4 Stretches To Do Before You Go To Bed

Before you crawl under the covers, some light activity might help you get more restful sleep.

If you’re going to do a full exercise, you should probably do it early in the day so you don’t overstimulate yourself and have trouble falling and staying asleep.

But in the hour leading up to your bedtime, a routine of gentle stretching and meditative movement could be just what you need to ease your body and mind into a state of relaxation.

Child’s Pose

This restorative yoga pose is perfect for getting in tune with your body and relieving your stress. It is sometimes referred to as a prayer stretch due to its position resembling that of someone praying.

  1. With your legs folded underneath you, rest your bottom on your heels with your knees pointed forward. Use a cushion or folded blanket if you need more comfort
  2. Take a deep breath, then exhale as you bow forward, resting your forehead on the mat or floor.
  3. Extend your arms out in front of you, palms down.
  4. Relax your whole body into the stretch, and breathe deeply.
  5. Find a position that you can stay comfortably folded in.
  6. Return to an upright position when you’re ready, and take a few deep breaths before repeating the stretch.

Seated Forward Fold

This stretch is a great way to release tension in the back, shoulders, and legs.

  1. Sit on the floor or on your bed with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Take a big full breath and relax your body.
  3. Inhale deeply, then bend forward, reaching toward your toes as you exhale slowly.
  4. Let your head and neck relax as you fold forward.
  5. If you can’t reach your toes, fold forward as far as possible without pain.
  6. Hold the stretch – continuing to breathe fully – for as long as you’re comfortable, then return to an upright position.
  7. Breathe a few more deep breaths, then repeat the stretch two or three times.

Leg Lifts and Twists

While lying on your back, there are a few different ways you can stretch and strengthen your core muscles in a gentle, relaxing way.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides.
  2. Throughout these stretches, breathe deeply and mindfully.
  3. Lift your feet off the ground, keeping your legs together and relatively straight.
  4. Bending at the hip, slowly raise your feet into the air so your body forms a right angle.
  5. Hold this position for a few deep breaths, then slowly lower your feet back to the ground.
  6. Repeat the stretch five to six times.
  7. Bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.
  8. Keep your shoulders flat on the ground, rotate your legs at your hip, and bring your right knee to the ground.
  9. Hold the stretch for a few deep breaths, then twist to the other side.
  10. Repeat the stretch five to six times on each side.

Savasana – The Corpse Pose

This is a classic yoga pose, and it’s often done at the end of an exercise or stretching session. It seems simple, but it’s incredibly effective at relaxing your body and mind and bringing you to a peaceful rest.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms up.
  2. Allow your whole body to relax, and focus on your breath.
  3. Breathe deeply, and let your mind drift away from any thoughts or worries.
  4. Stay in the pose for as long as you like.
  5. Do it in bed – you might just drift off to sleep.