There are so many great activities for winding down in the evenings. Some people read a book, drink a cup of tea, diffuse essential oils
or lather on a nighttime skin serum
. One incredibly effective activity that can help you fall asleep faster is stretching! This
study found that gentle stretching can actually improve symptoms of insomnia
Here are nine stretches you can do before bed to help you de-stress
and get a good night’s sleep.
1. Child’s pose
This shape helps relieve pain and tension in your back, shoulders and neck. Kneel with your knees hip-width apart and feet together behind you. Lower torso over thighs and extend your arms out in front of you on the floor with palms facing down. Relax your shoulders and rest your forehead on the mat
. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
2. Low lunge
Practice this move to stretch your hips, thighs and groin while relieving tension in your chest, back and shoulders. Step your right foot forward and extend your left leg back, keeping your knee on the floor. Position hands on either side of your left leg aligned with your shoulders. Hold this for five deep breaths and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Sphinx pose
This helps relieve tension along your spine and lower back. Lie on your stomach with forearms on the floor, elbows under your shoulders and legs stretched out behind you. Extend your toes and press your hips and thighs into the floor. Keep shoulders relaxed and hold for 30-60 seconds.
4. Single knee-to-chest
This stretches your hips, glutes and lower back. Lie on your back and pull your left knee into your chest with right leg extended straight on the floor. Press your lower back into the mat and hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.
5. Seated spinal twist
Twists encourage spinal mobility. With your hands on the floor behind you and fingers facing away from you, sit with your legs straight out in front. Place your right foot flat on the ground on the outside of your right knee, and place your left elbow on the outside of your left leg. Turn your chest and head to the right while holding this pose for 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
6. Standing forward fold
This move stretches your back, neck and legs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place palms flat on the ground in front of you. Hold for 15-30 seconds, gently shifting your weight from side to side. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat if desired.
7. Seated forward fold
Practice this pose to stretch your hamstrings and calves. Sit on the floor with your legs together stretched out in front of you. Flex your feet with toes pointing to the ceiling, lower your head to your knees and reach your palms forward on the ground as close as you can get to your toes. Hold this for 15 seconds.
8. Seated side bend
This stretches your neck, shoulders, back and obliques. Sit with your legs crossed. Place your right hand on the floor next to your hip with your elbow slightly bent and extend your left arm above your head. Lean to the right and hold for 20 seconds before switching sides.
This stretches your inner thighs and groin. Sit with your legs making a diamond shape in front of you with the soles of your feet facing each other. Gently bend forward and extend your arms in front of you while pushing thighs down toward the ground. Hold for 15-30 seconds, rest and repeat if desired.
For more helpful sleep tips, download a FREE copy of The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Sleep e-book.