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Stick to a strict sleep and exercise schedule for best results.
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If you prefer to work out in the evening, you might find that you have trouble winding down and going to sleep after getting your heart pumping. Exercise, however, can actually be an ally in the fight for better sleep as opposed to an adversary. The key is sticking to a schedule. People who work out at night need to create a consistent practice of relaxing activities that bridge the gap between working out and dozing off.1.
Work out, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Sleeping in for a couple of hours on weekends is permitted, as is taking a day off from the gym. In general, however, sticking to a schedule primes your body to fall asleep at a certain time.2.
Finish your workout 4 hours before you go to bed and eat a light dinner 2 hours before. Have a serving of whole grains or carbohydrate-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes or have fresh fruit for dessert. The serotonin boost you get from healthy carbs can help you fall asleep.3.
Come home from your evening workout and take a hot, relaxing bath instead of a quick shower at the gym. Heat the water to at least 100-degrees Fahrenheit. If desired, add relaxing herbs to your bath, such as lavender or chamomile, or toss in a handful of Epsom salts to help soothe your sore muscles. Stay in the tub for at least 20 minutes.4.
Do yoga poses in bed to stretch after a hard workout and prepare for a good night's sleep. Before you hit the sack, do a few deep forward bends, focusing on loosening and relaxing your lower back. Once you crawl into bed, do a Seated Spinal Twist on each side, then spend a few minutes in Child's pose before rolling over onto your back and pulling your knees into your chest. Finish with Happy Baby before dozing off in Corpse pose.5.
Go to bed only when you're ready to go to sleep. Don't get sucked into TV or the internet in bed -- instead, sip a cup of chamomile tea, read a few pages of a book or listen to soothing music.