As you probably noticed during our Bed & Bracket Sleep Challenge, your sleep quality is intrinsically connected to your overall health. We already tackled nutrition, and for our final week of sleep challenges, you will learn how fitness and exercise impact your ability to sleep peacefully through the night.
"Plain and simple, I sleep better on the days I work out for a minimum of 30 minutes and preferably for 1 hour whether that be biking or running or lifting or whatever form of exercise you choose. Remember that the more intense you can get your body to exercise for just 1 hour out of a 24-hour day, the deeper you will sleep!"
-Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, SHEEX Co-Founder
Scheduling exercise and engaging in arduous physical activity can help you fall asleep faster when you curl up in your sheets. Dig in and participate in our week four challenges for a chance to win this week's prize and our grand prize of a complete SHEEX Performance Sleep System. Improve your overall sleep quality by completing our 7 exercise and sleep challenges:
1. Track your daily exercise on a Fitbit device or similar tracker. Hold yourself accountable to get at least one hour of exercise before bed so your body is rested and ready to recharge. Set an alarm 90 minutes before your ideal bedtime so you can squeeze in a workout at home if necessary. Many of these devices can also track your sleep patterns at night to give you a holistic view of the connection between sleep and fitness.
2. Perform a yoga routine before going to bed. The ever-popular physical postures of the yoga lifestyle, called asana, help promote peacefulness and a body-mind connection. No need to attempt any difficult poses - complete our four favorite yoga poses for sleep before you get into bed to feel more centered and relaxed.
3. Engage in deep abdominal breathing before falling asleep. Learning to breathe consistently through your abdomen is a key skill for professional singers and actors, and it can also help your entire body feel more relaxed. Taking focused, deep breaths from your abdomen reduces tension and stress in your body, helping you naturally ease into sleep.
4. Change your workout time to improve your sleep quality. The scheduling of your daily exercise depends on what type of workout you prefer. One study found that working out in the morning is best for a good night's sleep if you do cardio, while a related study found that early evening (around 7 p.m.) is the best time to do resistance weight training for a peaceful rest.
5. Go to bed earlier than usual. Shifting the time you climb into bed even thirty minutes earlier will help you awake earlier and provide more time to exercise before work. Once you get into a fitness routine you'll tire faster, fall asleep earlier, and rise in the morning more refreshed after a fulfilling night's sleep in time to hit the gym. Choosing to sleep earlier is a simple step that can reap long term rewards. If you want an additional challenge today, share your Sleep Challenge stories with us on social media with the hashtag #ScoreWithSHEEX.
6. Make a month-long exercise plan for April. Planning ahead will help you stick to your fitness routine. Switch it up and alternate between group sports, cardio, weight training, and other forms of exercise so you are doing something active every day. People who stick to a fitness plan can expect the best results. In a recent study regular exercise led to a notable increase in the amount of restful sleep per night in patients with insomnia.
7. Exercise with a friend. Having an accountability partner will ensure you stick to your fitness routine after the challenge has ended. Opt for a midday walk to catch up while you burn those calories, or sign up for a new group fitness class you both have been meaning to try. Convince your partner to undertake our sleep challenges next month so you can hold each other accountable. After you exercise you can celebrate a successful four weeks - you've completed the SHEEX Bed & Bracket Sleep Challenge! Use your email address to sign up for the SHEEX Bed & Bracket Sleep Challenge this week and enter to win our week four prize. You'll be automatically be entered to win our grand prize: a complete SHEEX Performance Sleep System! Winners will be notified via email. We want to see your progress - share your success stories on social media using #ScoreWithSHEEX. Finish out week four strong by completing these 7 fitness sleep challenges, and see what a difference regular exercise can make in your overall sleep quality.