Move Well

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Stretch to Better Sleep

stretch

When you think about yoga (if you even think about yoga), you probably think it's complicated, sort of hard, and involves getting all twisted up like a pretzel.

Yoga is not really like that: You can do simple yoga that gives you some good stretches (any and all physical activity is healthy) and is also a great way to ease your way into sleep at night.

Taking a few minutes to clear your mind and then doing some light stretching before bed can help you relax. In fact, studies show that people who do some simple yoga moves before hitting the hay fall asleep faster and wake up more rested.

Start by settling yourself comfortably into a lotus pose (you know, the classic legs-folded-in-a-pretzel position) and breathe deeply, in and out, a few times. Do this for three minutes or so (longer if you want) till you feel calm and clear-headed.

Before you turn out the lights, try some of these super-simple stretches:

  • Still sitting cross legged on the bed, place your right hand on your left knee, and your left hand behind you. Twist your body to the left, looking over your left shoulder. Take a deep breathe, exhale, and repeat the stretch on the other side.
  • Lie on your back and extend your legs up against the wall or (if no wall is available) feet flat, knees bent. Rest your arms by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe deeply for about 2 minutes.
  • Lie back on the bed with your knees bent and your arms by your sides. Place the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall open, forming a diamond. Breathe deeply for another 2 minutes.
  • Sit up on your heels, then roll your body forward to rest your forehead on the bed and your chest on your knees. Stretch your arms out in front of you, and breathe deeply for a minute or two.

Now go head off to dreamland, calm and relaxed.​