Natural Sleep Aids

Natural sleep aids includes exercises. I found this quite by surprise. I am thin and know that resistive exercise helps to add muscle mass. So I began doing a couple of simple exercises right before going to bed. What a surprise that I started sleeping better too.

Do Resistance and Stretching Exercises

Glen is more knowledgeable in exercise programs than I am so he indicated to me that I would get better results if I did the resistive exercises every other night and do some easy stretching exercises on the off night.

These exercises take about 5 minutes and I do them right before I get into bed. I don't do anything else, just climb in bed.

Caution

One word of caution: if you are under a great deal of stress and your mind is caught up on some problems, you might look at How to Reduce Stress with Food and Exercise to help as well. This could easily be included as one or your favorite natural sleep aids.

Trying to go to sleep while dealing with stressful problems not resolved during the day will not necessarily resolve by doing exercises before you go to bed. The exercises will definitely relax you but the problems might still interfere with a good night's sleep

Two Resistance Exercises Before Bedtime

Just before going to bed I do these two simple resistance exercise for my legs and upper body as a natural sleep aid.

  • Legs - I use an open door in my bedroom. I hold the door knobs on either side of the door and do deep knee bends. I began doing a little more as I found the level easier and easier to do.

    I first started out doing 5, then graduated up to 10 and then 15, etc. The number of times I do this does vary if I miss doing them for a week or so. The most I do is about 20 in an evening.

    I find this to be a really excellent natural sleep aid because it gets me breathing more deeply and opens up my circulation. It's interesting that this is very relaxing.

  • Upper Body - I do wall push-ups similar to what my husband does as floor push-ups. I call these "girl push-ups" but I'm sure not all girls stick with this type.

    I stand back from the wall about two feet while placing my hands on the wall - fingers pointing up, as wide apart as extended straight from my shoulders.

    It's a comfortable position to lean forward and to move back while your feet are stationery about 18 inches from the wall. Again, this would depend on your size and comfort. You keep your body straight from head to to toe. Move toward the wall until your arms form a 90% angle at the elbow and then return to starting poistion.

    I continue to keep my hands on the wall to work my arms, shoulders and back muscles, while moving my upper body back and forth in relation to the wall.

I then go to bed immediately feeling very relaxed and fall asleep easily.

Stretching is a Natural Sleep Aid

These two stretching exercises are wonderful right before bedtime. I learned these from the "Calenetics" book written by Callan Pinckney. I highly recommend that you get the book and her Calenetics DVD.

Her whole serious of exercises will help you change your body into a well structured form when you follow her program. The DVD will ensure you duplicate each exercise as she intended.

Here are two exercises that I do, but I strongly suggest you get the exact instructions from the Callanetics book and DVD for best results.

  • Legs - I sit on the floor with my legs extended and apart as wide as is comfortable (about three feet apart). Then with both hands together, one on top of the other, I lean down and touch my left ankle lightly. I remain in this position, while moving about 1/4 of an inch, to the count of 25.

    Then I do the same thing with my right ankle. Same position, while moving about 1/4 of an inch, forward and back to the count of 25.

    Next, while I keep my legs in the same position, I place my hands (still one hand on top of the other) on an imaginary point on the floor, equal distance between both ankles.

    I remain in this position, while moving about 1/4 of an inch, forward and back to the count of 25.

  • Upper Body - I lay on my back, legs straight, upper arms extended straight out from my upper body, arms still resting on the floor. I then bend my lower arms upwards as close to a 90 degree angles as possible, which extends my hands slightly above my head. I keep my shoulders on the floor as much as possible while doing this exercise.

    Maintaing the above position of of my upper body, I lift my right leg up, bending at the knee. Keep my left leg and the rest of my upper body on the floor I move my knee over the left side of my body as far as I can while keeping my shoulders on the floor.

    I move slightly back and forth about 1/4 of an inch to the count of 50. Then I do the left leg, crossing over to the right side, moving slightly back and forth about 1/4 of an inchto the count of 50.

Now crawl into bed. This is so relaxing you should drop easily off to sleep.

Please note: I am giving you my rendition of this exercise so do get the professional version from Callan Pinckney. It's well worth the money.

Food as a Natural Sleep Aid

There is a lot of controversy about what time to eat, and what you should eat so you sleep better. There are so many reasons why people don't sleep.

Food as a natural sleep aid can only be a guess since each person has their own mix of foods through out the day to begin with.

I believe food should be eaten at least four hours before bed time. This does allow digestion to be complete before retiring. The body does other things that could be interfered with if it's given the last meal to digest during the night as well. This could leave a toxic residue in the morning with resulting aches and pains.

I prefer to eat a well balanced diet during the day, leaving four hours before retiring after the last meal and then, simply do my exercises and go to bed on time.

How About Water?

Definitely Yes! Natural sleep aids have to include water. Drinking enough water throughout the day is also very important.

An agreed upon amount to drink every day is one ounce times half your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, then 75 ounces of water would be appropriate. I don't recommend you rely on this figure though. Everyone is different and it's important to work out your own requirements. I have found it's better to err on the side of more water spread out over the entire day than to drink less than the above suggested amount.

Important - Pace yourself so you don't have to meet your daily quota in the evening. Drinking a lot of water before bedtime, can have you making bathroom trips every few hours during the night.

References

  • Ten Minute Tone-Ups For Dummies by Cyndi Targosz
  • Callanetics by Callan Pinckney
  • The Healing Power of Water by Dr. Batmanghelidj

Disclaimer

The information we share on this site and this page is what we personally experience and does not mean another person will experience the same thing. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA.

The information on this page is not meant to mislead anyone. If you are ill or under the care of a health practitioner, please ensure you consult him/her before starting any new food or exercise program.

It is also recommended by professional exercise trainers that people always consult their health care provider before beginning an exercise program.



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