This post covers six exercises to promote better sleep. Many people suffer from insomnia, a sleep disorder that makes falling and staying asleep difficult. The condition can be acute (temporary) or chronic (long-term) but can come and go. Short-term insomnia can last from one night to several weeks. However, when you have insomnia for at least three nights for three months or more, it is chronic insomnia.
Primary Causes of Insomnia
- Stress as a result of major life events like a divorce, job loss, or the death of someone close to you
- Things relating to things in your sleeping environments, like temperature, noise, or light
- Fluctuations in your sleep schedule, like working long hours, having jet lag, or bad habits that contribute to insomnia
- Genetic reasons – research suggests that insomnia can run in your family
Secondary Causes of Insomnia
- Mental conditions like anxiety or depression
- Discomfort or pain during the night
- Certain medications for depression, folds, high blood pressure, asthma, or allergies
- Too much alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco
- Other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea
- Menopause or PMS
- Types of dementia and medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease
- Hyperthyroidism and similar endocrine issues
6 Exercises To Promote Better Sleep
Also referred to as strength training, these exercises involve weight lifting, push-ups, and sit-ups to build muscle. Regular resistance training can promote better sleep in addition to lowering depression and anxiety symptoms that interfere with healthy sleep patterns.
Before bedtime, take a few minutes to practice deep breathing, which can reduce high blood pressure and evoke feelings of calmness while relaxing the body. Meditation and deep breathing techniques offer several health benefits beyond improving insomnia.
Cardio workouts (aerobics) can go a long way in helping you address insomnia. Aerobic exercise includes activities like swimming, walking, and jogging. Apart from improved sleep, you might also benefit from improvement in your sleep apnea symptoms. Often, moderate-intensity aerobic workouts are more beneficial for sleep than more intense workout types.
Aerobics releases endorphins into your bloodstream, boosting brain activity and keeping you awake. So, try not to do it too close to bedtime. Aim for one to two hours before the time to allow your brain to start winding down.
Studies reveal that specific groups of people, for instance, those above 60, in particular women with sleep issues and type 2 diabetes, can benefit from regular yoga practice to enjoy enhanced sleep every night.
RELATED: 5 Best yoga poses for insomnia
Implementing a few basic stretches into your bedtime routine every night can enhance blood flow and offer relief for muscle tension. This allows your body to relax, subsequently improving sleep patterns.
Things To Remember
- When you work out, your body’s core temperature is raised which signals your body that it is time to be awake. Your body temperature starts to go down about 30-90 minutes after working out which can induce sleepiness. That is why it’s good to do exercise 1-2 hours before bedtime to allow your body to get into zzzz mode.
- You only require about half an hour’s of exercise per day to enjoy the benefits when going to bed. Ongoing frequent exercising for at least six months will improve your sleep and enhance your overall quality of life.
- Frequent workouts can generate a healthy sleep-exercise cycle. When you get proper rest and sleep, you’ll have more energy for keeping it up.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these six exercises to promote better sleep and that you will try some of them to see if it enhances your sleep patterns and keep insomnia at bay.
Sending you much love, light, and sleep-inducing vibes!