Pilates for better sleep

Pilates for better sleep

There’s nothing worse than lying in bed, tossing and turning, adjusting your pillows while all the while your anxiety level is steadily increasing.  Your brain is in overdrive with thoughts of what happened earlier in the day and what you have to do tomorrow.

In today’s busy world, insomnia can be a problem. Stress is the primary cause of insomnia, but so is a lack of sufficient physical activity during the day. But, if allowed to persist, insomnia can have a negative impact on your mood and appears to be the single biggest trigger with regards to depression and irritability.

One way to calm your brain down so you can get a better night’s sleep is with Pilates. Pilates exercises help to center and calm your mind, lengthen your muscles, and improve your circulation. By focusing on your mind-body connection, you can free your mind from all of those  random thoughts that are preventing your from getting the sleep that you need to wake up refreshed and ready to go.

Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates exercise method, provided some tips for better sleep in his book, “Return to Life Through Contrology:

  • Use the lightest covering it takes to stay warm
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Avoid bulky pillows
  • Sleep in a room that is cool, quiet, well-ventilated, and dark.

Mental calm = better sleep

According to Pilates, while the physical sleep environment is important to getting a good night’s sleep, the most critical element to a deeper and more refreshing sleep is mental calm.  Pilates principles and exercises can be used to develop a relaxing bedtime routine so you can achieve a deeper and more restorative sleep.

Establishing a regular routine to promote relaxation each night before you go to bed is essential to getting a good night’s sleep.  You want to strive for a good body temperature, an even breathing rate, and a resting heart rate.

Some Pilates moves that you can do before getting into bed to promote relaxation and a calm mind are:

  • Spine stretch forward and spinal twist
  • Wall roll down for a good back stretch
  • Pelvic curl
  • Shoulder rolls

These moves will help to lengthen out every part of your body, opening up your joints, stretching those tired muscles, and promoting good circulation. To increase your state of relaxation, incorporate your Pilates breathing into the last five minutes of your routine.

Ready to try Pilates?

If you need better sleep, but don’t want to use pills to achieve it, then consider Pilates. At Propel Pilates, our expert instructors can guide you through a program that incorporates the above exercises and more so that you can develop a bedtime routine to ensure that you’re getting a better night’s sleep.

We offer a variety of class times and levels of difficulty.  Call or click on our website today to sign up for a session.