It is not uncommon for people to have a ritual that they perform to help them get ready for bed. Some people do not have time throughout the rest of the day to get their workout in. Others believe that working out right before bed will make them very tired so they will sleep better. There are plenty of exercises you can do to help yourself wind down at the end of the night, while indulging in a heavy-duty workout may be a bad idea.
Can I Exercise Before Bed?
It is a common belief that those that are having trouble sleeping should exercise before bed so they will be tired and fall asleep. However, experts recommend that no type of strenuous exercise should be taken on within three hours of going to sleep. These exercises will raise the body temperature initially, with a drop in body temperature around six hours later. You are much more likely to fall asleep comfortably and stay asleep when this dip in body temperature occurs. Arranging your workout so that this dip in body temperature corresponds with the time when you should be going to sleep is ideal for getting restful sleep.
What Exercise Can I Do Before Bed?
How to do exercise before bed? Choose that slow your heart rate and breathing so they will help you prepare for bed.
1. Cooling Breath
Cooling breath is helpful in calming the nervous system. Sit on the bed or cross-legged on the floor, sitting up tall to give your lungs plenty of room to expand. Close your eyes and let your hands sit gently on the knees. Curl the tongue and inhale through an open mouth, or open the mouth and let the air waft over the tongue if you cannot curl it. Close the mouth and slowly exhale this breath through the nose. Continue this rhythm for two minutes for the best effects.
2. Side Bending
Side bending can slow your breathing rate while gently stretching the body so you can relax before bed. Sit cross-legged on the floor, placing your hands by your hips. Inhale and exhale while sliding the left hand away from your body and arching the right arm over your head. As the left elbow touches the floor, inhale and return to your original position. Repeat, alternating sides for up to two minutes. Try to take longer breaths as you continue this exercise.
3. Corpse Pose
This exercise before bed is typically included at the end of a yoga routine to relax the musculoskeletal routine and help you unwind.Lie on the floor on a rug or yoga mat and allow the limbs and body to limp. Focus on the feet, tensing them for a few seconds then relax them. Move your attention to the calves and repeat the same exercise. Continue tensing and releasing the muscles, working your way up the body, breathing deeply as you go. This will help you relax the whole body by the time you are finished.
4. Child’s Pose
Performing the child’s pose can relieve tension in the shoulders and neck while gently stretching the spine. You will also settle into a slow, steady breathing rhythm that will help you get ready for bed. Get a sturdy pillow and kneel on the floor. Touch the toes together, slightly spreading the knees. Sit back on the heels, placing the pillow in front of you and lower your forehead down to the pillow. Carefully arrange the arms along the body with the palms facing up. Widen the knees until you are comfortable and hold the position, breathing deeply.
This exercise before bed is also said to lose thigh fat. Lie on the back with the buttocks against a wall and the legs extended for three to five minutes. If necessary, place a pillow under the hips during this exercise to support the lower back. If you feel that this exercise is overstretching the hamstrings, scoot the buttocks slightly away from the wall. Keep the shoulders settles and away from the ears. While holding the inversion, focus on keeping your breathing steady and clearing your mind.
This twist can help you relieve tension in the back so you will be able to sleep comfortably. Sit cross-legged or with one leg extended with the opposing knee bent and the foot placed next to the knee of the straightened leg. Inhale, raising the arm near the straightened leg and exhale while placing this arm on the outside of the bent knee. While inhaling and exhaling deeply, twist the body around gently. If you are sitting with your legs crossed, hang on to a headboard or a sturdy piece of furniture behind you to help your body hold the twist.