What is the craziest thing you tried as a sleep aid? Since insomnia became a nationwide problem, people are constantly trying to find new ways to beat it. And we are not talking just about sleep pills, oils, and medications.
People are desperate to try anything claimed to cure insomnia, from things that work like breathing exercise for better sleep, or behavioural changes, to some other things that are a bit silly.
However, as usual, there is no such thing as an instant solution, and the things that work requires time and dedication. Hence, today, we would like to represent you exercises that can induce sleep.
If you are an insomniac, and a bit lazy, exercising is probably the last thing you would want to try. But, if you put an effort and give it a chance, you could start sleeping better.
The thing is, any type of exercising elevates our body temperature, so when a few hours later, body temperature starts to drop, we will feel drowsy and ready for bedtime.
Generally speaking, almost all types of exercises could have a positive impact on our sleep. It is believed that, depending on the time when you exercise, it can help with the regulation of circadian rhythm. Below is our list of some of the best exercises for sleep.
The first exercise is also the easiest because we all walk every day, so there are no excuses, like, “oh, this is so hard,” etc. But if you want walking to help your sleep, late-night walks to the fridge, do not count.
Walking is one example of lighter exercises known as low-to-moderate intensity steady state training. It burns calories over a prolonged period.
Since it is not as intense as some of our next suggestions, walking is not going to increase your heart rate a lot, but it is still a great way of exercising, especially if you cannot perform some of the more challenging ones.
Taking a brief walk around your neighborhood before bedtime can calm down your body and mind, and prepare you for sleep.
While walking, focus on the moves you are making, listen to the sounds around you, and relax. It is not going to exhaust you a lot, but it will be enough to induce sleep the minute you lay down in bed.
Yoga can also be considered as a “light” exercise, but if you are a beginner, we suggest taking it slowly. As you may know, there are numerous poses and ways in which you can practice yoga, but here we will focus on the ones that are more relaxing and calming for the body. It is essential to focus on your breathing while performing these exercises, that is the whole point.
The lotus, cobra, warrior, tree pose, or downward-facing dog are all excellent positions for stretching out our muscles, concentrate on breathing, inhalations, and exhalations.
It will put you in such a calm state of mind and relieve any stress or aches. Besides early morning, a prime time for yoga is around early evening hours, along with the sunset.
Squats require some shape, so if you were not exercising regularly, start first with five, and then slowly upgrade to at least ten every day.
You will probably get sore muscles but just bear with it, because squats are really an effective exercise. Squats can burn a ton of calories, they move some large groups of muscles, such as calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and almost everything in between.
If you feel like you have some extra energy, squats are a great way to burn it, and then easily drift off in bed. You will get your sleep on time, and burn some calories, so it is a win-win situation.
However, make sure you are doing squats correctly, you have to keep your entire body tight all the time, and you can also use some props, like a bar or a ball.
This aerobic exercise is used for strength training, and it is a full-body training; also, it is another highly effective calorie-burning exercise. And trust us, you will be tired and sleepy after a few burpees for sure.
You can use burpees to schedule your sleep routine and bring it back to normal. Just like with squats, you have to do your burpees properly; otherwise, you are going to struggle much more.
You start in a standing position, then you go to a squat position, holding your hands on the ground. Now here comes the tricky part, you have to kick your feet into a plank position, and keep your arms extended, and quickly return feet into the squat pose, and stand up.
Repeat a few times, but if you are not used to exercising, and you are doing it just for the sake of sleep, start with no more than five, and then gradually g up with the number of burpees.
For the very end, we saved swimming, because not all of us are lucky enough to be born right next to the beach.
If you are not close to the beach, or river, we hope your town has an outdoor or indoor public pool, because swimming is beneficial, and not just for your sleep. Swimming is one of the best cardiovascular exercises as it moves all parts of our body, and raises our heart rate significantly.
Swimming also burns calories and builds up our muscles, so your arms and legs will be all toned and shaped in no time after you develop a swimming routine.
Start with swimming one or two lengths of the pool, this will also increase your lung function, and after a few times, you will be able to swim longer. After swimming, you will be ready to sleep as soon as your body temperature drops.
The Bottom Line
It turns out that sleep and exercise go together pretty well. Depending on your age and physical ability, you can try some of the exercises listed above. These exercises are not only beneficial for your sleep routine, but also for your health and body, so by exercising you are doing much more for yourself.
It is a form of self-care. If possible, we also recommend combining some of the exercises, for example, yoga with walking, or walking home after your swimming session, etc. Or try them all and find out what works best for you.
Selena Thomas is a content writer who loves sharing tips on healthy lifestyles. A writer by day and a reader by night, she's fond of writing articles that can help people in improving both physical and mental health. Also, she loves traveling and inspires people on her blogs.