Try these exercises to help you get a better night sleep
It’s no secret that exercise can help you sleep better. If counting sheep and listening to calming music is not working for you, adding these exercises into your daily routine could be just the ticket to getting in those 8 hours that we all crave.
Bedtime stretching and yoga can help increase the length and quality of your sleep.
Yoga stretches such as child’s pose helps to relieve back and shoulder tension which can affect your sleep. Simply kneel on the floor with your knees slightly wider than your hips, stretch out forward and allow your chest to come down to the floor and really feel that stretch in your back, shoulder and lats.
For your hips you can try lying on your back and raising both knees so your feet are off the floor. Cross your right foot over your left knee and hold for 30 seconds before swapping sides. If you’re not very flexible, don’t push yourself too hard. It might feel tight but it shouldn’t be painful.
Another good pose that can help you drift off is to lie flat on your back with your legs high up on the wall. Try to elongate your spine in this pose and roll your shoulder blades down and back behind you. Staying in a pose like this for 7-10 minutes is a great way to calm your nervous system and relax your body, making it ready for sleep. You may feel a bit of tingling in your legs from an inversion pose like this, but it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable.
Mouth and throat exercises can help tone your tongue
It sounds weird, but mouth and throat exercises strengthen your airways and promote nose-breathing for those who tend to snore. The fancy name for these exercises is myofunctional or oropharyngeal exercises. The back of your mouth is where the oropharynx hides out and is where you’ll find your tonsils, adenoids, back of the tongue and the soft part of the roof of your mouth.
Studies undertaken have found doing toning exercises can help reduce snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea. Exercises include sliding your tongue along the roof of your mouth from back to front, poking out your tongue as far as you can for 10-15 seconds and breathing practice through your nose.
Aerobic exercise (Not right before bed)
Periods of regular aerobic exercise have been discovered to help people sleep better and improve sleep quality for those who suffer from sleepiness during the day or insomnia. It’s also been proven that moderate exercise can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnoea. Ideally do this style of training during the day as if you do it too late, you will produce too much energy.
An ancient breathwork technique known as the 4-7-8 can help provide more oxygen and promote a better night sleep. With practice, concentrating on your breathing can help you drop off to sleep faster.
All you have to do is gently part your lips and exhale all the air in your lungs, feel free to add sound effects. Close your lips and as you silently inhale through your nose count to 4. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Let out an exhale for 8 seconds. Do it again another 3 more times. As your lung capacity and control improve, you’ll get better at breathwork.
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