Struggling to catch those precious Zzz’s? You’re not alone. Insomnia plagues millions worldwide, leaving them exhausted and longing for a good night’s rest. But a new study offers a glimmer of hope – and it involves getting your sweat on.

Researchers found a strong connection between regular exercise and a reduced risk of insomnia. Participants who consistently exercised over a 10-year period were 55% more likely to be “normal sleepers,” meaning they achieved the recommended 6-9 hours of shut-eye nightly. Even those who became active during the study saw a significant improvement, with a 21% increase in achieving normal sleep patterns.

This isn’t the first time science has highlighted the sleep benefits of exercise. But this study strengthens the evidence, suggesting exercise can be a powerful tool in combating insomnia. So, how exactly does exercise help us snooze soundly?

There are several theories. Exercise helps regulate our body temperature. During a workout, our temperature rises, then dips afterwards. This natural dip mimics the body’s pre-sleep cooling process, signaling it’s time to wind down. Physical activity can also tire us out in a healthy way, making it easier to drift off. Additionally, exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, common culprits behind insomnia.

The good news? You don’t need to become a gym rat to reap the sleep benefits. Aim for moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Brisk walking, swimming, cycling – anything that gets your heart rate up – can make a difference. Just avoid strenuous workouts too close to bedtime, as they can have the opposite effect.

If you’re struggling with insomnia, talk to your doctor. But alongside any medical advice, consider incorporating regular exercise into your routine. It might just be the key to unlocking a world of better sleep.