Can't Sleep? Get Moving!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 04:42PM
Exercise and other types of physical activity can help you get a better night of sleep.


HOUSTON, Texas - Can't sleep? You're not alone. More than one third of adults get less than seven hours of sleep a night, according to SleepAssociation.org.

The same organization says between 50 and 70 million Americans have sleep disorders that are keeping them from getting a good night's rest. The good news? One of the solutions is super easy - get moving!

Anessa Le is a mom of three young children who rarely gets enough sleep.

"Between my kids and my busy schedule, it's hard to get a full night's rest," saID Le.

But when she started working out a few days a week at Orange Theory Fitness, she noticed improvement.

"I can just de-stress in the hour that I'm here," she explains.

While as little as 10 minutes of exercise can improve sleep, Orange Theory Fitness Regional Head Coach Tommy DiFruscio says regular exercise makes the biggest difference.

"We're looking for about 150 minutes a week of good quality exercise," says DiFruscio.

It should be a combination of cardio -- to get the heart rate up for several minutes -- and resistance training.

"We're looking for dumbbells, TRX movements, balance movements," adds DiFruscio.

Then, at night, he recommends floor stretches, like a spinal twist or butterfly stretch to relax your body and muscles, and he says slow, deliberate breathing is key.

"You want to make sure you breathe in, exhale during your stretch, in through your nose and out of your mouth," he says.

Another stretch to try is the cobra.

"A cobra is when you lay down on your stomach, you place your hands under your shoulders, keeping your hips stationary on the ground, you're going to push up, allowing your back to arch, and you're going to stretch the upper part of your abdomen," DiFruscio explained.

He also recommends a knee to chest stretch to release tension in the lower back and glutes.

"You need to make sure to hold each stretch for 30 seconds at least. You need to let your muscles relax," said DiFruscio.

Incorporating regular exercise and this short stretch routine made a huge difference for Le.

"I'm sleeping much better. Of course, my kids still wake up, but because i get to get my exercise in, I can fully just rest at night because I'm tired. I'm tired from the workout," said Le.

Stretches before bed shouldn't take long. As little as five minutes of light stretching with slow breathing can make a difference in your sleep.


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