Winding down before bedtime with a short, relaxing workout is a great way to improve your sleep quality.
A light exercise before climbing into bed can help you detach from the stresses of the day and bring a calm mind and body into slumber.
By establishing a pre-sleep routine that includes some physical activity, you’ll be more likely to get a good night’s rest – every night.
Stretch and Relax
In the last hour, before it’s time to sleep, it’s best to avoid high-intensity exercises that will get your heart rate up and make it difficult to settle into bed.
Instead, try a gentle stretching routine or some relaxation exercises. These activities will help you calm your mind and body so that you can drift off to sleep more easily.
Move your body slowly and mindfully through a series of stretches. From your toes to the muscles in your face, spend some time flexing and relaxing every part of your body.
Find the joints or muscle groups that feel stressed, tight, or tense. Gently move them through their range of motion, feeling the tension release with each stretch.
Relaxing Strength Exercises
Try some light bodyweight exercises to help you get the blood flowing in and out of those tired muscles.
Without any equipment, these movements can be done in your bedroom right next to your bed, without disturbing any housemates.
For your feet and lower legs, try some calf raises. Slowly raise up onto your toes, lower back down to the ground, and repeat.
For your knees and thighs, try some squats. With your feet shoulder-width apart and maintaining good balance, squat down as if you will sit in an imaginary chair and then rise back up to standing.
To strengthen your core, lay flat on your back and slowly raise your feet up into the air without bending your knees so that your body and legs form a right angle. Slowly bring your feet back down to the ground, and repeat.
You can also try planks. Roll over onto your stomach and prop yourself up on your toes and forearms, keeping your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
Pushups are a good choice for strengthening your arms, shoulders, and chest. With all these exercises, you don’t need to do a lot of reps or break into a sweat. Just a few slow, controlled movements can help you relax and get ready for sleep.
Breathe Slower and Deeper
Instead of treating these exercises as challenging, think of them more like a meditation.
Allow your breathing to slow and deepen as you move through each stretch and exercise. Follow the rhythm of your breath and let go of worries that might be spinning around in your head.
Focus on the present moment and feel the sensations in your body.
Don’t worry about doing a certain number of sets or reps. The goal is to relax and de-stress so that you can drift off to sleep with ease.