Insomnia is a frequent accompaniment of stress. If you reduce its level with relaxation exercises, there is a chance to get rid of sleep problems. Together with an expert, we tell you how to relieve tension in the body, “unload” the brain and help yourself get enough sleep.
Why Is De-Stressing Before Bed So Important?
Our lives are subject to stress. The endless race of “home – work” and now we are always in an excited state. As a result, people, even when they come to calm stretching workouts, cannot relax: it’s easier for them to squat with a barbell or hit a punching bag.
Meanwhile, relaxation is important for the whole body. The nervous system must respond to stressors with excitement, but then slow down and recover. If you are on edge all the time and do not come to a comfortable state, it becomes overloaded and does not have time to recover. This has a bad effect on your well-being and makes it difficult to fall asleep.
There are studies that many residents of megacities suffer from insomnia, and it is getting younger and younger. Only students fall asleep normally, while those who are already working have problems sleeping. Whereas before this was typical only for older people.
Better sleep at night allows the body to recover physically and mentally. At this time, the brain sorts and remembers information, and other systems accumulate energy, neurotransmitters, and hormones for the next day. This is when muscle recovery occurs, which consumes fat.
How Calming Exercises Can Help
Any repetitive action helps you calm down and speeds up falling asleep. Psychologists and somnologists recommend developing a personal ritual to prepare for bed. Gradually, a person will get used to a set of movements or actions, after which he goes to rest. This evening routine could be, for example, meditation or yoga before bed.
In addition to its ritual significance, evening relaxation also works on a physical level. Exercises before bed allow you to slow down, listen to your breathing, to the sensations in your own body. They allow you to switch from disturbing pressing issues to a feeling of here and now. This reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body and relaxes the muscles, making it easier to fall asleep.
What Relaxation Exercises Can You Use?
There is quite a wide choice here. We list the main options:
relaxing yoga techniques;
static and smooth dynamic stretching;
All types of gymnastics, which are based on soft, calm movements, relax tense muscles. Relaxation of muscles and tense connective tissue gives feedback to the brain that the time of tension has passed. This affects both consciousness and subconsciousness. Over many centuries of evolution, man has not come so far from the state when, in order to fall asleep, one had to feel safe. Relaxation and non-tension of muscles creates this comfortable and safe feeling.
Breathing Exercise Program for Home
I suggest using simple practices in which we observe our breathing. During the exercise, direct your breath to the sides of the chest and to the lower ribs.
In ordinary life, there should be full deep breathing, in which the ribs expand evenly, the diaphragm moves down and the entire volume of the lungs is filled with air. Due to stress, a person often constricts and breathes only from the upper chest. The stomach also pulls in so that it doesn’t protrude. This creates even more tension and the diaphragm has nowhere to move.
Therefore, make sure that all ribs expand when you inhale. Pay special attention to the lower ones and those located on the back – they are always forgotten about.
The exercises that I will show you today should be done immediately before going to bed. At least two to three hours should pass between dinner and bedtime. So, you had something light for dinner. After about two hours, it’s time to lay out the rug, turn on some calm music, dim the lights and move around a little. This way the brain will receive a signal that it’s time to go to rest.
Engaging in relaxation exercises before bed, such as deep breathing and gentle stretches, can help you unwind and prepare for a restful night’s sleep, leaving you refreshed to enjoy online casino games like demo gems bonanza the next day.
- Opening the Chest
Sit with one bent leg in front of you and the other at your side. Lean on your palm at a comfortable distance from your side. Extend your other arm as a continuation of your supporting arm.
As you inhale, bend the elbow of your supporting arm, lowering your shoulder.
Reach towards your free hand, extending yourself beyond its pinky finger.
Make sure the ribs open up towards the ceiling.
The purpose of the exercise is to move the thoracic spine and feel how breathing expands the ribs, how the distance between them increases and decreases. Work at a slow, comfortable pace.
- Lowering the Lower Back
Sit with your legs slightly bent. Place your feet at a comfortable distance.
Place your palms on the backs of your thighs.
As you exhale, twist your pelvis and stretch your sacrum and lower back towards the floor, rounding your lower back.
As you inhale, stretch behind the top of your head, straighten your shoulders, and sit on your ischial tuberosities.
The goal is to flex and extend the pelvis and lower spine, improving mobility.
Sit on the floor, straighten your legs and back. If your back is rounded, bend your knee joints until it becomes comfortable to sit with a straight back.
As you exhale, bend forward, stretching your stomach forward along your hips, chest and arms behind your knees.
As you inhale, rise up, lengthening your body upward behind your arms and crown.
Do not try to stretch through the pain; stretching should be comfortable. If the movement cannot be continued, find a comfortable amplitude. The goal is relaxation, not hard stretching.
- Shoulder Bridge
Get down on your back. Stretch your head and ischial tuberosities in different directions.
Place your arms along your body as additional support.
Place your feet at such a distance from the buttocks that it is comfortable to rest on the entire metatarsus.
As you exhale, press your feet into the floor. Stretch your knees forward and slowly lift your buttocks first, then your sacrum, then your lumbar spine, lower ribs, and thoracic vertebrae vertebra by vertebra to about the middle of your shoulder blades.
Lower yourself back down, vertebra by vertebra. Please note: when the lower ribs lie on the floor, the lower back still remains suspended.
The purpose of the exercise is to articulate the spine so that each component moves relative to its neighbors. This improves their nutrition, since it occurs only during movement, and reduces back tension.