A 7-year study by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) found that more than 70% of people in the capital are suffering from primary sleep disorders.
This is a definite news for worry! And worry it is, along with stress that is keeping most of the urbanites awake through the night.
When sleep gives you a slip, health decides to follow as well. An insomniac risks the chances of developing obesity, stress, depression, anxiety as well as a perturbation in day-to-day activities. Therefore we bring you exercises to sleep better.
3 Elements of Good Quality Sleep
Studies have every now and then proved the importance of sleep. In fact, a healthy amount of good quality sleep is as important as diet and exercises.
There are different health hazards that evolve due to lack of good sleep. Therefore, having a sound and uninterrupted sleep should be a healthy lifestyle. 
A good quality sleep fulfils these 3 elements:
- Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient such that a person feels rested and alert the next day.
- Continuity: The sleep should be seamless and without interruption.
- Depth: Sleep should be deep enough or sufficiently sound enough to be called restorative and refreshing.
Recommended Sleep Hours:
|Teenagers (14-17)||8-10 hours|
|Younger adults (18-25)||7-9 hours|
|Adults (26-64)||7-9 hours|
|Older adults (65+)||7-8 hours|
Types of sleep
There are basically two types of sleep:
a) Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep: During this sleep, the brain is active as if you’re awake.
b) Non- Rapid Eye Movement (NREM): This is the relaxed and deeper version of sleep. This sleep is actually the one that is considered as proper sleep.
5 Health benefits of sleep are:
If you think sleep isn’t that necessary for a healthy body, check out the following points below:
- Reduces stress levels: Proper sleep helps in reducing stress hormone levels in the body. Moreover, good sleep can also lower risks of high blood pressure.
- Improves memory: Sleeping well lets your brain process its functions better that improves memory. Your brain becomes more active and eliminates issues related to concentrating which otherwise, is an issue faced by people who don’t sleep well.
- Improves weight: Deprivation of sleep makes hormonal imbalances that cause an increase in appetite. This leads to weight gain. Whereas, sleeping properly helps in managing a healthy weight.
- Reduces risks of diabetes: Lack of sleep is found to be a factor that promotes Type 2 diabetes. It affects body’s glucose level that leads to diabetes.
- Reduces mood disorders: Without proper sleep, you will find yourself getting irritated very easily. Sleeping disorders for a long term may even lead to depression and anxiety.
How can I sleep better?6 sleeping tips are
- Switch off your smartphones/mobiles.
- Avoid sleeping for long hours during the day time to avoid waking up at night.
- Put a pillow between your legs. This relaxes your lower back.
- Make your bed comfortable and relaxing.
- Avoid drinking coffee before sleeping time.
- Complete your dinner at least one hour before sleeping.
So now that you know how much and what kind of sleep is necessary for better health, here are the exercises to sleep better.
We know that most of us are paranoid thinking about sleeping because let’s face it, our generation has become a group of insomniacs for different reasons.
So let the positivity in and try these exercises that will surely help you.
1. The 12-minute breathing exercise
This is one of the best exercises to sleep better. Lie on your back or sit down with your back against a wall. Try using a pillow for better comfort. Now, close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a couple of minutes.
Now, breathe through your nose and take long breaths, without forcing it. With each breath, expand your stomach, ribs and lower back.
Now, let your shoulders relax and don’t breathe with your chest. Exhale long and inhale equally long so that all the bad air is eliminated.
Don’t exceed more than eight to 10 breaths per minute. Continue for about 12 minutes.
Other benefits: Better breathing, mental and physical calm for increased endurance and strength.
2. Doing push-ups
Doing push-ups has several benefits such as being a good resistance exercise, and overall, a good upper body exercises besides being the ultimate exercise to sleep better.
Push-ups are done by lying on the floor on your stomach. Keep your hands a little wider than your shoulders.
With the help of your palms lying flat on the ground, raise your body on your toes so that your body is balanced on your hands and toes.
Your body should be aligned from head to toe and your feet closer or wider, according to your comfort level. Don’t arch your back.
To begin the exercise, contract your stomach muscles and tighten your core muscles by taking your navel in towards your spine.
Your core should be kept tight throughout the exercise. Now, inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your body to form a 90⁰ angle.
As you push your body upwards to the start position, exhale without locking out your elbows. Just keep them slightly bent. Repeat as many times according to the demands of your workout.
Other benefits: It strengthens muscle and so builds bones.
3. Bedtime Stretching
It’s good to do some bedtime stretches as it could help you sleep peacefully.
These easy and effective exercises to sleep better can help you focus your attention towards yourself if you aim to hold each stretch for as long as you can.
To do this exercise, stand with your feet aligned with the distance between your hips and slightly bent at the knees.
Now, let your upper body fold over your legs in a way that allows your head to hang loose. Your arms should hang towards the floor. Repeat as many times as you need to feel relaxed.
Are you looking for some easy weight loss exercises? Read them here.
Other benefits: Your blood flow is sent to the head and this helps relax your shoulders and back.
So, sleep well and sleep enough. Did you know a healthy diet can also help in having good sleep?
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