with sleep? Let’s dive into the science behind this question and explore how hitting the pavement or treadmill can impact our ability to catch those z’s.

The Science Behind Running and Sleep

Research has shown that engaging in aerobic exercises, such as running, can indeed have a positive impact on sleep patterns. When we run, our bodies release endorphins, which are hormones that can reduce stress and anxiety. This can lead to a calmer state of mind, making it easier to drift off to sleep at night.

Additionally, regular running can help regulate our circadian rhythm, which is our internal body clock that controls the sleep-wake cycle. By exposing ourselves to natural light and physical activity, we can signal to our bodies that it’s time to be awake during the day and rest at night.

My Personal Experience

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve found that the days when I go for a run, I tend to fall asleep more easily and experience deeper, more restful sleep. Running helps me clear my mind, release any built-up tension, and tire out my body in a healthy way.

Tips for Using Running to Improve Sleep

If you’re looking to use running as a tool to enhance your sleep quality, here are a few tips that have worked for me:

  1. Consistency: Try to establish a regular running routine, aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity running most days of the week.

  2. Timing: Avoid vigorous runs too close to bedtime, as the adrenaline rush can make it harder to fall asleep. Aim to finish your run at least a few hours before hitting the hay.

  3. Environment: If possible, opt for outdoor runs to benefit from exposure to natural light, fresh air, and varying terrain.

Consult a Professional

It’s important to note that individual responses to exercise can vary, and some people may find that running too close to bedtime energizes them rather than relaxes them. If you have any concerns about your fitness routine and its impact on your sleep, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional.


In conclusion, the connection between running and sleep is a strong and positive one for many individuals, myself included. If you’re struggling with sleep issues, incorporating regular running into your routine could be a natural and effective way to improve your sleep quality. Just remember to listen to your body, find the right balance, and enjoy the many benefits that both running and restful sleep have to offer.