Do you feel that you take a long time to fall asleep? Surrounded by technology, screen and stress, a lot of people feel that way. Modern lifestyle is affecting sleep to the extent that a full 8 hours of sleep has become a luxury.
There are multiple factors that might affect sleep. But for those of you who don't want to rely on medical treatments, there are easy ways of getting better sleep - exercise.
Here are top 5 simple exercise routines you can try before going to bed:
1. Breathing exercises
This involves slow and deliberate breathing. Maintain a good posture, you have to nowhere else but your bed.
How to do it:
Take a deep, slow breath - sustain it as you take in the air. Feel it start at the bottom of your belly. Focus on filling your stomach with your breath. Then let the oxygen expand from the bottom of your chest cavity up toward your throat, so your lungs are the last to rise.
Inhale for three counts. Hold it for two. Then, exhale slowly for four. You want the exhale to be longer than the inhale.
2. Strength Training
Accoring to the National Sleep Foundation, building muscles has been show to increase the quality of sleep. Moreover, it also helps people sleep faster.
Which ones to do:
Shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep dips, squats, lunges are the easiest to go for. If you are totally feeling the vibe, sit-ups and push-ups can be added to that list to.
How to do them:
Make sure you are not doing them too intensely. Don't go for quick outbursts of dips or sit-ups. Make controlled, deliberate movements.
Pretty much any pose works, unless you are doing inversions (postures with your head upside down)
Which one to do:
A simple stretching exercise is all you need.
How to do it:
Sit on the ground (or a mat), put your legs straight, flat and outstretched in front of you. Slowly bend your torso forward. Reach out to touch your toes (do it slowly). Keep up this hamstring stretch for at least 30 seconds.
4. Aerobics (or Cardio)
People who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night.
Your body temperature rises with exercise and then drops with your post-exercise cool down, which actually helps you fall asleep.
What to do?
Run. Or jog. Take in some fresh air, and make sure you maintain a pace you are comfortable with. Fitness pros say that running is an aerobic activity that reduces stres, give good mood, and releases endorphins. You can run at night too (you'll get runner's high). Since running is hard, you'll need rest when it's time to go to bed.
This is one of the best ways to calm your mind. Some of us do tend to dive into overthinking about things while in bed. Meditation will help release a lot of this stressful thinking.
How to do it:
Find a quite a room, and dim the lights (preferrably yellow light or a lamp). Sit in a comfortable position on the floor, with no footware. Close your eyes and breathe from your nose, exhale from your mouth. Make sure you are not distracted during this process.
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