Stretch To Sleep
Incorporate these stretches into your bedtime routine for a better night’s sleep
I am always looking for new wellness habits to incorporate into my morning and nighttime routines that allow for a better night’s sleep. In combination with a fresh sleep environment with high quality products, I have been practicing nightly stretches to help my body to feel loose and relaxed, and my mind to feel clear, stress-free and focused on a great night’s sleep.
Especially if you work an office job, sitting in a stationary position all day can cause our muscles to tighten up and start to ache. Practicing simple stretches that address different body parts and movements to loosen tight muscles will help calm the nervous system and bring your mind and body into a more restful state. Taking 10 minutes each night to stretch out our muscles helps people to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
Try each of these stretches for one minute each, combined with deep breathing exercises to relax and unwind after a long day:
Soothe a stiff low back and focus on your breath in this relaxing pose.
How to do it: On your hands and knees, gently shift your hips back so that your glutes are reaching toward your heels. Reach your arms forward and relax your shoulders. Rest your forehead on the bed and slowly breathe.
Loosen the lower back and reduce uncomfortable stomach bloating with this stretch.
How to do it: Lying on your back, hug your knees into your chest. Then, reach the arms out to the sides as high as your shoulders. Bring the knees over to the right and allow them to drop toward the bed or mat. Turn your head to look over your left shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
This pose helps loosen the outer hips and glutes and reduces stiffness in the lower back.
How to do it: Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the bed or mat. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Reach your arms through your legs to grab onto the left hamstring. Pull the legs in toward your chest and flex your right foot. Repeat on the other side.
If you’ve been in a hunched over or slouched position while sitting, try this trapezius stretch to release the upper-back and shoulders.
How to do it: Sit with the spine straight, and bend one arm so that hand is resting on the opposite shoulder. Grab the elbow of that arm with the other hand, and while keeping the shoulders as relaxed as possible, assist that arm backward so the hand resting on the shoulder begins to travel down the back, between your shoulder blades.
“Yes” Neck Extensors
If you feel stiff along the back side of your neck, or if you sit in an uncomfortable chair, you may benefit from a gentle extensor stretch to reach alignment.
How to do it: Sit with the spine straight, and drop the chin toward the chest, assisting by gently pulling with the hands behind the head.
Sitting at a desk all day, especially cross-legged, can lead to stiff butt muscles. This stretch can help to effectively loosen your rear and hips.
How to do it: Lie on your back, and lift one leg up, bending it and using your hands to gently pull the shin and calf toward your chest. Then, turn the leg at the hip: If you're stretching the right leg, for example, the right knee should move toward the right shoulder, and the right ankle should go toward the left shoulder
Once you have done your stretch routine and your back and neck are feeling loose, get a great night’s sleep on the Sleepsmart Down Wrapped Chamber Pillow from Pottery Barn for even more neck support and comfort. This new pillow’s unique construction offers the softness of Down and performance of 37.5° fiber with the natural support of feathers.The 37.5 technology provides body heat-activated performance, allowing personalized comfort to each sleeper's need for warmth, so you stay asleep longer and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
About Inventive Sleep® by Tracy Miller
Tracy Miller is a trusted inventor and innovator of dynamic, technology driven, and comfortable products for the home, and founder of Inventive Sleep™. Her engaging brands are found in millions of homes and hotels across the country. As a Sleep Products Innovator, Tracy is dedicated to helping people realize their dreams and goals starting with a great night’s sleep. Her reputation for combining proven and modern materials in everyday products including sheets, pillows, comforters, blankets and mattress pads, adds exciting new comfort and performance qualities consumers love to incorporate into their homes. Tracy is also the author of the weekly sleep blog Sleep Secrets and Inspirations. In it, she shares her expertise on materials research and design, and demystifies the sleep experience with an informative and fun-filled conversation on how sleep helps people with daily living, as well as some of her tips and tricks on picking your favorite products. For more information, visit www.inventivesleep.com. Sleep Tonight. Create Tomorrow.™