How walking can improve your sleep and brain health

man and his son playing soccer outdoors with their dog

The benefits of walking are well-documented. It can reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. It also helps you lose weight by burning calories and boosting metabolism. But did you know that it can also help you sleep better? A recent study has shown that taking a walk for around 20-25 minutes will help you to fall asleep faster, get a better night’s rest and create new neural pathways in your brain. So next time you don’t have time for anything more than a quick workout, take a long walk instead!

In this article you will learn how walking can help your sleep and how you can incorporate this activity into your everyday life.

How can walking benefit sleep?

People who partake in walking for around as said 20 minutes have found that they are able to fall asleep faster and enjoy a better night’s sleep. Some people have reported that it has helped them to sleep the whole night through and others report sleeping up to six hours longer. What is it about walking that can improve your sleep? It may have to do with the fact that when you walk you release serotonin in your brain. Serotonin helps regulate how you feel and it also reduces anxiety, so if you have a hard time calming down before bed or taking something off of your mind before bed, walking will help. This is why we see that people who are restless, can’t fall asleep and have anxiety will often find that walking helps to put them at ease so they can sleep.

If you have a really hectic day and are having trouble winding down before bed, this can be another way that walking comes in handy.

How much should you be walking per day?



You want to aim for around 20 minutes. That’s about one mile if you’re going fast or little less than a mile if you walk a little slower. You can also get the same sleep benefits by walking slowly for about 35 to 40 minutes. As long as you stay active before bed it will help you to fall asleep faster and think more clearly when you wake up.

Other benefits of walking every day

Some people report that when they walk, it helps them with new ideas and other aspects of problem solving so walking can create better focus too. Not only does walking improve your sleep but it also allows for an overall improvement in brain health as well. Being active is a great way to fit exercise into your life and improve your health at the same time! Be sure that you’re getting in a good walk before bedtime.

If you want to prevent yourself from staying up too late, go for a walk right when you get home from work instead of sitting on your couch watching television. This will help you relax and wind down before you go to bed. The better your sleep, the more clear headed you’ll be when you wake up.

How can you get motivated to go out for a walk?

Other benefits of walking instead of driving is for example saving money on gas and helping with weight loss. These benefits can help you get yourself motivated to start walking regularly.

Schedule your walks

Be sure to schedule a couple of walks into your day and you’ll be on your way to better sleep within no time!  If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try taking a walk when you get home from work or when you have some free time in the evening. If that doesn’t help, keep increasing the length of your walks until you notice a difference!

Listen to some music


happy black woman enjoying listening to her headphones


You can always try listening to some music while you’re walking, which will also help improve your mood and make it even easier for you to fall asleep. If you find that the weather is too cold or if it’s too dark at night, walk during the day instead of in the evening so that you can get the same quality sleep as those who walk in the evening.

Find a walking buddy

If you’re a beginner, it’ll be easier to spend more time walking if you have someone else who can do it with you. It’s nice to have a walking buddy that can help you stick with your exercise routine. You’ll also get more motivation and encouragement from each other.

Start with short walks

If you’ve never been a fan of walking, start small. Take a short walk every day until it becomes easier for you to go longer distances and build your endurance.

There’s no need to grab fancy equipment or set aside an entire afternoon. You can simply take advantage of the neighborhood around your house by setting different types of goals along the way.

Track your progress with Fitbit, Nike+, or Map My Walk app

To keep you motivated, it helps to see visual demonstrations of your progress on Fitbit or Map My Walk. You can also join an online community like Walking for Weight Loss or Daily Mile and share your experience with others who are also trying to get moving more often!

Try different walking styles

Try out different types of walking workouts such as interval training, hiking, long-distance walks, etc…


If you’re having trouble falling asleep, don’t have time for a workout or are looking to improve your brain health in general, take a walk! It’s been shown that walking can help people of all ages fall sleep faster and get more restful sleep. Even just 20 minutes of walking every day can make you sharper and healthier overall. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start taking advantage of these proven benefits today!

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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