Exercise daily as it will boost your sleep quality.

How Exercise Can Maximise Sleep

Exercise daily as it will boost your sleep quality.
Exercise daily as it will boost your sleep quality.

Insomnia feels just like that moment when you have 15 different tabs open in your web browser and one of them is playing an advert. You’re not sure which tab the sound is coming from, but it grows louder and louder until you try to close down the whole window and your computer crashes. It may sound slightly odd, but think of your body as a computer, it needs to shut down but it has all of these programmes working in the background. I know this all too well, in fact I’m sleep-deprived as I write this. Insomnia is surprisingly common and it can make life very difficult. You can’t think during the day, everything happens in slow motion and you live with a permanent headache. Regardless of this, there are some things that you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.

Bedtime routine

The first thing is to ensure that you have a bedtime routine. This will allow your body to prepare itself for sleep and acknowledge that it should start to relax. Worries and stress can prevent your body from being calm, and so it’s crucial that you have some sort of means of de-stressing as part of this bedtime routine. Your actual bedtime routine should start a few hours before you need to sleep, because it gives your body time to unwind.

Now, everybody does things differently, but one of the best forms of de-stressing is exercise. We always look at exercise as a means of being healthy, but it can actually be a prime factor in helping you sleep. It is not only good for your health and fitness, but it can tire you out to the point where you’ll fall asleep. Think of it as a way of overworking your body so it can shut down, just like a computer would.

Exercise

Before we get started on the different kinds of exercises you can partake in, lets discuss the way that exercise can help us sleep. You’ll find that these reasons can act as motivating factors whenever you are feeling lazy. When you exercise, it causes your body temperature to rise, which means it is inevitably going to fall at some point later on. When your body temperature falls, it will allow your body to fall asleep. However it is important that you give your body time to do this. For example, if you exercise and then immediately try to sleep, your body will be too energised. However, if you try to sleep a few hours after you have exercised, you will find that you fall asleep quicker because your body temperature has had time to drop.

Types of exercise

 

There are two different types of exercise, aerobic and anaerobic. The former increases the amount of oxygen that is in the blood and the latter generally involves slower exercises designed to improve your overall fitness. To help you sleep, I recommend aerobic exercises as they are likely to get your heart rate going, causing your body temperature to rise quicker. There are also many types of aerobic exercises for you to pick from which allows for diversity to keep things exciting. Aerobic exercises can include everything from jogging to cycling; anything that gets your heart rate going.

The best thing to do is begin with anaerobic exercises in order to build up your strength and work your way up to the aerobic exercises. You only need to exercise for a period of 20 to 30 minutes. This can include anything from walking or running, the overall goal is to increase your heart rate and the amount of oxygen that is reaching your blood. Opt for your favourite forms of exercise, because it will allow you to enjoy yourself and this in turn will make you feel good (not to mention the endorphins that are released once you’ve exercised).

There are other forms of exercise that you can do:

Yoga
Yoga involves breathing techniques and different postures in order to increase the blood circulation in the body. Doing this over time can really help to relieve you of stress, helping you sleep better because you won’t have anything to keep you up at night. There are also many forms of Yoga for you to try, so once you have got the hang of the basics, you can always move on to more complex postures. Yoga also has many other health benefits and so it can help you with your overall fitness.

Tai-Chi

Tai-Chi is another form of breathing that helps to promote relaxation. When you suffer from insomnia, it almost feels like you are out of balance, and Tai-Chi is a perfect way to harmonise your mind and body in order to feel more in tune. This can act as a stress reliever and is a very simple meditation. Tai-Chi is also beneficial for people that may potentially be unable to participate in aerobic activities, for example someone that has a disability.

Find the exercise that works for you and then use it as a form of stress relief. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you fall asleep and also how healthy you feel on a daily basis. A lack of sleep can have a strong impact on all areas of your life, it can make you grumpy, irritable and it prevents you from working to the best of your ability. Try out exercise and see what it can do for you!

Good luck and happy sleeping!

This article was written by Qurratulain Zaheer, a loyal insomniac and lover of sleep. She recommends Silentnight mattresses for the ultimate night of relaxed sleep.

image_pdfimage_print

Meditation Exercise to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

This is guest post by Ms. Jessica Tanner about using mindfulness meditation to reduce anxiety and depression.

How can Meditation Help?

If you have anxiety or depression, meditation can help you relax and regain control over your thoughts and situation. The thing about meditation is (if you do a Mindfulness exercise) that it allows you to be in the present moment and focus only on now. This allows you to take control over your thoughts, which often times control you, and keep you in this negative and depressed state, where you feel trapped and like there is no way up. Of course your first action when experiencing symptoms of depression, should be to contact people who can help you such as your doctor. They are there to help you get through this. Meditation can be used as a complementary treatment alongside any other treatment.

Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is very effective for anxiety and depression.

Continue reading

image_pdfimage_print
photo by: h.koppdelaney

Mindfulness Meditation: What It Is, What It Does, and How You Can Do It!

Here is an informative article on mindfulness meditation I stumbled upon today :-

Whether you’re a veteran meditator looking to enhance your repertoire of wellness techniques, or a beginner looking for a meditative practice that’s a right fit, mindfulness meditation is a great place to start.

Here’s a look at what it is, where it came from and how it evolved, what its benefits are, as well as a look at some helpful tips to get you started.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation
A woman doing mindfulness meditation

In an interview with Maia Szalavitz, health writer and neuroscience journalist for Time.com, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “My working definition of mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment – non-judgmentally. And the non-judgmental part is the kicker, because we’ve got ideas and opinions about virtually everything.” Continue reading

image_pdfimage_print

No matter what, never lose your hope

Long long ago, I stumbled upon in a book, one motivational line on hope . It was like this probably :

A man can survive almost any condition as long as he has some hope.

We often become disappointed with failures. However, we must understood that failure and success are the two sides of a same coin.  As the saying goes, : failure is never final success is never ending

If you are failing to meditate because of whatever reason, you must not lose your heart. Often trying to hard is the main cause of the problem. When it comes to meditation, we need to be as natural and effortless as we can. The more we fight with our mind, the more it will become strong. The human mind is a very very clever opponent.  You need a subtle force to tame it.

Coming back to the hope word, here is this beautiful poster about hope.  I hope you will enjoy it:

Hope
Hope gives us life.

Whether it is the subtle goal of meditation or a tangible goal of any worldly pursuit,  keeping hope till we succeed is the way to go.

image_pdfimage_print

Meditation : A simple phenomenon

Meditation is indeed a very simple phenomenon. The only thing you need is a clear understanding of it. Let me share with you a thought provoking video on meditation from a talk by Osho. In this video Osho has simplified the entire concept of meditation in his beautiful voice and powerful style.

Meditation is a very simple phenomenon :

(Video Courtesy : Osho International Foundation)

Here is a full transcript of the video for all those who have a slow internet connection :) :-

When you are not doing anything at all – bodily, mentally, on no level – when all activity has ceased and you simply are, just being, that’s what meditation is. You cannot do it, you cannot practice it; you have only to understand it.

Whenever you can find time for just being, drop all doing. Thinking is also doing, concentration is also doing, contemplation is also doing. Even if for a single moment you are not doing anything and you are just at your center, utterly relaxed — that is meditation. And once you have got the knack of it, you can remain in that state as long as you want; finally you can remain in that state for twenty-four hours a day.

Once you have become aware of the way your being can remain undisturbed, then slowly you can start doing things, keeping alert that your being is not stirred. That is the second part of meditation. First, learning how just to be, and then learning little actions: cleaning the floor, taking a shower, but keeping yourself centered. Then you can do complicated things.

For example, I am speaking to you, but my meditation is not disturbed. I can go on speaking, but at my very center there is not even a ripple; it is just silent, utterly silent.

So meditation is not against action.

It is not that you have to escape from life.

It simply teaches you a new way of life:

You become the center of the cyclone.

Your life goes on, it goes on really more intensely — with more joy, with more clarity, more vision, more inspiration, more creativity — yet you are aloof, just a watcher on the hills, simply seeing all that is happening around you.

You are not the doer, you are the watcher.

That’s the whole secret of meditation, that you become the watcher. Doing continues on its own level, there is no problem: chopping wood, drawing water from the well. You can do all small and big things; only one thing is not allowed and that is, your centering should not be lost.

That awareness, that watchfulness, should remain absolutely unclouded, undisturbed.

Meditation is a very simple phenomenon.

image_pdfimage_print