Stretches to improve our sleep.
I have many goals in life, but my the most important goal of all is to master the art of falling asleep faster.
I’m sure we can all relate to the frustration of not being able to fall sleep. There is nothing quite as disappointing as getting into bed only to toss and turn for hours until your alarm finally goes off. Not only are you tired and grumpy the next day, but we also look tired and grumpy!
If you’re constantly in search of ideas on how to get better sleep, then you landed at the right blog.
As it turns out, exercising has been shown to reduce the time spent trying to fall asleep, so you can actually spend more time in the land of nod, and while experts recommend avoiding vigorous exercise within an hour of bedtime, stretching and smaller yoga exercises have been found to improve overall sleep quality by helping you to relax and quiet your nervous system.
So if you want to learn more about stretches that will help you sleep better, then keep on reading below.
The legs-up-the-wall pose is about supporting the nervous system by encouraging the relaxation response. It is also a great way to relax tired legs after a long day and increase your circulation.
- Place a bolster pillow or a folded blanket parallel to the wall, about 5 or 6 inches away.
- Sit sideways on the pillow or blanket with your hip against the wall and then swing your legs up the wall and lie back.
- The pillow or blanket should end up beneath your lower back with your butt falling between the support and the wall.
- If you have tighter hamstrings and this feels uncomfortable, you can slide a bit further from the wall, so the support ends up beneath your butt.
- Take whatever arm position feels most natural and relax for 5 -15 minutes.
Cat/ Cow Pose
The cat/cow yoga pose releases the tension in the upper back and neck while synchronising breath and movement, which in turn, calms the body and the mind.
- Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Breathe in and drop your belly. Pressing your chest forward and looking up (cow).
- Exhale and tuck your chin into your chest while rounding your spine (cat).
- Move fluidly between both of these poses so that with every inhale you come into cow, and every exhale you come into cat.
Child’s pose can release the tension in your back and shoulders as it gently stretches the hips and has an overall soothing effect on the mind.
- Begin kneeling down with your big toes touching one another and your knees hip-width apart.
- As you breathe out, lower your torso between your knees, extending your arms alongside your torso with the palms facing down.
- Relax your shoulders towards the ground.
- You will feel a nice stretch down your spine.
- Rest for as long as you’d like
Twisted roots pose is a great stretch for your spine, by twisting out any aches and pains that might have come from sitting at your desk all day. This stretch also provides a gentle massage for your internal digestive organs, which can help your food to go down before bed.
- Begins lying on your back with your knees up and your feet flat.
- Hug your knees into your chest and cross your right leg over your left. If you can, hook your right foot behind your left leg.
- Drop your knees over to the left and relax your legs toward the ground.
- Open your arms out to a cactus shape and soften your shoulders down to the mat.
- Turn your head to the right and look over your shoulder. Stay here for a few deep breaths.
- Use your core to drawback to centre, unwind your legs, and repeat on the other side.
A dark name for a light exercise, the corpse pose is a great way to get you nice and relaxed before bedtime. This pose lowers blood pressure and heart rate and can promote a deep restful sleep.
- Turn the lights off, get into your bed, and cover up with a blanket, your hands and feet need to be warm for this exercise.
- Make sure the blinds are down and there is no music or ambient light.
- Let your jaw relax and your teeth part. Let your bones release down and your body become heavy with each exhale.
- Focus on your exhales and releasing your thoughts.
- Stay here for at least 20 minutes—if you haven’t already fallen asleep.