Before-Bed Yoga Stretches for a Restful Night’s SleepLindsay
Sleep should be refreshing and restorative, but if you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep night after night, you know how frustrating insomnia can be. Lying awake when the rest of your household is slumbering peacefully isn’t only annoying; it can also make you dread spending the next day groggy and sluggish.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many more people are having trouble achieving restful sleep amid the disruption of their regular routines and the near-constant barrage of anxiety-inducing headlines. If sleep has eluded you lately, try adding these five exercises to your before-bed routine to wind down and set the stage to wake up invigorated.
Waterfall is a gentle inversion pose, stretching tight hamstrings and calming your central nervous system.
- Lying flat on your back, bring your knees up to your chest, then extend both legs at a 90-degree angle to your body.
- Stretch your arms out to either side, close your eyes and relax, breathing deeply for 10 to 15 breaths.
- For a more soothing version of this pose that takes some of the tension off your leg muscles, you can rest your legs against a wall or the headboard of your bed.
2. Happy Baby
This before-bed yoga pose is ideal for relieving any stress you’ve been holding onto throughout the day.
- Lying on your back, draw your knees into your chest and hold onto the outside edges of your feet.
- Open your knees wide, letting your elbows fall inside your thighs. Push into your hands and enjoy the stretch.
- In this pose, take time to give yourself a lower-back massage by gently rolling from side to side.
3. Spinal Twist
Sitting for long periods can compress your spine and cause stiffness by the end of the day. If aches and pains often keep you awake, try a soothing spinal twist before bedtime.
- Start on your back and bring your knees up toward your chest. From this neutral position, let your knees fall to one side. If this feels uncomfortable, support them with a pillow.
- Spread your arms, then turn your head in the opposite direction to your knees for a neck stretch.
- Hold this pose for 10 to 15 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
4. Cobbler’s Pose
Cobbler’s pose, also known as butterfly pose, opens the hip and groin muscles to counteract the effects of spending too much time sitting at a desk or in a car.
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you and your spine long.
- Bend your knees and allow them to fall open to either side, keeping the soles of your feet pressed together.
- Draw your feet as close to your body as is comfortable, backing off if you feel any pain in your knees or groin.
- If your knees don’t reach the floor, don’t try to push or force them there. Leave them in the lowest natural position. Over time, as you gain flexibility, you may find it easier for your knees to lower to the floor.
- For a deeper stretch in cobbler’s pose, come into a forward bend by tipping your pelvis forward. If your head comes close to the floor, but doesn’t quite make it there, place a block under your forehead for support.
5. Child’s Pose
Throughout the day, many of us unconsciously store tension in our lower back and shoulder girdle. Child’s pose stretches both areas simultaneously, while opening the hips and providing an overall soothing effect.
- Beginning on your hands and knees, sink your hips back to your heels and rest your chest between your thighs.
- If possible, keep your big toes touching each other, while pushing your knees as far apart as they need to be to let you breathe deeply.
- Gradually walk your hands out in front of you, keeping your palms flat on the floor and spreading your fingers wide.
- You can rest your forehead on the floor, or put a tennis ball or massage ball under your forehead and gently roll it from side to side to stimulate the acupressure point between your eyebrows.
- Hold the pose for several breaths, being sure to inhale fully through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- For even more relaxation, you can try a supported version of child’s pose by resting your torso on a pillow and letting it take your weight.
Improve Your Quality of Life With Restful Sleep
Substance abuse can also contribute to a disrupted sleep schedule. To break the cycle, you need evidence-based treatment. You can learn more by reaching out to Beach House’s admissions team as soon as possible. Here, you can gain the life skills needed to live a healthy and rewarding life without drugs and alcohol.