7 exercises for better sleep.
Last week I shared the post Importance of sleep – Is sleep really that Important? about why sleep is so vital for our general health and overall life balance. This week I am digging into the toolbox of what we could maybe call physical sleeping remedies. These 7 exercises for better sleep are very easy to do, and you can do them in the comfort of your own bed.
Sleeping is the most important recovery. During sleep our thought process shuts down. Memories, impressions and new knowledge is being processed, while the heartrate and the boodpresure drops.
I created the draft for this little programme of 7 exercises for better sleep one Wednesday night around 2am during my last period of insomnia.
For the last couple of weeks I have done this programme or parts of the programme before going to sleep at night.
As I wroote in the beginning of the post you can do these exercise in the comfort of your bed. Either you can chose to do the whole programme which takes about 25-30 minutes, or you can chose to do just a couple of them .
Sometimes I like to just do:
- 1: Upside down relaxation – followed by
- 3:The back twist – and
- 5: Childs-pose – to end with
- 6: The breathing meditation.
But other days I chose a different combination or I might do the whole programme.
Remember to do the exercises Gentle and slowly even when you change position.
In the outline of the exercises I have written time-laps or amount of repetitions, but these are just a guidelines. Do yourself the favor not to set any alarms or timer app sounds. The last thing you need is any electronics disturbing your flow. Then it is better to just spend the time that feels right.
If you need a tip for a lovely winding down drink you can find the recipe for Golden Milk – the perfect goodnight drink right here
7 exercises for better sleep.
Upside down relaxation
Lie on your bed or on the floor and put your feet up against the wall. You can put a pillow under your pelvis.
This position is very simple but yet so effective and restorative.
Calming down your nervous system and your breathing. I like to put one hand on my belly and one hand on my chest ,to notice how my body shifts with my breathing.
Stay in the position a few minutes.
This exercise is calming and balances the Thyroid gland.
- Sit in easy pose or on the edge of your bed with your feet planted on the floor. Close your eyes and focus your attention to your third eye; the point between your eyebrows.
- Start doing little circles clockwise with your head – thinking that you have a pen on your chin and you are drawing circles in front of you.
- Breath in through your nose as you move your head to the side and up, and breath out through your nose, as you move your head to the other side and down.
- Start doing small yet slow circles. Each circle should be about 10 seconds.
- Do 10-15 circle clockwise – change direction and do 10-15 circle anti-clockwise
- Make sure to relax your chin and your mouth – you can even open your mouth wide as you move to the top of your
- This should never cause pain in your neck. If it does pull back and to the circles as small as you have to to not feel pain.
Back twist / easy wind down
This twist gently releases tension fron your spine and removes exess air from your digestive system.
- Sit in easy pose or on the edge of your bed with your feet planted on the floor.
- Exhale as you place your right hand on your left knee and left hand on the bed or surface behind you.
- Breathe in as you lengthen your spine and exhale to gently twist your torso to the left.
- Look over your left shoulder
- Take a few deep breaths here and gently return to the center. To repeat you the opposite site
Reclining Goddess Pose.
A Restorative pose that opens your groin and hip and calms your mind
- Lie on your back with your knees bend
- Place the sole of your feet together and let your knees fall open, forming a diamond with your legs.
- Let your arms rest down by your side.
- Stay here for 1-3 min
- If you feel any strain you can elevate your legs by placing a pillow underneath your knees
This is a restorative pose – stay here as long as you like
- Kneel on your bed with your knees hip-with apart and your big toes touching
- Breath in in this position and as you exhale bring your upperbody to rest on your thighs.
- Rest your arms beside your legs with your palms facing up, or extend your arms our in front of you. Whatever feels comfortable for you.
- Stay here for 10 long deep breaths.
Breathing meditation – breathing through left nostrils
Our nostils are connected to our Autonome nerve system. In this meditation you are activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms your mind, makes the blood pressure drop and the heartbeat slow down.
- Sit in easy pose or on the edge of your bed with your feet planted on the floor. Close your eyes and forcus your attention to your third eye, the point between your eyebrows.
Press right thump against your right nostril
- Take a deep breath through your left nostril
- Move over one finger on your right hand to cover your left nostril and breath out all air through your right nostril.
- Do this meditation for 5-10 min.
Body Scan or listen to Yoga Nidra
This is the last one, and hopefully you might not even get through this one.
Find your most comfortable position and be warm. Welcome your self in a cocoon of relaxation.
Be aware of your breath – where do you feel you breath. Maybe it´s the nostrils, maybe it´s the belly or maybe it´s somewhere else. Become the observer of your body. Scan through your body starting from your feet. If you find it hard or distubing to do this your self. I really recommend getting the free app. Insight timer. It has thousands of guided meditations to chose from, and it´s quite easy to navigate in and find a good meditation to help you sleep.
I hope that you can use this little programme, and I´m very curious to hear your thoughts and experiences. If you have any question about the programme or how to do it don´t hesitate to write me either here in the comments or by email on the contact page.
A big Thank you to Marie Sol from Bodywork for being my model for these pictures 🙂
Lots of Love and calm sleep.