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Stretches to Help with Sleep

We’ve all had nights where we just can’t fall asleep. Whether due to stress or physical tension, something’s blocking you from drifting off. Because of this, stretches can be some of the best things to help you sleep.

We recommend the following stretches and yoga for insomnia, to help you destress and get the rest your mind and body need. Depending on your difficulty in falling asleep, a good stretch might be all you need, or you may also require other natural sleep remedies. As always, if the problem becomes serious, consult your doctor immediately.

The Stretches You Should Try

Sleeping Swan

Here’s a great one to try right before bed to stretch out your neck, shoulders, back legs and hips. It even includes a pillow, to get you feeling nice and comfy before you drift off to sleep.

  1. With a pillow in front of you, sit on the floor.
  2. Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot to your right inner thigh.
  3. Lift up your bottom, extending your right leg behind you.
  4. Slowly lean forward from your hips and place your head on the pillow.
  5. Extend your arms forward with your elbows slightly bent.
  6. Hold for 8 to 10 slow, calm breaths, then return to starting position.
  7. Switch legs and repeat.

Standing Forward Fold

Also known as Uttanasana, the Standing Forward Fold increases blood flow to the head, and relieves tension all through your hips, legs and back.

  1. Stand with your feet six inches/15 centimetres apart.
  2. Fold your torso over from the hips, reaching towards the ground with your legs kept straight.
  3. Exhale and extend downwards.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.

Spinal Twist

Nothing frees up your lower back before bed like a good twist. Shouting optional.

  1. Lie in the middle of your bed on your back.
  2. Bend both of your knees towards your chest, then turn them towards one side of your body.
  3. Extend each arm straight out sideways at right angles to your body, forming a T.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. You will feel your spine lengthen and twist, and may hear some cracks.
  5. Lift your knees back to the central position and repeat with the other side.

Happy Baby

You’ll feel born again after this pose that relieves tension in your back, hips and hamstrings.

  1. Lie faceup on your back.
  2. Bend your knees into your chest and grab the inside edges of your feet.
  3. Bring your knees out to your sides, then lower towards your armpits. Keep your heels above your knees, with your feet flexed.
  4. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths, slowly rocking from side to side.