With your life getting busier by the day, it might be difficult for you to find time to work-out in the morning. This calls for a bedtime exercise routine to help you stay fit and energetic.
It’s a common assumption that exercising and sleep don’t go well together.
But is that the case? Let’s find out!
According to some research and surveys conducted by Harvard, bedtime exercises can have a positive effect and help people sleep better in most cases.
If you ever feel that you should start working out or need more exercise than during the daytime, you can opt for a night-time routine. You can start with simple stretching exercises and then perform some slightly rigorous ones, building your strength one day at a time.
Here are a few exercises that you can incorporate into your bedtime routine.
7 Exercise to Help You Sleep Better
1. Bear Hug
As the name suggests, this exercise requires you to hug yourself with your arms crossed.
- You need to stand tall and place your right arm on your left shoulder and your left arm on the right shoulder.
- Hold this position for about 30-40 seconds and relax.
- Repeat the same twice or thrice. This simple exercise will help you loosen up and get rid of the stiffness if any.
2. Child’s Pose
A kneeling exercise, the child’s pose involves your entire body and helps in releasing stress, especially from your neck, shoulders, and legs. To do this –
- You need to come down on your knees while sitting on your heels.
- After that, you have to bend forward and rest your forehead on the floor, while stretching out your arms straight.
- Breathe in and out deeply while holding the pose for about 3 minutes.
3. Legs up the Wall
This exercise will need you to lie down close to a wall. To do this,
- Lie on your back with your legs up and rest them against the wall.
- Your arms should be by your side with your palms turned up.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat it thrice.
A plank is another full-body exercise that helps you build your stamina and core strength. It is an all-rounder exercise that will wear you out and help you get a good night’s sleep.
While doing a plank, your body should be straight from head to your heels. Hold the position for about 40-60 seconds and repeat twice.
Exercise does not always mean strenuous physical activity. Meditation is a form of mental exercise that will help you improve your sleep cycle.
Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and try to clear your mind of all thoughts, positive or negative. Try to maintain a steady breathing pattern while meditating. Do this for about 30 minutes every day before going to bed.
6. Breathing Exercises
A few simple breathing exercises can be done alongside meditation. As you sit for meditation, make sure that your spine is straight.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- While doing this, focus on the movement of your abdomen.
You can also try this alternate nasal breathing exercise –
- Cover your right nostril with your thumb and breathe through the left.
- Now, cover your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right.
If you prefer outdoor exercises, you can go for a run or a walk before bedtime. This will help use up some of your excess energy and the exertion will get you to sleep as soon as you hit the bed. Moreover, walking and running are considered to be the best forms of exercise.
It’s Burn Time Tonight!
These are some exercises that you can do before going to bed. For an indoor workout routine, you can start with the first exercise, i.e. bear hug, and end it with a calm meditation session.
But if you have little indoor space, or you are just an outdoor person, you can always go for a nice, refreshing walk. Cycling can also be an alternative to walking or jogging.
If you are new at this, you need to start with some easy moves and slowly build your strength. All in all, a night-time workout routine will help you stay fit, and may improve your sleeping pattern.
FAQs: Sleep Exercises
Should you exercise before sleep?
While experts talk about the pros and cons, exercise increases your mood and eliminates stress with the release of the feel-good hormones, thus eliminating all sleep inhibitors. The best answer to this is to experiment!
What's the best sleep exercise that you recommend?
Definitely, bear hugs, planks, meditation, and breathing exercises. These are light and don't make you as sweaty as the more intensive exercises like running and walking.
Does meditation count as exercise?
Anything that improves physical health is considered "exercise". You need to remember exercise is habit-building and training your mind to be disciplined with the power of meditation is the surefire way of ensuring you exercise regularly. It's a loop!
The author of this blog post is Shivani Mody. Shivani enjoys reading, writing, and sleeping in her free time, and of course otherwise as well. A final year student from the University of Delhi, she originally hails from a small town in Assam.
You may follow her adventures @shivanimodyy