Getting enough sleep is vital for many reasons
Sleep is so important, bad sleeping patterns can affect your mood, appetite, hydration status, recovery from exercise, metabolism and much more.
Making exercise part of your daily routine will definitely aid your sleep. Exercise helps regulate your heart rate, blood flow, breathing patterns, elevates body temperature, improve blood pressure- the list goes on. All of these benefits will lead to a better quality of sleep.
Particularly, Pilates can help your sleep through calming the nervous system, also as Pilates develops strength, core endurance and control, flexibility and conditioning the body will crave sleep in order to get the time it needs to recover, develop and adapt.
Joseph Pilates believed that Pilates moves which involved rolling up and rolling down, such as Roll Up, Shoulder Bridge, Long Spine, Pelvic Tilts, exercises improved sleep quality due to the way in which these exercises massage the spine and restore natural flexibility of the spine.
No Social Media For 30 minutes / 1 hour before bed
I am the worst for this, I can easily waste 1-2 hours scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest before bed. The reason you should have a social media free time before bed is not due to it being a waste of time, it is due to the blue light emitted from these apps and pages.
Facebook in particular has blue colour, but all apps on our phones, tablets and laptops emit a higher concentration of blue light rather than natural light.
Blue light has been scientifically proven to affect melatonin levels in the body – this is the hormone which is released coming up to bed time and is at its highest during the night while we sleep. Light affect melatonin levels, during the day when it is bright, levels are low, during the night whilst in darkness levels are at there highest and again in the morning when light begins to rise melatonin levels lower.
Don’t worry, the gossip will still be online the next morning for you to catch up on and if something really juicy went up and is gone by the morning I’m sure someone will have screen-shotted it for you, so don’t panic, set your alarm and put the phone away.
Drink Some Herbal Teas
Flavoured teas such as peppermint tea are great for sleep. Peppermint tea eases digestion, meaning your body won’t be working too hard while you sleep to process anything you ate in the late evening. While green teas contain theanine which promotes sleep – just make sure the green tea you choose is decaffeinated if drinking close to bed time.
Chamomile tea is also great for sleep and does not contain any caffeine. Chamomile tea contains many de-stressing agents and therefore is great choice before bed.
Clear Your Thoughts
This will be different for everyone. For me, colouring before bed works a treat because I have to concentrate so hard on staying within the lines I forget about everything else.
Other methods include reading a book before bed, doing Pilates or Yoga stretches and meditating. Going for a walk in the evening is also a great option to clear your head and begin to unwind in the lead up to bed.
Keep A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will help you set your body’s internal clock. You will quickly find yourself getting tired around the same time and naturally waking at the same time each day.