Physical exercise

Exercises to sleep better

Tip on sleep elaborated by AdSalutem, BBHI collaborating entitity. Physical activity is essential for general health, and one of its great benefits is that it can significantly improve the quality of sleep. Physical exercise is essential to strengthen health at any age. A regular exercise routine brings benefits such as reducing stress, increasing alertness during active hours and promoting healthy sleep. It is proven that some modalities such as cardio exercise, strength training, and stretching or yoga can both help you get to sleep faster and improve the quality of your rest. Two of the main factors that explain the positive impact of physical exercise on sleep are physical fatigue and stress reduction. But, in addition, as your body temperature rises during exercise, when it cools down afterwards this generates a state of relaxation, as well as making it easier to get to sleep since a fall in body temperature is a sleep inducer. It is also worth mentioning that physical exercise stimulates the secretion of endorphins (hormones that our body produces, naturally, in order to mitigate pain and/or produce a sense of well-being), so it will be easier for you to forget your worries when you get ready to sleep. Keep in mind, however, that running before you sleep will not help you fall asleep quickly. It´s best not to do physical exercise between three and four hours before dinner or going to bed. You can choose different types of exercises depending on your preferences, physical condition and schedules:

Cardio or aerobics

Increasing the heart rate for a while each day is key to maintaining good general health, even if it´s just for 20 minutes. Cycling, running, swimming, dancing—any moderate-high intensity exercise (ideally for at least 150 minutes a week) can help you. If, in your case, doing intense cardio a few hours before going to bed prevents you from falling asleep, your best option would be to take a quiet walk at night.

Strength training

Training your muscles promotes healthy sleep and helps you get to sleep faster and stops you waking up during the night. In addition, a developed musculature protects the bone structure and can prevent diseases. You can do weights, bicep and triceps curls, squats, planks, sit-ups and any other strength exercise that brings benefits to your physical condition.

Yoga or stretching

There is a less dynamic form of yoga that has a calming effect on the body and mind, and it is one of the best options if one of the problems that prevents you from sleeping is stress. Whether during a yoga sequence or just stretching, it is important that you focus on the moment and breathe deeply during the exercise. Some types of breathing taught by the so-called Kundalini Yoga can also induce sleep in a matter of minutes without you having to get out of bed.