Everyone wants to sleep better. Sleep is a vital process in our lives- it restores our cells, it relaxes us, it recharges our batteries. But it often eludes us.
I personally have struggled with sleep disorder issues since I was a teenager. I watched my mom struggle with sleep and I followed in her genetic footsteps. Over the years I’ve uncovered many tricks to help improve my chances for a good night’s sleep, but honestly none of them compare to this simple step I’m about to share with you.
Stretch your muscles before bed. Whether it’s via yoga or a simple count-and-hold method, stretching your muscles before bed WILL improve your sleep. Every night that I take the time to stretch out my muscles in relaxing poses, I fall asleep more quickly and my sleep is infinitely more profound.
While I usually make use of the space on the floor in my bedroom, the beauty of this sleep remedy is that you can actually stretch your muscles while you’re already in bed!
Stretches for the floor:
- I recommend stretching your hamstrings by sitting in a straddle and reaching side to side while breathing deeply.
- A nice, slow Cat Cow pose can help loosen your spine.
- Shrug your shoulders a few times and then slowly roll your neck.
- Sufi’s grind is also a great stretch for before bed- you simple sit cross-legged and move your stomach in large, slow circles.
Stretches for the bed:
- The best on-the-bed stretch for me is to lie flat on my back and take turns pulling each knee to my chest. This opens up the hips and stretches the leg muscles simultaneously.
- Pull one arm across your body and secure it with the other arm to stretch the shoulders.
- Pull both knees in to your chest and hold, breathing deeply and stretching your neck.
- Lying flat, rock your hips on the bed to loosen up your hips and spine.
These are just a few ideas of slow, deliberate stretches you can incorporate into your pre-bed routine in order to greatly improve your sleep. There are plenty of other stretches and yoga poses that could help you as well, but the important thing is to move slowly, breathe deeply and enjoy the benefits of a relaxing, restful, deeper sleep experience.
Originally Published in 2018.