Cannot sleep? Try these exercises to help you fall asleep.

Homeblogcannot sleep try these exercises to help you fall asleep

Cilliers Marais


Are you struggling to fall asleep? Many people develop sleeplessness in their lifetime due to various reasons. This problem can be approached in many ways. If you find that you cannot sleep, the best place to start could be with your body’s energy usage.

At Kooi Beds, we’re passionate about sleep and exercise. As a result, we’re most excited about exercise that leads to better sleep. Therefore, if you cannot sleep, and are looking for an alternative to better your sleep quality, this may just be the solution you’re looking for!

Daytime exercises for better sleep

The math is simple: What you use must be restored. Therefore, if you’re very active during the day, chances are that you’ll find yourself falling asleep much easier at night as your body needs the sleep to restore burnt energy. However, keep the timing of your daytime exercises like cardio workouts and strength training in mind.

These exercise regimes energise your body by making it warmer and more awake than before you started your workout. Therefore, try to avoid doing these exercises before bedtime. A good rule of thumb is to only do cardio and strength training while the sun is out. This way, you’re allowing your body ample time to recover and relax from the intensive workout, before you go to bed.


Cardio exercises are any type of exercise that makes you sweat, breathe more heavily and gets your heart beating faster. This workout type may also improve blood circulation in your body due to a stronger heart and lungs.

You’ll also experience increased energy levels a couple of hours after your cardio workout. Additionally, this exercise regime decreases the risks of chronic disease. Most importantly, cardio exercise improves sleep quality. However, as mentioned before, do not attempt cardio exercises before bedtime, as this might have the opposite outcome.

Woman doing cardio exercise

Try these cardio exercises

Cardio exercises are most efficient from 30min onwards. If you’re struggling to uphold 30 minutes of continuous cardio, try to do 3 intervals of 10-minute cardio throughout the day. This way, you can build up your fitness to one 30 minute cardio session. Try the following cardio exercises for better sleep at the end of the day:

  • Walking: Take a brisk, 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood. Make sure you walk fast enough for your heart rate to increase.
  • Jogging: Just like walking, this cardio exercise can easily be attempted with no equipment. If you can’t jog the whole 30 minutes, alternate between jogging and walking.
  • Jumping rope: Another great cardio workout option is a jump rope. These ropes are fairly inexpensive and do not require a lot of skill to use.
  • Climbing stairs: If you have stairs at home, this exercise may be the easiest of them all to get started on, as you don’t have to leave the house or buy equipment. Simply walk up and down the stairs for 30 minutes for an ample cardio workout. If you’re not out of breath afterwards, increase the workout intensity by going up the stairs faster.
  • Bike riding or cycling: This exercise requires you to invest in rather expensive equipment. Therefore, make sure that you enjoy cycling before you spend a lot of money on an expensive bike.
  • Swimming: If you’re lucky to have one, you can visit your neighbourhood pool to swim a couple of laps in 30 minutes. Take it slow at first and consider hiring a trainer to teach you the right technique and form.

Strength training

Strength training entails all physical exercise that uses resistance or weight training. This type of workout is specifically aimed to build muscle in size and strength, as well as increasing bone density.

These exercises will generally leave you feeling sore the following days after your strength training workout. It is generally recommended that you consult a trainer when using strength training equipment as the chances of injury increase if you misuse equipment.

Hands changing weigths

Strength training exercises

There are many different variations of strength training exercises that you can attempt with different equipment pieces. The most notable characteristic of strength training lies in the resistance created by weights, weighted balls or other resistance equipment like elastic bands.

These resistance objects put more strain on your muscles, resulting in more energy being burnt. Consequently, you’ll fall asleep much faster at the end of the day.

Nighttime exercises for better sleep

The opposite of their high intensity, active counterparts, nighttime exercises are the perfect activity to calm your body down before bedtime. These exercise regimes are a great addition to your bedtime routine. Moreover, by stretching your body in the right places, nighttime exercises may also aid in relieving chronic body pains and aches like back and/or neck pain.

Humans are creatures of habit. Therefore, if you consistently execute these calming exercises at night, your body will start to realise when it is time for bed. Your body will tire out on its own and you’ll be falling asleep faster with much more ease.

As mentioned before, nighttime exercises are purely there to calm your body down. The last thing you want is a racing heart rate in the hours before bedtime!


Pilates can be both intense or calming; it all depends on your approach. Therefore, when you’re doing pilates at night, focus on the movement of your muscles and prevent doing exercises that are too strenuous.

This will allow your body so stretch and release the stress of the daily grind. Focus on your breathing, making sure that your body has a consistent flow of oxygen throughout the workout.

Woman doing pilates

Try this Pilates routine before bedtime:

  • Stretch your neck from side to side by gently pulling your head to the side with your hand. Do this for both sides.
  • Slowly bend your upper body forward and let your arms hang downwards. Gently roll your shoulders in this slouching position. First, roll your shoulders to the front, then roll them to the back.
  • Next, stretch both arms out to the side and make sure to stretch them out as far as you can (imagine trying to reach something far from you on both sides).
  • Now, stand with your feet about a foot apart. Slowly roll your body down until your hands can touch the floor/ your feet.
  • Lie down on the mat with your back to the floor and bring your knees up to your chest. Hug your legs tightly, and bring your chin close to your chest so that you’re laying stable on the mat.


Originally a spiritual discipline, Yoga has gained much traction in the modern world in recent years. This exercise regime uses breathing techniques and specific positions to calm the body down in a restful state. Sometimes, Yoga is also accompanied by meditation and other spiritual regimes to promote relaxation.

Try these yoga poses before bedtime:

Hold each of these poses for about 30 seconds in sets of 5. You’ll be amazed by the relaxation benefits you’ll reap! Here are a few yoga poses that are excellent for bedtime relaxation:

Woman doing yoga
  • Cat/Cow stand: Go down on your hands and knees making sure your back is in a straight line. Slowly bend your back upwards into a curled position.
  • Child’s pose: Start by sitting on your knees. Slowly stretch forward until your head touches the ground or until you can’t go any further.
  • Butterfly: Sit on your bum, placing your feet in front of you with the soles of your feet touching. Bend forward, aiming with your forehead to touch your toes.
  • Legs up the wall: Lie with your back to the ground, with your body perpendicular to the wall. Now, move closer to the wall so that your bum eventually touches the wall, with your legs stretched up against the wall. If you cannot move all the way 90 degrees up against the wall don’t worry, take it slow; you’ll get there through consistency and frequency.

Relaxation exercises

Lastly, once you’re in bed, try to do relaxation exercises to aid your body to shut down for the night. Relaxation exercises consist of breathing consistently and slowly and contracting and relaxing your muscles from your feet to your head. This helps release any last bits of tension in your muscles. In turn, you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to fall asleep.

Happy sleeping!

Now, after a long day of work, exercise and nighttime stretches, all there is left to do is fall asleep. If all these tips mentioned above still do not aid you in falling asleep, it may be time to visit your medical practitioner.

However, if you cannot sleep due to an uncomfortable sleeping surface, we have the ultimate solution for you! At Kooi Beds, we’re committed to providing the best beds for athletes and nonathletes alike! With revolutionary memory foam beds, we can guarantee you that a Kooibed will never, in its lifespan of 20 years, be the cause of your sleeping problems. Feel free to browse our range of Kooibeds to find the perfect match for your individual needs!