Stretching Before Bed Can Help You Sleep

We have written a lot about sleep. It’s so essential for your health and wellbeing. Right now, people all over America are reporting poor sleep quality and hours of sleeplessness. It’s unsurprising with the amount of stress we’re feeling, and the disruptions to our schedules, that many of us are experiencing. As sleep has a substantial impact on heart health, we want our customers to sleep well and keep regular hours.

Stretching before bed can help you sleep better and wake up feeling great. You don’t have to be a yoga master to reap benefits from stretching at bedtime. Stress makes your muscles tight, and your body ache. Stretching can leave you feeling loose and help you fall asleep more comfortably. While many of us stretch upon waking to ease tension from sleeping, stretching before bed can actually prevent that more morning tightness.

Stretching relaxes you mentally as well as physically. Studies have found that “meditative movements” like yoga and tai chi improve the quality of sleep because they make you focus on your body and how you feel physically. It takes you away from your thoughts and worries about the day. Working out before bed can wake you up and cause cramps and aches. But stretching eases your body into relaxation. You don’t need to do yoga or tai chi, just stretching to make your muscles looser helps.

The beautiful thing about stretching is, the more often you do it, the better it feels and the looser you become. Just doing five minutes a night of stretching your arms, lower back and neck will help you feel looser and stretch farther over time. It’s a cumulative process where you find yourself becoming more flexible and stronger over time. You’ll have a broader range of motion with minimal work. Over time, it won’t just be something you have to remember to do but a pleasantly anticipated part of bedtime, just like changing into your PJs. You’ll find your self with less muscle pain, like lower back pain, and less soreness after busy days as you slowly but surely train your muscles.

Don’t try to stretch too far at first, go only as far as feeling the stretch, not a painful strain. You may feel your jump-starting health, but, in actuality, you can damage muscles unused to the action. If you start “feeling the burn” instead of feeling loose, you may be bushing it too much. You want to stop before it feels painful. If it makes you feel achy instead of good, slow down!

Being loose when you go to bed can make it easier for you to find a comfortable position. That leads to you getting more restful sleeping and not tossing or turning. Staying in a comfortable position also lowers your risk of waking up with a sore neck.   

Stretching in the right positions is crucial as you can injure yourself when stretching improperly, and different stretches benefit different people. A doctor can suggest what’s right for you. When looking at pictures of people stretching on the internet, it is easy to become discouraged. You want to learn the correct way to do it but see only young, limber people wearing yoga pants. That image can be disheartening to those of us who aren’t in that shape or demographic. Something vital to remind yourself of is that your health goals are for you. They should be for your body, your age. Comparing ourselves to the yoga enthusiast can make us feel defeated before we begin. You don’t have to be someone who can touch their toes and bring their knees to their chest to benefit from stretching. Side stretches, bear hugs and gentle lunges are a great way to get started, improve circulation and help our bodies.  

Hopefully, adding stretching to your evening can help you sleep better. In these bizarre times, getting our bodies moving can be a real challenge. We’re mostly indoors and feeling isolated. That leads to a lot of time sitting on the couch. Getting our bodies loose and relaxed after a day of worry can help you sleep and face the next day.
May 01, 2020

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