After dealing with insomnia for years, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. I’ve tried meditation, herbal teas, lo-fi music… until I discovered that there are workout movements I can add to my daily routine, and they actually allowed me to rest better at night.
In this article, I will share my top 5 sustainable workouts. These simple routines will help you fall asleep faster, reduce the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night, and allow you to feel truly rested and refreshed the next day.
No.1 Breathing Exercises
This is my goto exercise especially if I’ve had a long day and don’t feel like moving much. The best way to do so is by taking deep breaths while counting. My goto pattern is counting from 1-10.
I breathe in over 1, 2, 3, 4 hold my breath for 5 and 6, and let it out from 7 to 10. Repeat this 8 to 10 times, and I would usually be half asleep already.
The tension we built-up during the day, whether it was from sitting in front of a computer screen for too long, or standing on our feet in a fixed position for hours, is one of the major reasons why we find it difficult to sleep at night. Therefore, stretching out your arms and legs before sleep can put your body in an eased, and relaxed state more quickly.
Personally, I like the air bicycle exercise: you are moving your legs, stretching the muscles out, and already laying down. It seamlessly transitions into breathing exercises and eventually sweet dream time.
If possible, go on a quick run at least an hour before your bedtime.
Aerobic and cardio exercises will get your blood going and your heart rate up. Even if you only do a 10-minute jog and then walk the rest of the way, you will still sleep much better after that release of energy.
Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy a night jog under the moon and the stars? It’s so romantic even if it’s just by yourself!
Yoga didn’t take our nation by storm without a good reason. The science behind yoga exercises is proven to be beneficial for finding not only inner peace but a calm state-of-mind. Yoga allows your entire body to relax to its most original state, and doesn’t the sound of that alone makes you want to fall asleep?
Also, most yoga routines finish with the Corpse Pose, which is literally just you laying there while doing the breathing exercise and relaxing your body inch by inch. No wonder it helps me fall asleep sooner.
No.5 Sit-Ups or Strength Training in general
Again, do this at least one hour before you plan to go to sleep.
A few sit-ups and push-ups will get you sweaty and your calories burning. This allows you to relax faster and enter the sleep state more naturally when the time comes. All you need is 10-15 minutes of exercise and you will be good to go.
In conclusion, I’ve found that if I could work my body up a bit, get my blood going, then finish the day off with some relaxing meditation exercises, I can get a really good night of sleep.
Personally, my favorite combo is night jog, 30 min of yoga plus breathing exercises, but I recommend you to try all these sustainable workouts for the first few times. Then, you should have your own favorite routine in no time.
Sweet dreams, my friend.