If you’re like most Americans, you spend an average of 13 hours a day sitting. Plugging away at our desks, in our cars, in movies, and at the dinner table — we’re sitting more often than we think.
So it’s no surprise then when you get into bed at the end of the day if you feel restless and unable to relax. Your muscles need activity for proper circulation and health, and if you’re sitting hunched at your computer, or stressed out in traffic, your aching muscles will need some help at the end of the day to relax.
Stretching before bed is one of the best ways to release that built up tension and get the best night’s sleep you’ve had in a while. Most people know to stretch before and after exercise, or in the morning to energize themselves, but there’s actually a ton of reasons to stretch before bed as well.
Benefits of Stretching Before Bed
So why exactly is stretching before bed so helpful for sleep? In addition to getting regular exercise, stretching offers many perks for your body and mind.
For starters, developing an evening stretching routine helps your body to enter a relaxed state more quickly, and stay in a deeper sleep for longer. With fewer points of pain along your back, neck, and shoulders, you’re less likely to toss and turn. This is great for your sleep — and your partner’s sleep, too.
Stretching provides a great alternative nighttime activity to scrolling through social media or reading emails on a screen. When done correctly, studies have shown that practices like yoga and stretching can be incredibly relaxing and meditative. Focusing on your body and the present actions can be a great way to separate yourself from the day’s stresses and signal to your subconscious to stop worrying.
Learn More: Yoga for Better Sleep
For those more concerned with their beauty sleep, there have been studies that demonstrate that regular mindful stretching actually reduces signs of aging. Since stress has been proven to affect aging on a cellular level, stretching before bed can reduce stress and actually keep you looking younger, for longer.
For some great stretching routine that will relax your whole body, check out these stretches: