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Pilates and Sleep: A winning routine

Posted on November 09, 2011

 

 
A while back , we talked about the positive effects that daylight can have on our well-being. Now let’s share a few thoughts about nighttime, and how Pilates can help you get the most of your bedtime hours.

It’s no secret to most of us that a regular routine of Pilates can help you sleep better at night. For anyone needing scientific evidence, a study was conducted at Appalachian State University, which proved just that. They found that a semester of Pilates improved the daily performance of college students, especially their moods and quality of sleep.

A good night of sleep was a key component in to Joe Pilates’ philosophy. He believed in a quiet, cool, well-ventilated bedroom with a light blanket and a firm mattress. Like many of us, he believed that any nervous energy we feel at night is the result of too little exercise during the day. As with all things Pilates, a well-practiced routine is key.

Designing a Pilates routine that is personally tailored for your needs is our specialty here at The Lift. Your instructor can help design a series of nighttime moves you can perform at home every night to help you prepare a restorative sleep. In the meantime, here a few tips you can try tonight.

Set a mandatory appointment with your pillow. Life makes it hard to do this sometimes, but try your best to go to bed at the same time every night. If anything, remind yourself that staying up too late is often a source of weight gain. Your body will thank you in the morning.

Breathe your cares away. Practice your Pilates breathing at bedtime. The slow, deep breaths through your nose mimic the rhythms of sleep and get your body in relaxation mode. Focus on filling your lungs with fresh air, and with every breath out, set aside the stressors of your day.

Get a spinal massage every night. Who wouldn’t like that? It’s easy to give one to yourself by practicing your rolling and unrolling exercises. Joe Pilates recommended these to relax the nerves and induce a sound, restful sleep.

As much as Pilates practice helps you sleep better at night, sleep improves your daily performance in general, and that includes your fitness performance. A solid routine of Pilates paired with a healthy sleep regimen is a win-win.

Do you use Pilates to unwind every night? Share your tips!