Do you go to bed tired and still wake up tired? Has peaceful sleep been eluding you for years?
After tossing and turning night after night, you have likely tried to come up with ways to sleep better. Maybe some of them worked and others didn’t. Perhaps whatever you tried was good for a while and then, out of the blue, stopped working. Then you found yourself once again in a pit of sleepless despair. Not even a better sleep position has done the trick for you, and you’re desperate for change.
Regardless of where you are in your journey towards improving your sleep, there are scientific-backed ways to enhance sleep quality. One of the important ways to do this is to exercise during the day.
Yes, you read that right! Regardless of your activity level, or how little you may be interested in fitness, exercising to sleep better will pay off in great dividends. If you think we’re not making any sense, then we’ll be happy to introduce you to the concept of “exercise for better sleep”!
1. Let’s Start With The Basics: Breathing
Proper breathing is the foundation of success for any type of sports or exercise. In fact, controlling your breathing is a core part of meditation which helps you with grounding and calming the nerves. Because of this, you can get better sleep through a breathing exercise that you can do every night before going to bed.
Lay back on your bed and make sure your spine is straight, and that your trunk is not raised. Close your eyes. Then breathe in slowly for three counts; hold in for two, and exhale very slowly for four. Repeat until you feel completely relaxed
2. Say Yes To Yoga For Better Sleep
Yoga is a great way to relax and prepare yourself for a deeply restful sleep. According to the Harvard Health Blog, 55% of those who do yoga find that it helps them sleep better.
There are a number of yoga poses you can learn and practice regularly to help you wind down after a long day. The simplest of these poses include:
- the legs up the wall pose
- standing forward bend, and
- standing forward half-bend
Their names are self-explanatory, but should you need further clarification and guidance, you can find ample instructional videos and literature online that will help you master them!
3. Practice meditation
Mediation is a great way to relax, but, for some people, it’s also a great way to become more focused and alert. That’s why you need to do some “test runs” and try to meditate during the day, and see how you feel afterwards.
If meditation does, indeed, help quiet your mind, then you should start practicing it before bed. Turn off the lights and any electronics, sit cross-legged, and do your breathing exercises. You should feel its benefits before you know it!
4. Don’t overlook the importance of stretching
Stretching is a core part of every pre workout for women routine —not to mention that it is imperative that you do stretching exercises before and after every workout session to prevent muscle injuries. Stretching not only helps ease muscle tension but also provides you with a sense of relief!
Do this by stretching out your arms and legs and moving up to more extensive stretching exercises while lying down.
5. Have a little dance session
We have to preface this by saying that you don’t need to be a professionally trained dancer to have a little fun dancing. Put on some of your favorite music or a couple of YouTube dance videos and follow along to the beat. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll also let off some steam and start to relax, which will definitely help you sleep better.
6. Do housework
Well, if you’ve always found the concept of house chores tiring, here’s your chance to make the most of that and do it as a means to sleep better.
While it may seem weird, any activity that raises your heart rate is considered a workout, so housework can become an intense exercise session. Just pick up the pace next time you’re sweeping, mopping, or doing work around the house. And see for yourself how much more tired and sleepy you feel. So, if you’re looking for a simple way to sleep better while performing parts of your daily routine, maybe this is it.
7. Pick up gardening as a hobby
Do you have a green thumb? Gardening is a great way to exercise during the day so you can get better sleep at night. It often involves grueling physical exercise as you shovel, dig, and bend over your precious plants.
If you already have a yard, then you’re halfway there! If you don’t, many community garden projects take in new members regularly. Not only will you reap the benefits of a good workout, but you will also get to have the pleasure of seeing the fruits of your labor grow before your eyes! Such a beautiful thought, right?
8. Choose to take the stairs
Who would have thought that something so simple would help you sleep better? Well, as we mentioned above, any activity that raises your heart level is considered a workout which can lead to better sleep.
As a matter of fact, 10 minutes of stair climbing can burn more calories than 10 minutes of jogging! So make use of your staircase at home or your apartment building for some intense up–and–down stair climbing before bed, and see how tired you feel afterwards. There’s a good chance you’ll be so tired that you’ll be ready to make a beeline to your bed!
Having read our article, it must be clear by now that choosing to exercise to sleep better is a great way to finally get the quality sleep you so crave and deserve.
Don’t feel discouraged if you’re not particularly active, or if you’re unsure whether you’ll get these exercises “right”. Everything takes patience, and practice makes perfect. Before you know it, you’ll have mastered the exercises that will help you sleep better. You can also, at the same time, try to improve your nutrition by adding some vitamins for better sleep to your dietary regimen and see whether this has a combined effect on your sleep quality.
Let us know in the comments: have you tried exercise to sleep better at home?
Kevin has been writing content for about 3 years. He really wants to share his experiences and advice with anyone who cares about health and fitness. He enjoys helping people achieve their fitness goals with simple instructions and overcoming any obstacles on the way.