Joseph Pilates, the creator of the popular exercise, was known for having a holistic approach to health. In other words, he strongly believed that everything in our lives is connected to our health. That includes our exercise regimen and our sleep! In his book, Return to Life Through Contrology, Pilates gives some good advice on how to sleep better. Read on to learn more!
The Right Sleep Environment
The book suggests that the room should be quiet, cool, dark, and well-ventilated. It also says you should sleep on a firm mattress, use a light blanket in order to keep warm without overheating ,and stay away from big, bulky pillows. Aside from the advice he gives for the physical sleep environment, he also recommends achieving a state of mental calm in order to get better rest. He claims that this mental calm can be achieved through exercise.
However, his advice goes against the ordinary—if you can’t sleep, get up and exercise. He doesn’t mean go for a run. Pilates specifically stated that spinal rolling exercises could help with better and deeper sleep. These exercises relax the nerves and massage the spine while helping restore the spine’s natural flexibility. He states, “It is better to be tired from physical exertion than to be fatigued by the poisons generated by nervousness while lying awake.”
He specifically suggested trying four different spinal exercises for when you cannot sleep: the wall roll down, the rollback the spine stretch, and the pelvic curl. The wall roll down may be the easiest of the four to do in the bedroom, as all it requires is a wall for you to stand with your back against. You then begin to bend at the back and reach down towards the floor, allowing your back muscles and spine to expand. We will go over the others in the future, or even in our Pilates classes at the studio!
We feel that we must mention Joseph Pilates’ attempt to create a bed that went along with all his other fitness equipment. He claimed that it was the most healthful and ergonomic choice for sleeping, but it was not a big hit with the public. In case you were curious, it’s shaped like a wide wedge. Still, some people experiment with his original plans from time to time.
Exercise and Sleep
In the end, many specialists do not recommend trying to get in a workout before bed in order to sleep better. However, we do know that exercising regularly and daily is a great way to tire out your body and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Contact the professionals at Re:Gen Pilates today and sign up for one of our fitness classes! We offer yoga, Pilates, barre, and spin classes to help you grow stronger, burn away calories, and tire you out so you are ready to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. We look forward to seeing you in class soon.