Pilates for Better Sleep: Tips and Tricks

18 May 2023

Do you toss and turn at night, struggling to fall asleep? You’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of adults report getting less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep quality can lead to a variety of negative health outcomes, including weight gain, depression, and even cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep, and one of them is practicing Pilates.

Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on strengthening and stabilizing the core muscles of the body. It was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, and has since become popular all over the world. While most people associate Pilates with its physical benefits, such as improved flexibility and posture, recent research has shown that it can also be beneficial for sleep.

One study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that practicing Pilates for just 8 weeks improved sleep quality in older women with insomnia. Another study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that Pilates can improve sleep quality in athletes, and may even enhance their athletic performance.

So how can you use Pilates to improve your sleep? Here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Focus on breathing. Pilates emphasizes deep, diaphramatic breathing, which can help to calm the mind and body. Try taking slow, deep breaths into the low ribs as you move through your Pilates routine.
  2. Stretch before bed. Gentle stretching can help to release tension in the body, making it easier to fall asleep. Incorporate some basic Pilates stretches into your bedtime routine.
  3. Practice regularly. Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the benefits of Pilates. Try to practice at least a few times a week to see improvements in your sleep quality.
  4. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling particularly tired or stressed, don’t push yourself too hard in your Pilates practice. Instead, focus on gentle movements that feel good for your body.
  5. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Take a warm bath, read a book, or listen to soothing music to signal to your body that it's time to wind down.
  1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bed: These can interfere with sleep quality and cause disruptions throughout the night.
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body's sleep-wake cycle.
  3. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet: Make sure your sleeping environment is conducive to sleep by reducing noise, light, and temperature.
  4. Limit screen time before bed: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep.
  5. Practice relaxation techniques: Breathwork, meditation, and EFT tapping exercises can help free your mind and reduce anxiety before bed.
  6. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows: A good quality mattress and pillows that support your body can help improve sleep quality. Buckwheat pillows work well for neck issues that can happen during sleep.


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