There are various natural sleep remedies, such as drinking chamomile tea or diffusing essential oils. But stretching is often ignored though this simple act helps you fall asleep faster and enhance the quality of your sleep. There’s a link between meditative movements like tai chi and yoga and better sleep quality. This enriched sleep quality has been linked further to a better lifestyle.
The reason why stretching has this effect on sleep is that getting in touch with your body by stretching helps you to focus all your attention on your breath and body. You forget all the stresses endured throughout the day. This body awareness helps you develop concentration to promote better sleep. Moreover, stretching offers potential physical benefits to soothe muscle tension and control sleep-disrupting cramps. In this article, we’ve identified eight stretches for your night regimen.
1. Neck Stretches
These stretches will help to alleviate tension in your neck, head, and shoulders. Focus on keeping proper posture while doing these.
- After sitting in a comfortable chair, take your right hand to the top of your head or your left ear.
- Slowly get your right ear towards your right shoulder.
- Hold this posture for five breaths.
- Repeat on the reverse side.
- Turn to view over your right shoulder, maintaining the rest of your body facing forward.
- Hold this posture for five breaths too.
- Again, repeat on the reverse side.
2. Bear Hug
This stretch impacts the rhomboids and trapezius muscles of your upper back to reduce shoulder blade discomfort or pain caused due to bad posture, bursitis, or frozen shoulders.
- Inhale while standing tall while widely opening out your arms.
- Exhale while crossing your arms, putting your right arm over your left and your left over your right to hug yourself.
- Deeply breathe while using your hands to draw forward your shoulders.
- Maintain this stretch for 30 seconds.
- Inhale to release, while opening your arms back wide.
2. Child’s Pose
This is a resting stretch that’s quite relaxed. It’s ideal to tune into your breath, comfort your body, and minimize stress. Moreover, it also helps to eliminate pain and tension in your back, shoulders, and neck.
- Sit back on your heels while coming down on your knees.
- Fold forward while bending at your hips to rest your forehead on the floor.
- Extend your arms before you and support your neck or bring your arms with your body. You may apply a pillow or cushion below your thighs or forehead for additional support.
- Deeply breathe while holding the pose, bringing your consciousness to any areas of discomfort or tightness in your back.
- Maintain this pose for nearly 5 minutes.
- Also, you can do this pose between other stretches to provide some rest to your body.
4. Kneeling Lat Stretch
This stretch loosens up your back and shoulder muscles, reducing pain and discomfort.
- Be in a kneeling position in front of a couch, chair, or low table.
- Your knees should be directly under your hips.
- You may rest on a blanket or cushion for additional support.
- Extend your spine while hinging at the hips to fold forward, resting your forearms on the surface with your palms facing together.
- Maintain this stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat once to thrice.
5. Seated Forward Bend
This stretch loosens up your shoulders, spine, and hamstrings. It stretches your lower back as well.
- Sit down with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Slightly engage your abdominals to extend your spine by pressing your sit bones into the floor.
- Hinging at your hips, fold forward, while reaching out your arms in front of you.
- Relax your head and insert your chin into your chest.
- Maintain this posture for nearly 5 minutes.
6. Low Lunge
This lunge extends your thighs, hips, and groin. Open your chest to eradicate tension and pain in this area apart from your back and shoulders. Stay relaxed during this posture, and never push yourself too hard.
- With your right foot under your right knee and your left leg stretched back, keep your knee on the floor while coming into a low lunge.
- Keep your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders, on your knees, or up toward the ceiling.
- Deep breathe, while concentrating on extending your spine and opening your chest.
- Feel the line of energy stretching out through the crown of your head.
- Maintain this posture for five breaths.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
7. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
This comforting hip opener can help to soothe muscle tension in your hips and groin, making it particularly good if you spend the maximum part of your day sitting.
- While seated on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together.
- Lean back on your hands to keep your back, neck, and head on the floor.
- You may keep cushions or pillows below your knees or head for support.
- Place your arms in any easy positions.
- Concentrate on relaxing your hips and thighs while breathing deeply.
- Maintain this posture for nearly 10 minutes.
8. Legs-up-the-wall Pose
This restorative pose helps to minimize tension in your shoulders, back, and neck during relaxation.
- First, sit with the right side of your body against a wall.
- Lie on your back while swinging your legs up against the wall.
- The hips can be up against the wall or a few inches away.
- Maintain the distance that seems most comfortable.
- You may place a cushion under your hips as well for support and some elevation.
- Rest your arms in a comfortable position.
- Stay in this position for almost 10 minutes.
Conclusion Most of the stretches that have been mentioned are very easy to do. You need to decide which one would be the most suitable for you so that you can sleep well and lead a quality life.