For some of us, getting the right amount of sleep can be hard. Common barriers to sleep include hectic schedules, too much work, or you just feel too energized. We cannot stress enough how important sleep is and with National Sleep Awareness Week around the corner, you may be looking for any kind of tip to help you sleep. The secret to possibly combating your insomnia may be that you have not stretched before bed. Below we describe how you can stretch your way to a good night’s sleep.
Among the natural sleep remedies, such as drinking tea or using essential oils, stretching is at times overlooked. However, the simple act of stretching might just be the thing you need to help you fall asleep faster. In a review of studies done in 2016, a link was found between meditative movements and the improvement of sleep. You may be baffled by this and ask why? The simple answer to this is body awareness. Stretching helps you focus on your body and breathing and takes your mind away from daily stressors. It also helps relieve muscle tension and prevents sleep disturbing cramps. If you ever had a Charley Horse during the night, you know all too well about that cramp feeling.
One stretch you should consider before bed is the seated forward bend. This stretch helps loosen up your spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and lower back. Practicing this stretch allows you to focus on your breathing and can give you the confidence of not pulling a muscle while you sleep. To begin, grab a CanDo® Sup-R Mat® and lay it out in front of you. Sit down on the mat by extending your legs in front of you. Use your abdominal muscles to lengthen your spine. Then, move your hips to fold forward, reaching out your arms in front of you. Make sure you relax your head and tuck your chin into your chest. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes. Doing this will hopefully allow you to have a better night’s sleep.
For better sleep, you should try stretching. Not only can stretching help improve your sleep but it can also help you go to sleep faster. Do not forget to grab a CanDo® Sup-R Mat® while you are doing stretches on the floor. CanDo® Sup-R Mat® exercise mats are made high quality closed cell foam, which is great for providing a cushioned place to stretch on the floor.
To view the CanDo® Sup-R Mat®, click here.
To view some stretching exercises before bed, click here.
Article written by William Graves.