How much of each day do you spend in a seated position? The answer may be more than you think. The truth is, from our desk jobs to our morning and afternoon commutes, most of us live pretty sedentary lifestyles. Even when we return home following a hard day’s grind, it’s all too tempting to just plop down on the couch for a few hours of relaxation.
There’s nothing wrong with relaxing, of course, but there are some real problems that can come from too much time spent seated. One problem is that many of us make it to bedtime feeling emotionally exhausted, yet too restless and antsy to actually fall asleep. Simply put, a full day of sitting can make it hard to relax and to immediately fall to sleep.
One potential solution? Start a bedtime stretching routine. Stretching can be an excellent way to release pent-up tension, and to enjoy a better night’s sleep. But of course, to reap the full advantages of this bedtime routine, you’ll need to know the right stretches.
The Benefits of Bedtime Stretching
Before we get into specific stretches, let’s highlight just a few specific advantages of bedtime stretching routines:
- Stress reduction. Stretching can help you reduce stress, allowing your body and mind to enter a more relaxed state before you climb into bed.
- Improved blood flow. Stretching also helps promote healthy circulation, which can in turn help your muscles and joints to function the way they’re supposed to.
- Muscle tension relief. Sitting for long periods of the day can result in muscle tension, and thus in discomfort. Stretching is an effective way to relieve that tension.
- Lowered risk of injury. A regular stretching routine can also prevent your risk of injury throughout the day, including potential lower back injuries.
These are just a few reasons to prioritize evening stretches, yet the question remains: What are the best stretches for bedtime?
The Best Bedtime Stretches
Here are a few of our favorites.
The Spinal Twist
- Lay on your back, with your arms extended from your sides.
- Cross your left leg over the right side of your body, then allow it to fall toward the floor.
- Turn your head to the left to get an even deeper twist.
- Repeat this stretch on the other side of your body.
This is a great one for improving your spinal strength and mobility, and for alleviating a hunched posture following a sedentary day.
The Side Stretch
- Sit cross-legged on the floor and extend your left hand above your head.
- Keep your left arm above your ear while moving your right arm toward the floor, leaning your whole body to the right.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side.
The side stretch can be an excellent option for strengthening your core.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Bring the soles of your feet together.
- Keeping a straight spine, bring your feet as close as you can toward the rest of your body.
- Rest in this pose for just a few seconds.
For stronger thighs and a strong lower back, the butterfly pose is invaluable!
- Lie down on your back, bending one leg to bring your knee toward your chest. Place both hands on that knee.
- Hold, then repeat on the other side.
This stretch is a good one for alleviating aches and pain in your lower back.
The Bear Hug
- While standing, wrap your arms around yourself, as if you’re giving yourself a big hug.
- Grasp your shoulders and pull to deepen. Try to hold it for at least 30 seconds.
- Release, stretch your arms wide, then do it again, switching the arm that’s on top.
The bear hug can help your arm and shoulder muscles, and doubles as a sweet way to show some self-love.
These are just a few examples of stretches that can help prepare for you a good night of rest. Don’t forget that, for some people, CBD can also be a good way to relax, improve sleep, or enhance a stretching routine. Get more information about CBD products by browsing the Asé Pure Naturals shop.