Secret to a Better Nights Sleep: Foam Rolling
What is one thing we always need more of but never seem to get enough? Sleep!
With a 2 month old, I can say I did not realize how much I appreciated a full nights rest until now. So, what little precious snooze time we do get cannot be wasted on bad sleep quality or interruptions with factors we can control, such as a busy brain.
If I told you getting a little more action with your foam roller before bedtime could really help your quality of sleep, would this pique your interest?
Think of how you feel after a massage or foam rolling your muscles and fascia.
Fascia, you know that stuff that helps hold your muscles and organs in place. It also helps connect EVERYTHING in your body from toes to head. Think of it as a life-size sausage casing.
Yeah, THAT fascia.
You always feel better after rolling than before, right? Or you should, at least, unless Helga really put your through the ringer. The reason being is that deep tissue work causes your body to release the tension in your muscles.
Relaxed muscles = relaxed body = relaxed mind, which is the perfect equation for quality Z’s.
Tension can come physically from your daily activities such as running, lifting weights, or cycling, as well as mentally, stemming from work, family, and just trying to balance life. Even sitting at your desk during a day’s work can lead to muscular tightness that needs to be worked out. One thing that can remedy both of these forms of tension is getting a better night’s sleep, and one secret to a better night’s rest is foam rolling.
Who hasn’t gone to bed and felt that their brain is still going 100 mph?
Ridding yourself of those “knots” that are taking over your body and mind is a great way to wind down. Try working on the areas were we carry tension the most, both physically and mentally: the neck, upper back, and legs. It might not feel very relaxing during a rolling session, but hey, neither does a grueling workout session, but you keep coming back for more.
A foam roller is not necessarily vital as you can use an array of household items such as a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, peanut (two tennis balls or lacrosse balls taped together as pictured), softball, or golf ball.
A massage stick can be another helpful tool to workout those tense muscles. This release of muscular tension can really help you unwind after a long, stressful, and chaotic day (like getting stranded on the Houston highways due to flooding).
Even after a lazy day of binge watching Neflix can be improved, both physically and mentally, with some soft tissue work to give you that feeling of “accomplishment” before hitting the sack.
Another tip: focus on deep belly breathing and try your hand at meditating.
Take your mind off the hectic pace of life for just 5-10 minutes to focus on yourself. This is a time for you to clear your mind before going down.
Needless to say, sleep is important for your health. Allowing your body to heal, rejuvenate, reduce stress, and prepare for the next day.
Next time your sheep seem to be failing you, cozy up to your favorite foam roller and spend a few minutes with it.