Believe it or not, tossing and turning all night is not a good form of exercise and can be pretty disruptive – for both you and your partner!
According to numerous studies, making time for a good workout can be the key to the perfect night’s sleep in our beloved beds. But how?
Exercise promotes good sleep
There are a few reasons why exercise can give you a better night’s sleep. One example is that it can be a great way of losing any stresses we might have, and the brain – somewhat amazingly – compensates for physical stress by increasing the amount of time you’re in a deep sleep.
This means that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to have a productive day.
Exercise also encourages the perfect night’s sleep because it causes our body temperature to rise and fall by equal amounts. The drop in our body temperature makes it a great deal easier to fall and then stay asleep for longer periods of time.
More often than not we will exercise outside or in a brightly light gym, this light – or sunlight – exposure helps to regulate our body temperature rhythm, meaning that it is easier for us to catch those zzz’s.
But how can I fit exercise into my routine?
If all of these benefits make you want to up your exercise regime, then you don’t need to worry about sacrificing other parts of your day. Juggling work, life and kids can be difficult in itself, but if you struggle to find time to exercise then any of these activities could be the perfect solution. What’s more, they can even be completed in the comfort of your home.
Pilates is fantastic for helping you relax. It teaches you to control your breathing and to concentrate on other things than your busy day and your to-do list. With diaphragmatic breathing being at the heart of Pilates, it teaches you how to notice when you are becoming stressed in everyday life and tackle it head on.
While practicing Pilates, it is important that you emphasise each breath you take by expanding your rib cage and pulling your navel to your spine, with the emphasis on exhalation.
Once you have nailed the breathing technique, it’s time to get to grips with changing the direction your brain is going in. Concentration is key, and Pilates will encourage you to concentrate on different muscles by contracting and relaxing certain muscles in the body. This will prevent you from thinking about stressful situations and will force you to take time out.
Yoga is probably the most common exercise to do in order to de-stress yourself from the busy week or day you have had. This is also a popular exercise for pregnant women as it helps to encourage relaxation and calmness.
Just like Pilates, breathing is central to yoga which forces you to sit in a comfortable position on the floor and breath carefully with emphasis in a plight to clear your mind. Add this to the range of stretches and movements that come along with the exercise, and you will be as calm as zen before you get into your bed.
The role of your bed
Of course, your bed still plays an important role in how much shut-eye you get, so its important to make sure it is set up correctly. That might mean investing in a sturdy and durable bed frame – wooden, metal or fabric are all fine – and topping it with a supportive and comfortable mattress.
Add fluffy pillows, fresh sheets and marshmallow duvets and you’ll be in the land of nod in no time.
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