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Pilates and Sleep

Sufficient good quality sleep is so important for strengthening our immune system, maintaining optimal hormone levels, maintaining a healthy blood glucose levels, increased stamina (as the body enters a state or repair during sleep) and improved brain function.


Similar to how a garden relies on the interdependence of sunlight and rain, exercise and sleep share a symbiotic relationship. Consistent exercise not only enhances physical fitness and well-being but also helps to set the stage for a more rejuvenating sleep.


Conversely a good night sleep provides the foundation necessary for efficient energy and recovery that will fuel effective workouts.


Completing just 30 minutes of moderate level exercise has been found to significantly improve both duration and quality of sleep. Given that Pilates integrate aspects of aerobic, strength, breath control and mindfulness exercises it stands as one of the most effective non-pharmacological interventions to improve sleep quality. With its emphasis on a mind-body approach, Pilates helps to improve sleep quality by increasing the production of melatonin, reducing stress, improving overall mood and regulating internal body temperature. Therefore, integrating Pilates into your daily routine is an excellent way to elevate your overall sleep hygiene.


Our Wednesday Morning Zoom class always has a short relaxation section at the end of class.  The trigger point class on Tuesday mornings at St Mary’s uses spikey massage balls and stretching as you do your Pilates to help release tension in the muscles.  Using spikey balls on the upper back and shoulders, under the neck and the head are especially useful for promoting relaxation.   Class members have access to a library of videos, not just Pilates classes, but trigger point classes, relaxations, chillax classes, spikey ball release videos for the spine and shoulders all of which are likely to aid a better night’s sleep.


10 tips to improve sleep hygiene:


1 – Get 30-45 minutes or moderate exercise a day.

2 – Even better take that exercise outside in the early morning to expose yourself to natural sunlight to help synchronise natural circadian rhythms.

3 – Keep to a regular bed time, and getting up time to help regulate the body’s internal clock.

4 – Quieten your internal dialogue by establishing consistent meditation / relaxation routine before bed to promote a peaceful night’s sleep.

5 – Limit screen time 1-2 hours before sleep. The blue light emitted by your screens promotes the production of daytime hormones and disorientates the body from a natural night time wind down.

6 – Keep your bedroom cool.  The body initiates sleep as the body temperature drops.  The ideal temperature is between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.

7 - Embrace an early morning, aligning your wakeup time and bedtime with the natural circadian rhythms of the Earth promotes better quality sleep.

8 – Set a caffeine curfew. Avoiding caffeine after 2 pm allows the body sufficient time to miller metabolise and eliminate caffeine to promote a smoother transition into a state optimal for a good sleep.

9 – Limit napping time during the day to prevent disruptions to the natural sleep-wake cycle.

10 – Avoid sleeping eating three hours before bed, allowing the digestive system to settle in order to promote the likelihood of an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

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