Bedtime, time to find a book or the television remote. There is another option that could prepare your body for calm and restful sleep, a combination of slow deep breathing and stretching as you are lying in bed.
1. Deep Breathing
Start as you sit on the edge of the bed and take a slow deep breath and fill your lungs. Breath in through your nose and focus on the air filling your lungs down to your diaphragm. Once your lungs are full, slowly exhale through your mouth. Completely empty your lungs and slowly repeat the process 10 times. Continue to breathe in this fashion throughout your stretches.
2. Shoulder and arm stretch
While still seated on the edge of the bed, keeping your feet relaxed and resting on the floor, interlock your fingers and straighten your arms with your palms facing forward and stretch for a slow count of 10. Relax and repeat, only this time with your palms facing the ceiling and your chin tucked into your chest. Hold for a count of 10 and relax.
Now climb into your bed on your back and relax and breathe evenly and deeply.
Learn more: 4 Effective Shoulder And Arm Stretches
3. Knee to chest
While still on your back, bring both knees up to your chest and wrap your arms around your knees and gently pull them to your chest and squeeze. This stretches your lower back and lumbar spine. Hold for a count of 10 and relax. Continue to breathe deeply. Resume your knee to chest position and begin to rock forward and back slowly and gently for another count of 10.
4. Inner thigh stretch
From your knee to chest position, allow your feet and legs to slide forward to the foot of the bed but then return them toward your buttocks with the soles of your feet together. Gently pull on your feet, pulling them toward you as your knees point to the sides and you feel the stretch in your crotch and inner thighs. Hold for a count of 10 and then relax.
Learn more: 8 Yoga Poses & Stretches To Tone Your Thighs
5. Hip and hamstring stretch
Let both feet and legs go forward to the foot of the bed, then with one leg straight, bring the opposite knee to your chest and pull it toward you as you feel the stretch in your hips and the back of your leg. Hold for a count of 10 and repeat with the other leg.
Learn More: 7 Glute & Hamstring Stretches You Can Do At Home
6. Pelvic lift (bridge)
Place both feet flat on the bed and pull them toward your buttocks. Now lift your pelvis up off the bed and toward the ceiling as you tighten the muscles in your lower back and buttocks. Hold for a count of 10 and relax.
Learn More: Beginner Glute Bridge Guide And Variations
7. Finish with deep breathing
Stretch out on the bed on your back and take a slow deep breath and fill your lungs, in through your nose and focus on the air filling your lungs down to your diaphragm then slowly exhale through your mouth. Completely empty your lungs and slowly repeat the process 10 times as you relax and prepare to enjoy a calm and restful sleep.