6 bedtime stretches to help you sleep better tonight…
Basically, if you know anything about me, you know that sleep is literally my favorite thing in the world (tied of course with all things food, and my cute husband). I mean what is more relaxing than finding that perfect combination of blankets, background noise, and snuggle spot at the end of a long day? Seriously, for me nothing. But I may serve as a small portion of the population who lives by the “sleep is lyfe” motto.
Anyways, not only is sleep a beautiful glorious thing, but sleep offers so many benefits to your health and well-being. And while in breast cancer treatment, sleep is one of the best ways to recharge and help your body survive breast cancer.
Did you know that you could make your nightly sleep better? More relaxing? Yea, I know I didn’t think it was possible either. But with these 6 bedtime stretches incorporated in your nightly routine of make-up removal and Instagram scrolling you’ll be guaranteed to wake up refreshed and re-energized for the next day!
1. Bridge: According to Fitness Magazine, this move targets your hips and legs and helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
- Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Push your feet into the floor and raise your hips as far up as possible.
- Keep hips raised for about 8 to 10 deep breaths and then lower slowly.
2. Seated Forward Fold: Shape.com notes doing this stretch before bed will be the bee’s knees for anyone who indulged in a killer leg workout that morning.
- Sit up with your back straight and legs straight out in front of you.
- Keep feet flexed in order to keep them engaged.
- Slowly roll down one vertebra at a time, trying to keep the back flat as your fold down to your legs (only go as far as your flexibility can take you while keeping a flat back).
- Stay in this position for about 5 to 10 deep breaths, attempting to get deeper in the stretch with each exhale.
3. Diamond Forward Fold: To release hip tension and relax the body before bed, Prevention recommends this variation of the forward fold stretch.
- Sit up with your back straight and bring the soles of your feet together (also the butterfly stretch).
- Hold the soles of your feet with your hands and slowly roll down one vertebra at a time, trying to keep the back flat as you fold down (only go as far as your flexibility can take you while keeping your back flat).
- Hold this position for about 5 to 10 deep breaths, attempting to get deeper in the stretch with each exhale.
- For a bolder stretch use your elbows to push your thighs closer to the floor.
4. Cobra: Literally my favorite stretch of all time and Popsugar Fitness agrees, as this is one of the stretches mentioned in their 9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed blog post
- Lay on your stomach and place your hands gently below your shoulders with tops of your feet on the floor.
- Gently push up as far as your flexibility can take you with your gaze going towards the ceiling.
- Stay in this position for about 8 to 10 deep breaths.
5. Downward Dog: If Cobra is my favorite stretch, then Downward Dog is my second favorite stretch. I usually flow these together (i.e. Cobra to Downward Dog) but that’s just me pretending to be some sort of yogi.
- Laying flat on your stomach tuck your toes under your feet to create your base.
- Push your behind up into the air creating a triangle shape with your body with your feet, behind, and hands acting as the three corners.
- Let your head and neck hang for a few deep breaths.
- Slowly walk your hands to your feet and roll your body up one vertebra at a time.
6. Savasana: This pose is to be done at the end, in your bed as it “Focuses your mind on stillness and brings awareness to the breath,” according to the Shape.com article 7 Yoga Stretches to Help You Fall Asleep Fast. Take this stretch with you every night in order to release all the pent-up energy, vibes, and stress from the day.
- Lay on your back with feet relaxed in front of you and palms facing upwards.
- Close your eyes.
- Take 8 to 10 deep cleansing breaths.
- Continue for about 15 more normal breaths or until you drift to sleep.