The average person spends 13 hours sitting down every day. Sitting is a part of our daily lives whether we realise it or not, from working at a desk, to driving a car, to eating meals.

So it comes as no surprise that you feel restless and unable to relax when you get into bed at night.

Before going to bed, stretch to release tension, sleep better, and improve your health. The benefits of stretching will be discussed, including how long you should stretch before bed.

The benefits of stretching before bed

Stress is reduced

Stretching is beneficial on both a physical and mental level. The first benefit of developing an evening stretching routine is that it helps your body enter a relaxed state, which is conducive to falling asleep more quickly. As an alternative to scrolling through social media or reading emails on a screen, stretching allows you to feel more relaxed at night.

Yoga and stretching, when done correctly, can be very relaxing and meditative. In order to separate yourself from the day’s stress and tell your subconscious to stop worrying, focus on your body and your present actions through stretches.

Increased blood flow

Athletes stretch before competing for a good reason: it improves circulation. Muscles and joints function better when they receive more oxygen and nutrients, this is due to increased blood flow.

Relaxes muscles

You may experience discomfort while trying to fall asleep if you stay inactive for long periods of time. Stretching relieves muscle tension. A muscle’s length increases when it is stretched, and the longer it is, the less tension it holds.

Reduces lower back pain

Low back pain can keep you awake at night, interfering with quality sleep. Stretching should further minimize your discomfort even if you have a good mattress for back pain.
Assists in preventing injuries. A regular night-time stretch routine could help reduce back pain and your risk of injury, whether the injury is back-related or not.

When muscles and joints are stretched, they have a wider range of motion. If your muscles are not stretched regularly, they will become tight, so when you go to use them they will not function as well, increasing your chances of getting injured joints, strains, and damage.

Before you go to sleep, do these stretches

Knee to Chest

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Lie on your back on your floor, lift and bend one leg.
2. Then place both of your hands on your knee and gently bring it to your chest.
3. Try to remain as relaxed as possible and hold for a few seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
4. If one leg at a time is comfortable for you, you can also try bringing both knees to your chest at the same time.

Ideal for: This stretch helps you achieve great spinal flexion and is wonderful for aching lower backs.

Spinal Twist

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Lying on your back, extend both arms out from your sides.
2. Lift your right leg and place your right foot on the floor.
3. Slowly cross your right leg over the left side of your body and allow it to fall naturally towards the floor.
4. You can hold your knee with your left hand, but you don’t need to push your knee further than it naturally extends.
5. For a deeper stretch, turn your head to the right.
6. Breathe in and out as you feel your spine relax. Repeat on the other side.

Ideal for: Helping spinal mobility and improving a hunched posture from working at a desk all day.

Side Stretch

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Sit down with either your legs crossed or on your heels, extend your left arm above your head.
2. Place your right arm on the floor and lean your body to the right, keeping your left arm above your ear.
3. You should feel the stretch in your left side. Repeat on the other side.

Ideal for: Stretches your obliques, spine, and strengthens your core for a stronger spine.

Lunge

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. From a standing or kneeling position, place one foot in front of the other and come into a lunge.
2. Allow your opposite knee to support some of your weight.
3. Concentrate on keeping your spine straight and your chest open, then repeat on the other side.

Ideal for: Stretching your glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors. This is a helpful stretch for people sitting all day and runners alike.

Butterfly Pose

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, then bring the soles of your feet together making a diamond with your legs.
2. Bring your feet towards your body as you lean forward, keeping your spine as straight as possible.
3. Rest in this pose for a few moments to deepen the stretch.

Ideal for: Stretching your inner thighs and lower back.

Child’s Pose

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Start on your hands and knees, sit back onto your heels while leaving your arms extended in front of you.
2. Your knees need to be at least hip-width apart. Focus on keeping your spine long and lengthened.
3. Walk your hands forward until you are nearly flat on the ground, and then put your head to the floor.
4. Relax in this position.
5. You can also place your arms at your sides if your shoulders are too tight.

Ideal for: Tight shoulders, releasing tension in your neck, and stretching your back.

Bear Hug

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Beginning with your arms stretched wide, wrap your arms around yourself like you are giving yourself a hug. Grab your shoulders and pull in to deepen the stretch.
2. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
3. Then release, stretch your arms wide, and switch arms so that the one on top is now below.

Ideal For: Your shoulders, rhomboids, trapezius muscles, and arms. You can also use this pose to mentally give a little self-love.

Legs Up the Wall

Sleep well with these 8 stretches

1. Lying on one side with your legs along the wall.
2. Slowly roll onto your back, and lift your legs, so they extend vertically up the wall.
3. Release all tension in your hips and breathe.
4. Try to hold this position for a few minutes for maximum benefit.
5. Put a pillow or cushion under your hips for more support is needed.

Ideal for: Improving circulation in tired, aching, or restless legs, or aiding in digestive issues. This is a great stretch to do to relax at the end of your stretching routine.

Do I need to stretch for a certain amount of time?

You won’t reap the full benefits of stretching if you don’t stretch for a long enough period of time.

Adults should remain in stretches for a minimum of 60 seconds. Do several repetitions if you are unable to hold the stretch for a full minute. If you can only stretch for 30 seconds, repeat that stretch for another 30 seconds.