When there is pain and tension in your body, it can be hard to sleep. Having a regular stretching routine helps us relax and release discomfort. In a 2016 study, researchers learned that meditative movements characteristic of yoga and tai chi helped improve sleep.
Taking some of those stretches and adding them to a nightly routine has many benefits that can help you feel much more relaxed before you climb into bed. The combination of a soothing bedtime ritual and the physical benefits of stretching can help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper throughout the night.
Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about modifications if needed.
- Child’s Pose
This stretch, adapted from yoga, helps release tension and relieve pain in your neck, back and shoulders. It is also great for relaxing your body and getting ready for sleep.
To do this stretch, start on your knees, sitting back on your heels. Fold your body forward and rest your forehead against the floor. Extend both arms overhead along the floor. If this is uncomfortable, try resting them alongside your body instead. You can use a cushion under your thighs or your forehead for extra support.
Breathe deeply while holding the pose for up to five minutes. This pose is also good for resting between other stretches.
- Seated Forward Bend
The seated forward bend allows you to affect several muscles at once. This stretch can loosen tension in your shoulders, spine and hamstrings. It can also help with pain and tension in your lower back.
A seated forward bend starts with you sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you. Fold forward from your hips, reaching your arms out in front of you. Don’t force yourself forward; instead, gently relax, leaning toward your knees. Relax your head to loosen up your neck.
Hold this stretch for up to five minutes.
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Those of us who spend a lot of time sitting down can wind up with a lot of tension in our hips and groin. This stretch opens your hips to relieve tension there and reduce lower back pain.
To do this stretch, lie back on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together with your knees apart. Place your arms in whatever position is comfortable. Some people prefer them spread, others feel better with them crossed across their chest. You can support your head or knees with cushions if needed for comfort.
Focus on relaxing your hips and thighs while breathing smoothly and deeply. You should feel a mild stretching along your inner thighs. Just relax into the stretch without pushing to avoid overextending. This pose can be held for up to 10 minutes to relieve lower body tension.
These stretches take just a few minutes, but can bring you benefits all night long. If you’ve been having trouble with sleep quality, see whether adding these to your nightly routine helps you get the sleep that you need for a better day. When stretching and daily exercise aren’t enough to keep you able to get around everyday, it might be time to look into some accessibility modifications.
We install accessibility products and services to enhance your quality of life. Coulee Region Mobility is all about creating solutions and peace of mind for your loved ones. Give us a call today, we are here to help: 844-487-5617.