Reason number 4,597 to finally commit to regular exercise: It’s been proven time and again to improve your nightlife (sleep, that is). People who work out both drift off faster and wake up less during the night, netting better overall sleep. And that means waking up feeling more refreshed—and more likely to have the energy to exercise the next day. See how that works?
If you don’t already have a regular activity habit, here are some great ways to sweat your way to sweeter dreams.
Go for an after-dinner walk.
If you’re looking for instant results, consider walking. Even a single bout of moderate exercise, like walking, helps adults with chronic insomnia fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Not only is it good for your zzz’s, but a post-meal stroll can also improve blood sugar control and help ward off type 2 diabetes. Best of all, the only gear you need is a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes, like these for women and these for men.
Skip some rope.
For an easy, portable way to slot in your daily workout, make like Rocky and grab a jump rope. While many people prefer to do vigorous exercise earlier in the day because it revs them up too much in the evenings, it doesn’t keep everyone up—and it may even help you sleep.Trial and error is the best way to know what suits your sleeping style. And while you’re at it, forget fancy weighted ropes—to burn a lot of calories fast, all you need is a simple speed rope.
Roll out your muscles.
Though a nightly massage would be magical, who can afford that? Foam rolling is the next best thing when it comes to working out the kinks in your muscles that accumulate over the course of the day. Plus, you can use it as workout tool for exercises that improve your balance and core strength. A basic, high-density foam roller is all you need to get started, but some hardcore rollers prefer more rigid styles with extra bumps and ridges or even battery-operated ones that add vibration.
Say “Om” for better zzz’s.
When it comes to better sleep, it’s hard to beat yoga: A good flow warms up your body, deepens your flexibility, builds strength, mellows your mind with meditation, and wraps up with some relaxation. In fact, a few yoga stretches make a great addition to a soothing bedtime routine. The best part: Comfy yoga pants make perfect PJs for women and men may prefer these.