3 Types of Exercises That Will Help You Sleep Better
For some people, falling asleep is as easy as counting sheep. However, for millions of people in the USA, falling asleep is difficult and staying asleep even more difficult. People often turn to sleep aids such as earplugs, healthy drinks, sleeping pills and even white noise to try and treat their sleep disorders.
According to various studies exercise could be used to induce better sleep; especially if it is on time. In fact, one study even established that people who exercise for at least 150 minutes every week sleep better and feel less tired during the day. This makes exercise one of the cheapest and most readily available remedies for sleep disorders. Some of the best exercises for better sleep include;
1. Aerobic Exercises
Studies have shown that aerobics are some of the best exercises for sleep, especially in middle-aged and senior adults. One study by the Northwestern University, for example, showed that by exercising to 75% of one’s maximum heart rate for 30 minutes 5 times a week, it was possible to not only improve the quality of sleep but also reduce depression and reduce daytime fatigue.Another study found that aerobic exercises reduced sleep duration (meaning more rest with less time sleeping), reduced sleep disturbance, reduced the time taken to fall asleep and improved sleep quality.
Experts suggest doing aerobic exercises such as taking a fast walk, jogging, swimming, climbing stairs, cycling, rowing, step aerobics or even working out on an elliptical machine. The good thing about most of these aerobic exercises is that they are relatively easy to do and most do not even require any equipment. Aside from helping you to sleep better, aerobic exercises will also help reduce blood pressure, improve lung function, reduce the risk of heart disease and even help you live longer.
Aside from helping you build muscles and get your body in shape, weight lifting is also one of the most recommended exercises for sleep and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Weightlifting aids sleep quality in several ways. Firstly, this exercise is great at fighting off stress and depression.
Studies have shown that weight lifting helps to keep important body functions such as metabolism and blood pressure in check hence triggering stress reduction. The less stressed you are, the easier it will be to fall asleep. Secondly, weight lifting has the effect of not only breaking down muscle but also tiring muscles.
Since you are more tired and your muscles need to be repaired and re-grown, you fall asleep faster and also stay asleep for longer. In this case, the sleep acts as a precursor to the production of growth hormone-releasing hormones (GHRH) which are used by the body to repair tissue, re-grow tissue and even induce deeper sleep.
In fact, most experts agree that deep sleep and the repair and growth of muscles are directly dependent on each other. Thirdly, weight lifting will make you look better and feel better hence giving you a sense of control and confidence. The better you feel about yourself, the higher your chances of sleeping well.
For the best results, most exercise experts suggest weights either 2 or 3 times in a week with at least 48 hours between sessions. Some experts also suggest lifting weights at least 5 or 6 hours before going to sleep.
For you to be able to sleep well, it is fundamental to be in a relaxed and stress-free state of mind. Yoga is a good exercise for better sleep because it helps to relieve tension from the body hence resulting in a feeling of calmness and relaxation. Yoga is also quite useful in fighting off stress and depression.
Yoga can do this by combining physical poses with breathing exercises and meditation to help create a balance in the body. Although some experts suggest taking part in yoga routines right after work, most yoga exercises for sleep can also be done in the comfort of your home and even on your bed right before sleeping.
Numerous yoga poses can improve the quality of sleep. One of these is the legs up the wall’ or upside-down relaxation’ pose. It is one of the simplest and most soothing yoga poses and is considered one of the best exercises for better sleep. For this pose, simply sit while facing a wall, lie back and let your legs extend up the wall.
Adjust the position of your butt until you find a comfortable position then let your arms rest by your sides with the palms facing up. Now breathe gently and stay in the position for at least 3 minutes with your eyes closed. Other yoga poses for better sleep include the child’s pose, seated spinal twist pose, and the corpse pose just to mention a few.