Achieve A Better Night’s Sleep
Falling soundly asleep isn’t always easy. If you continually struggle to fall asleep each night or achieve quality rest, you’ve probably tried your home remedies. While drinking chamomile tea, reading a book, or listening to white noise works for some, it may not be the optimal solution for you. If these natural remedies aren’t up your alley, you may have better luck trying some light exercise and stretches before bed.
In a 2016 study, researchers found a link between mediative movements (such as yoga or tai chi) and improved sleep quality. Practicing these types of movements before bed allows your mind to become in touch with your body instead of focusing on the lingering stressors from the day. This awareness of your body also helps you develop mindfulness, which is shown to help promote better sleep.
Here are five exercises to incorporate into your nightly routine that will help you find better quality sleep.
1. Child’s Pose
A child’s pose is an excellent way to get in touch with your body while regulating your breathing. This is a light stretch that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. To do this stretch, simply get down on your knees and lean back into your heels. Lean forward and relax your forehead onto the ground, keeping your legs and hips where they’re at and your arms stretched out. For the maximum effect of this posture, try to stay in it for about five minutes.
2. Bear Hug
A bear hug stretch helps work your upper back muscles, where we commonly hold tension throughout each day. To perform this stretch, stand up tall and inhale as you reach your arms open. As you exhale, bring your arms together and give yourself a big, warm hug. Use your hands to intentionally bring your shoulders forward to feel the stretch in your back muscles. Hold for 30 seconds and release. Repeat with the opposite arm on top.
3. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
Legs-up-the-wall is a restorative pose that helps in reducing tension in your back, shoulders, and neck while promoting relaxation. To perform this pose, simply lay on your back and swing your legs up to rest against a wall. Depending on your comfort level, feel free to adjust the distance from the wall. We recommend staying in this pose for about 10 minutes to reap its benefits.
4. Low Lunge
A low lunge helps to stretch your hips, thighs, and groin. In a low lunge, your chest opens up, helping to relieve tension and pain in this area as well as your back and shoulders. Make sure to stay relaxed performing this stretch and don’t push too hard.
To achieve a low lunge, you’ll start with your right foot below your right knee, and your left leg extended back, keeping your left knee on the floor. You can bring your arms to the floor beneath your shoulders or extend them towards the ceiling, whichever feels best for your body. Breathe deeply during this stretch and hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
5. Neck Stretches
Performing neck stretches helps relieve built-up tension in your head, neck, and shoulders. When doing any of these stretches, maintain good posture and breathe deeply. Start by sitting in a comfortable position. The first neck stretch involves bringing your right hand to the top of your head or your left ear. From there, you’ll gently bring your right ear towards your right shoulder, holding for five breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
Another neck stretch to try starts with dropping your chin to your chest and holding it for five breaths. Return to your neutral position and then gently allow your head to fall back for another five breaths. Repeat as needed.
North Texas Sleep Solutions is Here for You
If you still find yourself experiencing sleep troubles after trying all types of relaxation techniques and natural remedies, you may be dealing with an underlying cause. Dr. Lauck is a sleep treatment expert and can help you achieve a good night’s sleep once again. To schedule a consultation at our Keller office, call us at (817) 431-6764 and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.