Exercises to help you sleep
There are hundreds of different factors that can affect how well we sleep, but sometimes we just need that little bit of help getting to sleep in the first place. You may have tried a few natural sleep remedies like long warm baths with lavender oils, sleep spray, chamomile tea or golden milk, but have you tried stretching before bed?
Stretching helps you focus on your breath and movement, removing the stressors of your working day and helps focus your attention to mindfulness, which helps us relax the brain.
Stretching also offers potential physical benefits, helping to relieve muscle tension and prevent sleep-disrupting cramps. Doing a big workout before bed can have the opposite effect.
Here are a few go to stretches to add to your nightly routine.
- Stand tall and inhale while opening your arms out wide
- Breathe deeply, give yourself a hug
- Hold this stretch for 30s
- Exhale and repeat
2. Neck stretches
- Sit up straight
- Bring your right hand to the top of your left ear and gently tilt your head
- Hold this for 5 breaths
- Repeat on the other side
- Drop your chin to chest and hold for 5 breaths
3. Child’s pose
- Sitting back on your heels tilt down over your knees
- Lengthen and extend your spine and breathe deeply
- Hold this pose for a few minutes really sitting back into your hips to feel that full body stretch
4. Seated forward bend
- Sit down with your legs extended
- Engage your abs and extend your arms to meet your legs
- Tuck your chin into your chest and relax your head
- Hold this pose for a few minutes
- Hip opener
Lay on your back, with both legs bent. On your exhale, rotate the leg at the hip and drop one knee towards the floor. Use core & pelvic floor connection to stabilise the pelvis as the movement comes from the hip joint. Hold for a breath and on the next exhale bring the leg back up. Repeat on the other side.
If you like these and like many, might have perimenopause symptoms, then check out Soak and Sleeps guide to Sleep and Menopause here. Sleep is one area that is hugely effected during menopause but can be helped with good bedding to keep you cool, exercise and a nutritious diet.
I have also teamed up with Soak and Sleep to write a blog which will help you understand if exercise really can help you sleep better. Read more here.