Working out can help to improve your health and sleep. It is great for your body and mind and can help in getting a better night’s sleep. However, the time of the day that you choose to work out might affect your sleep and interfere with how well you rest at night.
Morning workouts allow you to get your daily dose of sunshine which helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle and also allow you to have deeper sleep at night. Afternoon workouts are the best in keeping you productive throughout the day while allowing you to fall asleep quicker at night. However, if you are interested to know the types of exercises to do before bed, read on to find out more!
To sleep better at night, avoid strenuous workouts in the late evening or right before sleeping. Cardio workouts stimulate the brain and cause an increase in body temperature which might prevent us from falling asleep. Instead, try simple stretching or breathing exercise to help you to release stress and relax your muscles for a restful night.
Sit on the ground with both legs stretched out in front of you. Slowly bend and reach for your toes. This exercise targets your hamstrings and calves and helps to open up and release your joints to make it more conducive for sleeping.
Neck stretches also help to relieve tension in your head, neck and shoulder. Tilt your head to your side and hold there for 5 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side. Then, drop your chin to your chest and hold it there. These gentle stretches help to relieve sleep-disrupting cramps.
Find a quiet room and turn off all stimuli to get rid of any distractions. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Clear your thoughts and focus on your breathing. The most important thing is to do this while your mind is relaxed. You may do so with a soothing music or a diffuser with a comforting scent.
Try the roll down warm up and cool down move. Stand with your legs slightly apart, hands at the side and with shoulders relaxed. Slowly bend forward, let your hands dangle and hang there while taking in a deep breath. Try to touch the ground and hold there for a second or two. Then roll back up while keeping your abdominal muscles engaged.
Avoid doing any inversions or moves that are too strenuous. Focus on a calming routine and simple poses to maintain the perfect posture with your shoulders, hip, knees and ankles. Try putting your legs up the wall. Lie on your back with your butt near the wall, raise your legs and rest the back of your legs against the wall. Place your arms at your sides, facing up and hold that position for 15 seconds.
Lie down in bed with your legs slightly apart and arms beside with your palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. The corpse pose targets the mind. Lie there for 15 seconds or until you fall asleep.
Stretching before bed not only makes you relaxed, but also keeps your muscles flexible so you are less likely to experience discomfort during your day-to-day activities. It also allows you to focus on your breath and body instead of the stressors of the day, making it easier to fall asleep.