Light Exercises to Do Before Going To Bed

There is a general misconception that exercise is not good for bedtime. Yes, a vigorous workout is not good, but light exercise can help because strenuous exercise can increase heart rate, raise body temperature, and activate the brain and prevent sleep. Certain less strenuous exercises will help to unwind. Low-intensity yoga is one such workout, and it is good before bedtime. Some yoga poses combat insomnia and restlessness for better sleep.

Balasana (Child Pose)

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Balasana helps to relieve shoulder, neck, back, and hip strain in the body. It lowers anxiety and stress levels. The pose increases your breathing and calms down your body and mind to induce sleep.

Balasana is a restorative yoga asana and also known as child pose as it is performed in the fetal position. The pose is a starting level of Vinyasa yoga asana. Perform this yoga in the morning with an empty stomach and hold for 1-3 minutes.

Precautions

These are some tips of caution to take into consideration before performing this asana.

If you know it hard or discomfort to keep your head on the floor, you can use a pillow for support.

It is good to skip doing this asana if you have knee pains or diarrhea.

People with high BP should not perform this yoga.

Beginner’s Tips

A beginner should remember these points before doing practice.

It is not common to breathe completely and consciously up to the back of the torso. Do the Balasana the proper in a way.

As you start the yoga practice, you can do asana to do a deep forward bend.

Janu Sirsasana

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Janu Sirsasana is the best pose to reduce migraines and increase sleep. It is restorative for sleep deprivation and hypertension. The posture eases menstrual distress and encourages you to rest better.

Janu Sirsasana also called the Head to Knee Pose is a forward twist drilled in the situated position. It is a starting part of Ashtanga yoga asana. Practice this asana toward the beginning of the day on a vacant stomach and clean guts. Keep it for 30-60 seconds. 

Precautions

Avoid doing this yoga if you have asthma or diarrhea.

Do not do this yoga in case of a knee injury, and use a folded blanket to get support.

Skip this yoga if you have a serious lower back injury and lumbar disc herniation.

Beginner’s Tip

Newcomers need to proceed cautiously into this posture. To begin with, ensure that your twisted foot is consistently alongside your straight leg and that it never slips under the straight leg. When you see down, you should have the possibility to see the bottom of your foot. Furthermore, you should likewise ensure that the bowed leg is changing. Widen the foot and push the contact point towards the inside crotch of the straight leg.

Upavistha Konasana

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Upavistha Konasana calms down the brain and reduces stresses. It also relaxes the mind and prevents joint stiffness and sciatic pain. It also detoxifies the kidneys and promotes smooth functioning in the body, which is important for sleeping well.

Upavistha Konasana is a stretched legged seated forward bend. It is best practice for other twisted yoga asanas and seated bend.

The pose is a starting level of Hath yoga asana. Perform it in the morning or evening with an empty stomach. Be in this yoga pose for 30-60 seconds.

Precautions

Avoid this asana if you pull a hamstring or tear in the groin, or pregnant, or have a herniated disk or lower back injury.

Beginner’s Tips

This asana is more challenging for beginners. If you feel it hard to bend forward, you could bend your knees gently. You could even use a blanket to support knees. You must do forward bend and cap point upward throughout this asana.

Viparita Karani

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Viparita Karani balances blood flow and relieves mild back pain. It helps like a balm for tired feet and legs. This yoga manages insomnia and mild depression. The pose also helps to prevent migraines and promote sleep.

This yoga is a mild inversion and is mentioned in the old Hindu scriptures for its goodness to keep old age. It is a starting level of Hatha yoga asana. Perform this pose in the morning with an empty stomach and hold for 5-15 minutes.

Precautions

Avoid during menstruation while experiencing eye problems such as glaucoma.

If you feel serious neck and back pain, do this yoga under expert.

If you find a tingling in your feet while practice, bend knees to reach the soles, get heels near to the pelvis.

Beginner’s Tip

A beginner may find it difficult to level this pose. It will help to release the spine, groin, and belly. Assume the inhalation reduces through the torso, and keep the head of the thigh bone near to the wall. As you breathe out, let your thigh bones push harder onto the wall and torso pull away from the wall.

Prasarita Padottanasana

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Prasarita Padottanasana provides relief to shoulder and neck tension. It helps to prevent anxiety, stress, and mild depression. The pose heals physical strain and relaxes the body to assist sleep.

This asana is a standing forward bend commonly practiced at the end of a workout session. This asana is the starting part of Vinyasa yoga asana. Perform this pose in the morning or evening with an empty stomach and keep a gap of 4-6 hours from the last meal. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.

Precautions

Skip this asana if you are experiencing a deeper back injury.

Do not do this yoga if you are undergoing sinus congestion.

Beginner’s Tips

Beginners may feel difficult to touch the crown of the floor. Press yourself as much as possible. Use a blanket, padded block, bolster to support the head in this asana. 

Shavasana

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Shavasana releases up your whole body and muscles. The position gives inside and out and reflective rest to the body. It reduces sleep deprivation and tension and assists in giving you a sound sleep.

Shavasana is also named the Corpse Pose as it assumes you rest on your back to be quiet and calm. It is a learner level of Ashtanga yoga asana. You can do the posture whenever of the day, yet assure you don’t nod off in it. Hold this yoga asana for 10-15 minutes.

Precautions

It is a safe yoga and practiced by everyone. Unless your doctor has suggested you not to lie over your back, you can do this asana.

If you are pregnant, it can be a safe idea to keep your chest and head on a bolster for comfort. 

Beginner’s Tip

During a busy schedule and stressful life, it can be a quiet task to relax. The most difficult part of this yoga is to release the head of the thigh to make the groin soft. If the grain does not soften, then it could restrict breathing and produce tension in the body. You can keep 5-kilo weights over thighs at the groin crease, then assume the heads of the thigh bone pushed down due to weight.

Supta Matsyendrasana

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Supta Matsyendrasana massages your hips and back. It relaxes your spine and limits toxins in the body. The Stupa Matsyendrasana reduces inability in the lower back and gets you a good sleep.

This yoga helps to heal poses that need to rotate the body in a reclining position. It is a starting level of hatha yoga asana. Perform the pose in the morning or evening with an empty stomach after a gap of 4-6 hours from your last meal. Hold this asana for 30-60 seconds.

Precaution

Do not do this yoga if you have serious problems in the lower back.

Avoid this yoga in pregnancy or take expert guidance. Keep a pillow between your knees.

Skip this yoga if you had surgery on an internal organ.

Beginner’s Tip

A beginner may feel difficulty in this asana. Make sure to stretch the top knee as much as possible. Do not push hard and keep a pillow to comfort yourself, which will lower your range of motion.

Benefits of Night Workouts

Being able to work out in a less crowded gym is the beginning. When you lace up after the sun goes downward, your body can have a physiological boost.

Improve Performance

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If you experience less efficiency in the morning workout, there is science behind it. A 2013 study report four markers of physical exercise, including oxygen increase and anaerobic ability, between 20 healthy men and found that the members could workout 20% harder and longer in the evening to morning hours.

Other investigations have shown that a greater body temperature later in the day creates muscle strength and greater flexibility.

Have an energetic start of the Day

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Workout in the morning provides a boost of energy to the day. It will prevent you from having fewer excuses to skip a workout. But, clocking in exercise after exercise and family activities make you disconnect, even temporarily, from the stress of the day, which increases endorphins that influence mood positively. Studies have also shown that physical exercise benefits buffer against further stress.

Promote Better Sleep

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There is a famous belief working out before sleep does not necessarily good for sleep as long as you do mild exercise. Research shows how physical activity helps with sleep.

However, we do know that light aerobic exercise promotes sleep waves. Slow-wave sleep help with deep sleep, where the body and brain have time to restore. Workout can also help to balance mind and mood.

Boost Your Nutrition

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More like the workout before bed theory, the notion that eating at night may induce weight gain has been highly debunked as much as before sleep time meal is small, nutrient-dense, and have single macronutrients.

A 2015 review discovered that active, young individuals who consumed a protein beverage after exercise and before sleep time had a higher concentration of amino acids in contrast to those who had a placebo, showing that the protein was well absorbed and digested during sleep.

Downsides Exercise Before Sleep

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Unlike exercise first thing in the morning, one of the most difficult things of exercising in the evening and night because of potential excuses. Here are some points to consider.

Exercise Can Disturb Sleep

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While mild exercise can benefit sleep, doing more intense like HIIT before bedtime can affect sleep quality and make you wake up more while sleeping. If night time is the only option for you, then avoid vigorous exercises like yoga.

Lack of Group Classes

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While some studios and gyms may provide night time classes, many instructors led communities’ exercises are offered during the day or the evening. The availability of later classes may depend on where you stay. Remember, there are perks to exercise with a large group. According to one study, those who participated in the exercise group had high perceived emotional and physical health than those who worked out solo or with up to two other people.

Difficult to Build Consistency

According to a study in 2018 discovered that people who work out in the morning are more prone to stay consistent with their exercise in comparison with those who lace up in the evening or afternoon.

This finding may be because when you workout later in the day, there is more time to get sidetracked with things like the temptation to see TV or spontaneous plan. But, the daily routine of everyone is different. If you prefer evening exercise, you can develop consistency by scheduling exercise and sticking to a commitment.

How Much Exercise Is Needed for Better Sleep?

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People who get 30 minutes of light aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality at night. It is commonly not to take more months or years to see benefits.

Moreover, while different studies concentrate on aerobic exercise and sleep, picking a workout you like will improve to stick with it. For example, a yoga class or powerlifting can raise heart rate, helping to build the biological processes in the body and mind that help to get better sleep.

Other Ways to Help Sleep Well

Additionally, staying active helps to boost sleep quality.

Manage a consistent sleep schedule

Wake up and sleep at the same time daily, even on the weekends or days off. It also helps to stabilize the body clock.

Avoid Electronic Devices Before Sleeping

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Do not watch smartphones, televisions, and other electronic devices before sleeping. The light from these electronic devices can help to stimulate the brain and prevent you from sleeping.

Create A Relaxing Routine for Bedtime

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Take a warm bath, do yoga, stretches, meditate, and listen to soothing music before sleeping.

Lower Noise Pollution

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Use a fan, white noise machine, and air conditioner to drown out sounds that keep you awake.

Sleep at A Satisfactory Temperature

Watch out for sleeping temperature around 65°F (18.3°C).

Get Comfortable

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Make sure to have comfortable pillows and a mattress to sleep in good shape.

Avoid Large Meals Before Bedtime

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Try to avoid big meals within some hours of sleep. If you are hungry, eat something light such as a piece of fruit or toast.

Avoid Alcohol, Nicotine, And Caffeine Before Sleep

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These things can make restless and prevent sleep.

Keep Naps Short

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Skip napping for more than 20-30 minutes, particularly in the afternoon. Napping for more time can prevent sleep at night.

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