5 Pilates Moves for Better Sleep

If you’ve tried all the bedtime rituals and still have trouble winding down, you may want to add pilate exercise for better sleep.

According to the American Journal of Medicine, humans need to get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep every night to stay healthy.

Unfortunately, most of us are walking around with only a few hours of sleep every night (5 hours on average), and there’s nothing high quality about a night of restless tossing and turning.

Worse still is the fact that there are all kinds of dangerous and disastrous health issues that arise when you’re not getting plenty of sleep.

Such health issues as heart disease, heart attack, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes have all been linked to those that have a history of sleep deprivation.

90% of the people with insomnia have at least one other major health condition they are fighting at the exact same time.

When insomnia sets in, or we need a deeper sleep than we’re getting, it can be frustrating, but Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates Method of Exercise, had a holistic approach to fitness and he wrote tips for getting better sleep.

Pilates Sleep Tips

Set Your Sleep Environment

Pilates says the room should be cool, quiet, well ventilated, and dark. The mattress should be firm, and you should avoid bulky pillows.

Also, use the lightest covering it takes to be warm.

Mental Calm Through Exercise for Better Sleep

The most important element of better and deeper sleep is mental calm, and a troubled nervous system can be alleviated with exercise.

Regular exercise is frequently recommended by experts as a natural way of overcoming sleep problems.

So, get up and exercise, and Joseph Pilates specifically suggests spinal rolling exercises for better and deeper sleep.

The rolling and unrolling exercises, massage the spine, relax the nerves, help cleanse the body, and restore natural flexibility of the spine.

Pilates Exercises for Better Sleep

Here are 5 pilates moves that will have you sleeping like a baby:

The 100 (Hundred)

Lie on your back, curl your head and chest up. Extend legs out to a 45-degree angle, and reach arms out by sides.

Begin pumping arms up and down with a range of motion of around 5 inches. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts, and bend everything in. Get a rest.

Try gazing at your navel throughout the exercise to keep head and neck in proper position, and actively scoop the abdominals in, as if there’s a bowling ball on your stomach.

Forward Spine Stretch

Sit up tall with legs extended in front of you. Open as wide as the mat with feet flexed.

Reach arms out in front of you so that they are parallel to the floor, and inhale, lift spine, and grow taller.

Exhale, round forward reaching toward toes, inhale, roll back up, exhale, sit tall.

Focus your mind in on controlling the movement from the core because it’s all about elongation of the spine from a controlled place.

Saw

Sit tall with legs extended in front of you and open as wide as the mat. Arms reached out to the side, and twist toward one side.

Dive over legs, reaching for pinkie toe, then roll up, staying twisted. Untwist center, reverse, reaching for the other side.

Keep arms straight out across from shoulders, and think about twisting from the torso and wringing your abdominals out like a towel.

The Mermaid

Start off down on your knees, with your legs bent behind you. Then simply stuff one of your arms up into the air, really stretching it up as far as it’ll go, before you start to bend down to the opposite side.

Keep your arm and neck straight the whole way down, but also make sure that you take 5-8 seconds to go from the upright position all the way down to as far as you can bend. Try to bend even a little bit more.

Rise and repeat with the other hand and your other side for about 3 minutes.

Twisted Cat

Kneel with hands under shoulders and knees hip-width apart. Reach one hand under the body and out to the side, and let your head rest on the mat.

Look in the direction the hand is reaching, and hold for 30 seconds, feeling the great twist and stretch in your spine.

Repeat on another side, and ensure that you actively draw shoulders down and take deep, full breaths.

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