5 Ways Stretching Before Bed Can Be Good For You
6 min read
People are good about working out and incorporating movement into their day-to-day life.
Physical activity is essential for our mental and physical health, so moving your body is very important. Whether you are active every single day, a couple of days a week, or rarely, there is one important thing that most people tend to overlook: stretching your entire body!
The average person simply does not stretch enough. Ideally, you should be stretching every single day. Life is busy, and it’s hard to find the time to spend even a few minutes doing things like stretching; we get it. But, if you can find the time to do a workout, you should include five minutes of stretching in that time period. You would be shocked at how much the benefits can improve your life.
Are you one of those people who has sleep troubles? Insomnia, nighttime anxiety, and trouble falling asleep and staying asleep are just a few of the issues many people encounter at bedtime. For some, certain medications or changes to their nighttime routine can help solve the problem. But have you ever considered stretching before you go to sleep to help with these issues? Stretching can do wonders for your mind and body, and we have five reasons why you should be doing it before bed!
1. To Aid in Recovery From Physical Activity
This is the most common and most important reason that people stretch. When we go to sleep, our bodies go into repair mode. The body works in overdrive to heal and recover, especially after physical activity. This is why it’s best to do your stretching right before you go to bed. You will be able to relax your muscles, which makes recovery easier on your body!
When we perform any type of physical activity, our muscles are working to keep our body moving and functioning. The best (and pretty much only) way to help them recover and be fresh to do it all over again is by stretching. Even just a few minutes of stretching before you go to bed can do wonders for your muscles. Tension will be released, and your muscles will lose tension.
Stretching does not need to be done right before or right after a workout. In fact, the best time to stretch is right before bed. Stretching for a few minutes a day is not about improving flexibility. It is solely about helping your muscles recover. If you want to work on your flexibility, you have to stretch for long periods each day or regularly engage in yoga or pilates-like exercise.
2. For a Better Night’s Sleep
There are a few specific stretches that are perfect for doing right before bed. While any stretching will do you good, some stretches can help your body recover overnight and help your mind wind down for bed. These are the stretches you should be doing before you go to sleep: child’s pose, legs up the wall, neck stretches, bear hug, and butterfly pose. We will explain how to do each stretch.
This is a classic pose that most people know how to do. It’s how yoga classes start or end, and for a good reason. It’s a great way to feel relaxed. Start on your hands and knees, and then sit back onto your feet. Bend forward, extending your arms as far as they can go, and touch the ground. Hold the position for as long as you can.
Legs Up the Wall
This is one of the best stretches to do to help you feel relaxed. It’s also the easiest stretch! You simply need to sit down on the ground and face the wall. Put your legs up against the wall and move your butt as close to the wall as you can. Stretch your legs as straight as you can, and then sit back and relax.
These are great if you have any pain in your neck or shoulders. There’s no right or wrong way to stretch out your neck, and you can do what feels good to you. Start with tilting your neck forward and backward, and turn it from side to side. You can use your hand to gently push down and apply light pressure to help with the stretch.
This is a very comforting stretch to do, and it might help those who are anxious. You can do this pose standing up tall. Take your arms and open them out wide, then wrap them around your body. Squeeze tight for about 30 seconds, release, and repeat as many times as you want.
Start by laying down on your back and putting the bottoms of your feet together. Place your arms down by your sides or out in a T position. Make sure your back and head are pressed against the ground. Relax for five to ten minutes!
3. To Help With Insomnia or Anxiety
Believe it or not, stretching can help you deal with your insomnia or anxiety. Many people experience these two things at night, and they can be hard to deal with at times. In various studies, it has been shown that people who stretch before bed had improved sleep quality. If they had insomnia, this lessened over time.
Yoga stretches especially help with anxiety and calming the mind and body down before bed. If your mind is wandering or you start to feel anxious, light and gentle stretching can ease any feelings of anxiety. Focusing on your movement can be especially helpful.
4. It Pairs Well With Meditation
Meditation is one of the best ways to help your mind calm down, especially if you are feeling anxious or stressed. It involves being quiet, still, and focusing your mind. If you can incorporate stretching into your meditation routine, you will be at peace mentally and physically. You can try doing a stretching routine while you are meditating. This will help you fall asleep quickly and feel relaxed.
5. Stretching Is Great for Your Nighttime Routine
One simple reason to start stretching is that it works great as a part of your nighttime routine. If you don’t have one, you should definitely consider starting one. Seriously, it’s so helpful and great for you! Your goal is to go to bed at the same time and do the same routine leading up to bedtime each night. Obviously, you might not be able to do this every single night, but the point is you want to get into a routine that eventually becomes a habit.
Stretching can help your mind calm down. You can do slow, gentle movements that are relaxing for your body. Stretching is excellent as the last step in your routine, right before you hop into bed with clean sheets and bedding. Start by showering, brushing your teeth, and doing your skincare. Then, you can read, journal, or meditate for a few minutes. Finally, try some stretches that are very slow and easy to do.
After that, you will be totally calm and ready for a good night’s sleep. Snuggle into bed and prepare for a restful sleep. Your body will thank you for stretching because it will be able to recover so much better! When you wake up in the morning, your body should be less achy and sore.
By now, you should be ready to do some serious stretching before you go to bed! It’s not only great for your physical health but your mental health as well. Even if you are just stretching at night, the benefits will last you all day and night. Eventually, you will experience less body pain and soreness when you wake up. You will also have the best night’s sleep once you get into a stretching routine. Plus, your body is just going to feel good overall!
Stretching can help your muscles recover, it can help you calm down and relieve insomnia and anxiety, and it is great to include with your meditation or nighttime routine. You will want to jump right into bed and fall asleep (especially if you have your Miracle Brand sheets on!). And the best part of all? You will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. We know it can be hard to even squeeze in a few minutes of stretching, but believe us when we say it’s worth it.
- 8 Stretches to Do Before Bed | Healthline
- Benefits of Stretching | SDSU
- Stretching before bed: Benefits and stretches to try | Medical News Today