Why should you stretch before bed?

Why should you stretch before bed?
Why should you stretch before bed?

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

A review of multiple 2019 studies found a link between meditative movements, such as tai chi and yoga, and better sleep quality. This better quality of sleep was related even more with a better quality of life.

But why does stretching have this effect on sleep? It is likely to be a mixture of things. On the one hand, getting in touch with your body in stretching helps focus your attention on your breathing and body, not on the stressors of the day.

This awareness of your body helps you develop mindfulness, which has proven to be a reliable source to help promote a better sleep.

Stretching also offers potential physical benefits, helping to relieve muscle tension and prevent cramps that disturb sleep. Just make sure you meet gentle stretches. Getting a good exercise before bedtime can have the opposite effect.

Here are eight sections to add to your nighttime routine.

1. Bear hug

This stretch works the rhomboid and trapezius muscles of the upper back. It helps to relieve the discomfort or pain of the shoulder blades caused by poor posture, bursitis or frozen shoulder.

To do this stretch:

Stand tall and inhale while you open your arms wide.
Exhale while crossing your arms, placing the right arm over the left and the left over the right to hug.
Breathe deeply while using your hands to drag your shoulders forward.
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
To release, inhale to open your arms again with your mouth open.
Exhale and repeat with your left arm up.

Make these movements in your bed before sleeping and you will remember us the rest of your life
Make these movements in your bed before sleeping and you will remember us the rest of your life

2. Neck stretches

These stretches will help relieve tension in the head, neck and shoulders. Try to focus on maintaining good posture when doing this.

To make these sections:

Sit in a comfortable chair. Bring your right hand to the top of your head or to your left ear.
Gently bring the right ear towards the right shoulder, maintaining 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.

8 stretches to do at night before sleeping neck stretches
8 stretches to do at night before sleeping neck stretches

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

8 stretches to do at night before sleeping neck stretches
8 stretches to do at night before sleeping neck stretches

3. Kneeling lat stretch

This stretch helps loosen the muscles of the back and shoulders, relieving pain and discomfort.

To do this stretch:

Get on your knees in front of a chair, sofa or low table.
Verify that your knees are directly below your hips. You can rest on a blanket or cushion for additional support.
Lengthen the spine while turning the hips to lean forward, resting the forearms on the surface with palms together.
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
Repeat 1 to 3 times.

8 stretches to do at night before bed kneeling stretching lat
8 stretches to do at night before bed kneeling stretching lat

4. Pose of the child

The child’s posture is a resting stretch similar to knee stretching, but more relaxed. It is perfect to adjust your breathing, relax your body and reduce stress. It also helps relieve pain and tension in the back, shoulders and neck.

To do this:

Get on your knees, sitting on your heels.
Hinge on the hips to lean forward and rest your forehead on the floor.
Extend your arms in front of you to hold your neck or bring your arms close to your body. You can use a pillow or cushion under your thighs or forehead for additional support.
Breathe deeply while maintaining the posture, directing your attention to the areas of discomfort or tightness in the back.
Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes. You can also adopt this posture among other stretches to rest your body.

8 stretches to do at night before bed The child's posture
8 stretches to do at night before bed The child’s posture

5. Lunge low

This lunge stretches the hips, thighs and groin. Opening the chest helps relieve tension and pain in this area, as well as in the back and shoulders. Try to keep yourself relaxed when you do this pose, and don’t strain yourself too much.

To do this stretch:

Enter a low lunge with the right foot under the right knee and the left leg extended back, keeping the knee on the floor.
Bring your hands to the floor under your shoulders, knees or toward the ceiling.
Breathe deeply, focusing on lengthening your spine and opening your chest.
Feel the line of energy that extends through the crown of your head.
Hold this pose for 5 breaths.
Repeat on the opposite side.

8 stretches to do at night before bedtime Low Lunge
8 stretches to do at night before bedtime Low Lunge

6. Sit forward bend

This stretch helps loosen the spine, shoulders and hamstrings. Also stretch your lower back.

To do this stretch:

Sit with your legs extended in front of you.
Involve your abdomen a little to lengthen your spine, pressing the bones of your seat against the floor.
Hinge on the hips to bend forward, extending the arms in front of you.
Relax your head and put your chin in your chest.
Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes.

8 Stretches to Do At Night Before Sleep Seated Forward Bend
8 stretches to do at night before bedtime sitting leaning forward

7. Pose of legs on the wall

This is a restorative posture that helps reduce tension in the back, shoulders and neck while promoting relaxation.

To do this stretch:

Sit with the right side of your body against a wall.
Lie on your back while swinging your legs against the wall.
Your hips may be against the wall or a few inches away. Choose the distance that is most comfortable for you. You can also place a cushion under the hips for support and a little lift.
Rest your arms in any comfortable position.
Remain in this pose for up to 10 minutes.

8 stretches to do at night before bedtime Legs on the wall Pose
8 stretches to do at night before bedtime Legs on the wall Pose

8. Position of the reclining limit angle

This relaxing hip opener can help relieve muscle tension in the hips and groin, which makes it especially good if you spend most of the day sitting.

To do this stretch:

Sit on the floor and gather the soles of your feet.
Lie on your hands to bring your back, neck and head to the floor. You can use cushions or pillows under your knees or head for support.
Place your arms in comfortable positions.
Focus on relaxing your hips and thighs while breathing deeply.
Hold this pose for up to 10 minutes.

8 stretches to do at night before sleeping reclined angle reclined
8 stretches to do at night before sleeping reclined angle reclined

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