Think about how much time you spend sitting down during the day. Whether you have a desk job or you retreat to the couch after hours spent at work, you’re likely heading to sleep with a lot of built-up tension that may make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Even those who are on their feet all day may be convinced that going straight to bed is the key to relaxation when in reality, you need to properly transition your body before lying down for rest.
“Your day is like your marathon,” Anna Ribaudo, PT, DPT, OCS, Capp-OBshared with the Hospital for Special Surgery. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re walking, standing, or sitting at a desk, your muscles are being tested. Stretching is a way to relax them so you can rest more comfortably.”
Stretching before bed is a simple way to release that tension, relax the muscles, and put you in the right headspace for slumber. Here’s why creating a relaxing stretch routine is essential, plus some of our favorite stretches to try before bed.
Why Is Stretching Before Bed So Important?
If you’re constantly struggling to fall asleep at night, stretching may be the answer. This is the simplest way to wind the body down and prepare it for rest. Some of the benefits of stretching before bed include:
- Improved blood flow
- Relieved muscle tension
- Reduced lower back pain
- Enhanced injury prevention
- Reduced stress
A relaxing stretch routine can provide the same benefits as yoga while being similarly relaxing.
3 Relaxing Stretches To Do Before Bed
Stretching and relaxation go hand in hand. If you’re wondering how to relax your muscles before sleep, try the following relaxing stretching exercises:
1. Child’s Pose
Start in the neutral position, with your knees and hands on the ground. Next, sit on your knees and lower your body down to the ground, reaching in front of you and pushing back on your heels. Finally, rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply. Hold this pose for about one minute, then return to the neutral position and repeat five times.
2. Seated Forward Bend
Sit down on the floor and extend your legs in front of you. Fold forward, reaching our hands out in front of you as far as you can. Tuck your head into your chest and relax. Hold this position for as long as you can, trying to aim for at least five minutes.
3. Neck Stretch
Paying attention to your posture, sit down on a chair or bench. Next, tip your right ear toward your right shoulder while keeping your left hand pointed toward the floor. Hold your head to your shoulder and hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
If you need additional help relaxing your muscles and releasing the tension, our Myofascial Release Therapy can improve your energy levels, flexibility, digestion, and circulation while providing stress relief. Schedule your session today to reap the benefits.