The majority of people you bump into everyday have a lot more in common with the walking dead than flesh and blood human beings…

…and that goes for you, too!

According to the American Journal of Medicine (and about every other reputable group and research organization, for that matter), we humans need – not want, not should, but NEED – to get at least 8 hours of solid and high quality sleep every night to stay healthy.

Too bad most of us are walking around with only about 5 hours of sleep under our belts every night (on average), and there’s nothing high quality about a night of restless tossing and turning!

Worse still is the fact that there are all kinds of dangerous and disastrous health issues you may have to deal with when you’re not getting plenty of sleep.

For starters, sleepiness will really impair your thinking and your decision making. People make all kinds of mistakes on their own when they are fully awake and completely rested, but we become especially foolish when we haven’t had a good night’s sleep.

Accidents happen, people get hurt (or worse), and really dangerous situations seem to pop out of nowhere when we’re running our sleep tanks near empty.

On top of that, not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis also means that you’re running the risk of some serious health issues popping up later down the line.

Heart disease, heart attack, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes have all been linked to those that have a history of sleep deprivation. 90% of the folks with insomnia have at least one other major health condition they are fighting at the exact same time.

It’s not a coincidence.

There are other issues you’ll have to fight back against – low confidence, skin issues, dizziness, headaches, a weakened immune system, low sex drive, and the list goes on from there – but let’s dive into how you can practically guarantee a good night’s sleep from here on out, shall we?Better Sleep

Breaking down 5 pilates moves that will have you sleeping like a baby in record time

If you’re unfamiliar with pilates, think of it as active yoga for those that want to push their bodies in a more traditional workout way while still leveraging all of the other benefits that yoga brings to the table.

It’s like yoga on steroids, but in the best of ways.

The beautiful thing about this kind of workout is that you’re going to be able to perform it anywhere (even in the comfort of your own home, your bedroom if you’d like!) but that you’ll also be boosting your flexibility, your strength, and your overall health when you push through these five moves we outline below!

1. The 100

This is a really simple and straight forward for you to get started with when you’re looking to release some tension in your back, to relax your body, and to make sure that you get to sleep without any trouble from here on out.

For starters, you’ll want to lay down on your back and keep your legs tucked up against your body. Your heels should be just barely touching your bottom.

Then simply pull your knees up towards your chest together, rocking your lower body back towards your head without moving your upper body. Keeping your head still, you’ll want to then freeze your legs, move your upper body forward in a crunch motion, and then extend your feet all the way to the ceiling – or as high as they’ll go, anyway.

Reverse the move so that you’re back in the starting position (after holding your stretch for at least 15 seconds) and then rinse and repeat as many times as you can. Eventually you should be able to knock out about 100 of these reps (and that’s where the name comes from!).

 The 100

2. The Forward Spine Stretch

This is another pilates workout that’s going to focus mostly on stretching your back, your body, and your spine to the best of your ability – all in an effort to get you loosened up and limber for bed!

By focusing on taking care of your back you’ll be able to cut out the pain that 90% of the population deals with on a daily basis. With no more nagging back pain you should be able to slip off to sleep without too much effort from here on out.

Start your forward spine stretch by sitting down on the floor, right down on your bottom, with both of your legs extended out in from of you. Then simply push your body forward – without moving your legs or your bottom – and reach down towards your toes without ever grabbing them.

Really try to keep your body parallel to your legs, and then when you get to the maximum stretch level possible hold that position for 15 seconds. DON’T hold your breath while stretching, but instead slowly inhale and exhale so that you really release your muscles.

The Forward Spine Stretch

3. The See Saw

I’ve seen this pilates move called The Chopper and The Helicopter before, but I was taught it as The See Saw, so we’re sticking with it. If you hear it called something else, don’t worry – if it’s the same move, it’ll work wonders to get you off to sleep fast!

Sit in the same position as we mentioned for the Forward Spine Stretch (down on your bottom with both legs stretched out in front of you) and then bring your arms up to shoulder height – both of them out away from your neck.

You basically want to look like the letter “T” while sitting down.

The next move is to gently (and slowly) move your left hand down towards your right foot, bending in the middle along the way. This should take about 5 seconds or so (go slow, but not THAT slow), and then hold that lower position for 5 seconds more. Then it’s right back up to the starting spot before you rinse and repeat with your opposite hand and foot.

Hammer out 5 minutes of this move and you’ll be as loose as a goose and ready for bed!

 The See Saw

4. The Mermaid

This move is going to have you starting off down on your knees, with your legs bent behind you. Then simply stuff one of your arms up into the air (really stretching it up as far as it’ll go) before you start to bend down to the opposite side.

Keep your arm and neck straight the whole way down, but also make sure that you take 5-8 seconds to go from the upright position all the way down to as far as you can bend – and then try to bend even a little bit more.

Rinse and repeat with the other hand and your other side for about 3 minutes and your nights are going to be very restful!

The Mermaid

5. The Twisting Kitten

The last pilates move we’re going to show you for getting a better night of sleep is The Twisting Kitten (and one of my personal favorites).

Start off in the kneeling position, but then drop to your hands as well. Once you’re on your hands and knees you’ll want to tuck one arm down and to the opposite side (bending that way at the same time), pushing yourself as far underneath yourself as possible.

Do the same exact thing with the opposite arm and your opposite side and before you know it the Sandman will visit and you’ll get a solid 8 hours of sack time with no trouble at all.

The Twisting Kitten

See Also: 8 Reasons to try Pilates
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