If you're looking for new ways to relax before bed, or maybe you've had a long, strenuous day and have a sore body, stretching before bed may be your new nighttime regiment. Stretching has many benefits and should be done multiple times throughout the day. However, doing it right before bed can truly make all the difference for you in the morning. Read below to find out more.
Why stretching is important
Stretching has a lot of benefits for your muscles and your mind. It prevents injury if you are someone who likes to work out. By stretching, your muscles are able to become more flexible and handle the stressors put on them from exercise.
Additionally, stretching can help from non-athletic related injuries. If you have poor posture, stretching can help with muscle soreness in your lower back and neck and shoulders.
Benefits of stretching before bed
Part of your sleep hygiene routine should include stretching. Stretching is a way to relax yourself so you can get a good night of sleep. Stretching can relieve sore muscles and also prevent cramps that could disrupt your sleep.
Stretching not only helps to relax you and your muscles, but also increases your mindfulness. Mindfulness is your awareness of yourself and your body which has been shown to improve your sleep.
Workouts like yoga and tai chi have been shown to be meditative and improve sleep quality. This sleep quality has been shown to improve quality of life. It's important, though, that these workouts are not strenuous. If you work too hard, then you could actually increase your heart rate and stimulate your brain, rather than relax it.
Best Stretches to Do Before Bed
Bearhug stretches the rhomboids and trapezius muscles of the upper back. This can alleviate shoulder blade discomfort of pain and poor posture, bursitis, or frozen shoulder. Wrap your arms around yourself and breathe deeply as you draw your shoulders forward. Hold this for thirty seconds and switch arms.
Ear to Shoulder
These stretches will help to relieve tension in your head, neck and shoulders. These focus on maintaining good posture. Sit in a comfortable chair and bring your ear to your shoulder. Hold this for five breaths and repeat on the opposite side.
Chin to Chest
Drop your chin to your chest and hold it there for five breaths. Return your head to neutral and let your head fall gently back for five breaths.
Kneeling Lat Stretch
This stretch helps loosen back and shoulder muscles which can relieve pain and discomfort. Kneel in front of a chair, couch, or table with your hips directly above your knees. Lengthen your spine and hinge your hips forward, resting your arms on the surface with your palms facing together. Hold this for thirty seconds and repeat one to three times.
Try these stretches, and if you're still having trouble going to sleep, please click below to get a sleep medicine consultation now.