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BEDTIME STRETCHES FOR A BETTER SLEEP

Posted on 7 September 2018 by Amy King, Founder, CORE+

How easily do you fall asleep? Do you pass out the minute your head hits the pillow (lucky!) or do you lie awake for hours on end.

It’s not uncommon to fall into the latter group. These days, most of us are staying up well past our bedtime, thanks to our unhealthy obsession with smartphones, social media, and new episodes of our favourite show on Netflix. Add to the mix a bit of late-night dessert, a glass of wine or two, and you have yourself a recipe for a sleepless night.

Of course, there are some amazing natural remedies for helping us to drift off, from hot baths to meditation apps to switching off all technology an hour before bed. But there’s one more technique we’d like to bring to the table: bedtime stretching.

Bedtime stretching will help your muscles to relax, your mind to unwind and prepare your body for a deep, good quality sleep. Here, we’ve put together the ultimate bedtime stretching routine that you can try tonight. Sweet dreams!

Child’s pose

Assume an all-fours position with your palms on the carpet, your knees spread as wide as possible and your feet touching. Exhale, lowering your hips to your heels and bringing your forehead toward the floor. Breathe deeply as you continue to reach your hips backwards – you’ll feel a nice stretch down your inner thighs, back and shoulders.

How about taking a count of 6 breaths in, hold for 6 and exhale for 6 breaths…….

Sleeping swan

Lie facing the carpet with your legs extended behind you, holding yourself up with your arms. Tuck your right leg up so the sole of your foot is resting along your left thigh. Lower your arms down and rest them out in front of you, folded on top of each other. Bend your torso forward and rest your forehead on your arms, staying there for a minute or two. You will feel a deep stretch in both hip flexors. Then, return to the start position and swap legs.

Spinal twist

Lie flat on your back with your arms outstretched to either side. Lift one leg into tabletop followed by the other, ensuring your spine is neutral. Slowly lower both bent legs to one side, aiming to get as close to the floor as possible. Turn your head to face the opposite direction for an even bigger stretch through the back. Return to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Happy baby

Lie flat on your back and lift your legs up towards you with bent knees and flexed feet. Grab onto the outside of each foot with the respective hand, pulling your legs back towards you. Hold for 15 seconds, stretching to open your hips. If you can, rock left to right to massage the spine.

Corpse pose

Lie on your back on the carpet (or in bed – you might fall asleep!) with your heels wider than shoulder width and your arms a few inches from your body, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and take deep breaths, keeping the awareness on the rise and fall of your chest. Scan for any tension across your body and relax your muscles. Unless you fall asleep, hold Corpse Pose for 5-10 minutes before reaching your arms above your head and stretching the whole body.

Our CORE+ Recover + Restore class is a full 60 minutes of restorative exercises and stretches that will relax the muscles and calm the mind. Perfect for before bed! Find out more on the Classes page of our website, or book in a class here.