Best Exercises That Promote Better Sleep Quality
Exercise is beneficial for our body and mind and can promote restful sleep. Sleep experts concur that practicing regular exercise is one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep. Numerous studies have demonstrated that exercise can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and the amount of time spent awake.
However, physicians suggest avoiding rigorous exercise an hour before bedtime because it increases heart rate, body temperature, and adrenaline.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world have insomnia or other sleep disorders. The good news is that there are exercises you can do to promote better sleep quality. This blog post will discuss the best exercises for better sleep and how they can help you get the rest you need. Stay tuned!
1. Aerobic exercise
If you talk about aerobic and cardio exercises, both are pretty much similar and help you achieve identical results. Since aerobic means “with oxygen,” breathing regulates the amount of oxygen that can reach the muscles to aid their ability to burn fuel and move.
The intensity of aerobic exercise varies from one form to another. Purposes, restrictions, and fitness status – all play a role in determining how intense the activity should be.
- If you practice moderate aerobic activities, it will raise your heart rate and make you sweat. Brisk walking, water aerobics, and steep bike rides are a few examples.
- Running or jogging, jumping rope, uphill bike rides, step aerobics, and other high-impact routines are high-intensity activities that can significantly increase your heart rate.
Studies have shown that frequent, extended aerobic exercise can enhance sleep quality and lessen excessive daytime sleepiness in those under the spell of insomnia.
Additionally, studies demonstrate that moderate-intensity aerobic exercises help lower the severity of breathing disorders that affect sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnea, a disability to perform normal breathing. Some research indicates that moderate-intensity aerobics can enhance sleep quality more than high-intensity aerobics.
2. Strength training
Strength training uses resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds muscle strength, tone, and size. It can also increase bone density and joint flexibility and improve cardio-respiratory function. Correctly performed strength training can provide significant health benefits. Individuals who engage in regular strength training can improve their quality of life, thereby improving sleep quality.
- A kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells work well for intense strength workouts in the daytime.
- Light bodyweight exercises like a few easy sets of sit-ups, crunches, or lunges are helpful when done before an hour of bedtime.
Strength-training releases certain hormones (e.g., growth hormone) and neurotransmitters (e.g., endorphins) that have a sedative effect. Moreover, strength training can help you fall asleep faster by reducing feelings of anxiety and stress – which are known to impact sleep quality negatively.
Since performing demanding exercises at night will cause sleep disruption, it is best to avoid a strength training session later in the day and to try to train when the sun is still in the sky. This is so that the exertion from strength training does not interfere with your sleep schedule, and your body has enough time to cool down and adjust back when it’s time to go to bed.
Most of the Yoga poses are suitable right before bed. However, it’s not a good idea to practice poses that are inherently more challenging for you before bed since you’ll stress your body rather than ease it into sleep. Examples include wheel, headstand, and crow pose.
Yoga is an age-old exercise that emphasizes meditation, breathing pattern corrections, and better posture. As a result, it leads to better sleep.
- Yoga includes breathing techniques called pranayamas. You can do it anywhere. However, sleep specialists advise maintaining excellent posture to maximize the benefits of breathing exercises.
- If you solely meditate before bed, your body will develop a reaction or association that marks this activity as one that relaxes you, clears your mind, and induces sleep. Try different meditation techniques; steer clear of ones that stimulate your thoughts and choose ones that help you relax. Try meditating for at least one hour for better quality sleep before hitting the bed.
4. Other exercises
Exercises show that impact isn’t equal for every person. It varies and depends on gender, age, fitness level, diet, inherited or chronic diseases, ability to perform activities, and more. Besides the above exercises, other choices include:
- A pleasant evening walk for a minimum of 20-30 minutes regularly helps you relax and calm your mind, leading to better sleep quality.
- Moderate stretching increases blood circulation and can help lubricate your most-stressed joints and loosen up stiff muscles.
- Sitting twist is another simple workout performed while seated in a chair or on the bed just before sleep.
Simply put, due to the bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep, the more you exercise, the better you sleep, and vice versa. Therefore, whatever activity you practice, remember not to overdo it. Adequate physical activity can improve the quality of your sleep by stimulating your brain and body. In addition, it helps to promote better quality sleep by calming your mind and elevating feel-good hormones. Also, a balanced diet along with a regular exercise schedule can help you see better results in your sleep patterns.