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7 Stretches to Try Before Bed for a More Restful Sleep

Posted by Dr Sleep for Moon Mattress on

Sleep is essential to our overall health. It is very important because it supports the body in functioning properly. Getting enough sleep plays a big part in how we perform on a day-to-day basis.  There are ways to aid in getting a better night's sleep.

Among natural sleep remedies, from drinking chamomile tea to diffusing essential oils, stretching is often overlooked. But this simple act may help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are seven stretches to add to your nightly routine.

Bear Hug. This stretch works the rhomboids and trapezius muscles of your upper back. It helps to alleviate shoulder blade discomfort or pain that’s caused by poor posture.

To do this stretch:
Stand tall and inhale as you open your arms out wide. Exhale as you cross your arms, placing your right arm over your left and your left over your right to give yourself a hug. Breathe deeply. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
To release, inhale to open your arms back open wide. Exhale and repeat with your left arm on top.

Kneeling Lat Stretch.  This stretch helps to loosen up the muscles in your back and shoulders, relieving pain and discomfort.
To do this stretch:
Come into a kneeling position in front of a chair. Check that your knees are directly under your hips. Lengthen your spine as you hinge at the hips to fold forward, resting your forearms on the surface with your palms facing together. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 1 to 3 times.
Child's Pose. Child’s pose is a resting stretch that’s similar to a kneeling lat stretch, but more relaxed. It’s perfect for tuning into your breath, relaxing your body, and reducing stress. It also helps to relieve pain and tension in your back, shoulders, and neck.

To do this stretch: 

Come down on your knees, sitting back on your heels. Hinge at your hips to fold forward and rest your forehead on the floor. Extend your arms in front of you to support your neck. Breathe deeply in while holding the pose. Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes. You can also come into this pose between other stretches to give your body a rest.

Low Lunge. This lunge stretches your hips, thighs, and groin. Opening your chest helps to relieve tension and pain in this area as well as your back and shoulders. Try to stay relaxed when doing this pose, and don’t push yourself too hard.

To do this stretch: 

Come into a low lunge with your right foot below your right knee and your left leg extended back, keeping your knee on the floor. Bring your hands to the floor beneath your shoulders, on your knees, or up toward the ceiling. Breathe deeply, focusing on lengthening your spine and opening your chest. Hold this pose for 5 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

Seated forward bend. This stretch helps to loosen up your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. It also stretches your lower back.

To do this stretch:

Sit down with your legs extended in front of you. Engage your abdominal slightly to lengthen your spine, pressing your sit bones into the floor. Hinge at your hips to fold forward, reaching out your arms in front of you. Relax your head and tuck your chin into your chest. Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes.

Reclining bound angle pose. This relaxing hip opener can help to relieve muscle tension in your hips and groin, making it especially good if you spend most of your day sitting.

To do this stretch:

Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together. Lean back on your hands to bring your back, neck, and head to the floor. Place your arms in any comfortable positions. Focus on relaxing your hips and thighs as you breathe deeply. Hold this pose for up to 10 minutes.

Neck Stretches. These stretches will help to relieve tension in your head, neck, and shoulders. Try to focus on maintaining good posture when doing these.

To do this stretch:

Sit in a comfortable chair. Gently bring your right ear towards your right shoulder, holding this position for 5 breaths.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Turn to look over your right shoulder, keeping the rest of your body facing forward.  Hold this position for 5 breaths.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Drop your chin down to your chest, holding it here for 5 breaths. Return to a neutral position and allow your head to gently fall back for 5 breaths.

 

Final thoughts on the benefits of stretching before bed. Stretching before bed is a great practice for people of all ages and levels of health. Stretching improves flexibility and mobility. It promotes concentration, supports balance, and can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. The process of taking ten minutes out of your day before bed to stretch, breathe, and relax gets your body ready for a more fruitful night’s sleep.

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