Does everyday stress and built-up muscle tension cause you to lay awake at night? Do you often wake up feeling stiff and sore? If you find yourself tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep, or waking up feeling restless, it might be time begin stretching before bed.
The Benefits of Stretching Before Bed
Benefits of incorporating stretches to your bedtime routine also include:
- Improved mood
- Better mobility
- Increased flexibility
- Improved muscle health and overall performance
- Better circulation
Furthermore, doing stretches before bed may assist in preventing neck and back pain as a result of poor sleep posture. Stretching your legs before bed can also help relieve symptoms of RLS, allowing for a more peaceful slumber.
Stretches To Do Before Bed
Having a stretching routine before bed may help manage stress and improve overall sleep quality. So the next time you are having trouble falling asleep, or wake up feeling restless, try these stretches to help you get the quality of sleep you deserve. Before starting any new stretches, be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure they are appropriate for you.
Toe touches help lengthen the spine and release tension in the lower back.
To do toe touches:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent
- Slowly bend forward at the hips, reaching your hands toward your toes
- If you are unable to reach your toes, stop when you can feel a good stretch in your hamstrings and lower back
- Hold for 30 seconds and slowly return to the standing position
- Repeat two to three times
If you have taken a yoga class before, you may be familiar with the child’s pose. The child’s pose is a resting position that can help to stretch the back and release tension in the shoulders.
To do child’s pose:
- Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips
- As you exhale, slowly sit back on your heels and lower your forehead to the floor
- You can rest your arms by your sides or out in front of you
- Hold for 30 seconds to one minute
Bear Hug Stretch
Doing the bear hug stretch may aid in releasing tension in the upper back and shoulders.
To do the bear hug stretch:
- Stand tall with your arms open wide and your feet hip-width apart
- Hug your arms toward your chest, keeping your shoulders down and your back flat
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Release and repeat two to three times
Incorporating head rolls in your bedtime routine may help keep the neck limber and free from tension.
To do head rolls:
- Sit with your back straight while gently bringing your chin to your chest
- Slowly and with control, roll your head to the right
- Repeat five times
- Reset and roll your head to the left for five more reps
Doing butterfly stretches before bed is a great way to stretch the inner thighs and groin.
To do butterfly stretches:
- Sit on the floor with your back straight
- Bring the bottoms of your feet together, and let your knees fall open to the sides
- Try to hold your feet and bring your knees closer to the ground
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat two to three times
Your quadriceps work to extend the knee, making quad stretches important for those who sit for long periods of time or perform activities that put stress on the knees.
To do a quad stretch:
- Stand tall with your back straight
- Grab the ankle of the leg you want to stretch and pull it toward your butt
- Hold for 30 seconds, using something to balance yourself if you need
- Release and repeat two to three times before switching to the other leg
You may also use a resistance band to do this stretch. Loop the band around your foot and hold the other end in your hand.
Legs Up The Wall Pose
This yoga pose is simple to do and may improve your circulation. Doing yoga may also assist in helping you de-stress, which can allow you to rest easily.
To do this pose:
- Place an exercise mat or towel against a wall and use a pillow for comfort if needed
- Sit with your hips close to the wall and then lie back, swinging your legs up against the wall
- Keep your tailbone on the floor with your buttocks a few inches away from the wall
- Hold for 2 to 3 minutes, and then slowly lower your legs back down to the floor
As you do this pose, remember to relax and focus on breathing. When you are done, slowly get into a seated position and sit for a minute before standing up.
Standing Calf Stretch
The calves are one of the most used muscles in the body. As a result, they can become tight. Whenever we are standing, walking, or running, our calf muscles are working.
To do a standing calf stretch:
- Place your hands on a wall
- Step forward with the left leg, keeping your heel on the ground and toes pointed upward
- Bend your right knee and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle
- Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs
Taking the time to meditate and doing breathing exercises after stretching can help you relax and drift off to sleep. By creating a bedtime routine that includes stretches, you may find that you sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.
Contact Comprehensive Medical Care
Our multi-disciplinary team at Comprehensive Medical Care is dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality of care. If you are looking for ways to improve your overall health, we can help. Contact Comprehensive Medical Care and request your free consultation today.