10 Best Stretches Before Bed For A Better Night’s Sleep

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woman doing stretches before bed

We’re all used to brushing our teeth and following a skincare routine before bed, but what about stretching?

Studies confirm that doing some stretches before bed can actually help you get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed.

Throughout the day our bodies develop a lot of tension from stress and poor body movements such as sitting at a desk all day or standing for too long.

This can cause you to wake up with a sore neck or back, feeling like you didn’t get much sleep at all. Stretching can alleviate this by reducing tension before bed and helping your muscles, and your mind, to relax. This helps you to wake up feeling rested and without a stiff neck or back.

Stretching is also a great way to increase your overall level of flexibility. Having more flexibility will benefit you by aiding in better workouts, moving more gracefully, and fighting against ailments like arthritis.

Best Stretches Before Bed

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Your nighttime stretching routine doesn’t have to take up a huge chunk of your time, ten minutes is really all you need.

Your stretch routine should be a chance for you to create a stress-free body and mindset before snuggling in for bed. Try diffusing your favorite essential oils or burn a scented candle to create an extra calming environment.

To get started check out the best stretches to do before bed for a better night’s sleep.

1. Butterfly Stretch

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The butterfly stretch is great for beginners and will aid in opening up your hips. Starting with this stretch will help you perform the rest of your routine better.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with the bottoms of your feet together and hips open. Pretend you are going to sit cross-legged but instead of crossing your legs, touch the bottoms of your feet together.

Step 2

Reach forward as far you can without lifting your butt off the ground. This will stretch your hips, shoulders, and back.

Step 3

Return to your initial position of sitting upright and push lightly on your thighs to try to bring your knees closer to the ground.

Only push until you feel a good stretch, don’t force your legs into a painful position. This will open your hips even further and stretch your inner thighs.

2. Neck Rolls

It’s no surprise that one of the areas we carry the most tension is in our neck.

No one likes waking up and only being able to turn their head in one direction but unfortunately, we’ve all been there. This is the most important area to stretch to ensure you wake up rested and without a kink.

Step 1

Staying in your butterfly position double-check that your posture is straight, no slouching!

Step 2

Allow your head to drop to your chest.

Step 3

Circle your head in one direction three to five times, keeping your posture straight.

Step 4

Repeat step three while circling your head in the opposite direction and then returning to a neutral position.

3. The Bear Hug

Another area that a lot of tension is held is in our shoulders and upper back. This could be from leaning over a computer all day or simply just needing to work on your posture.

Step 1

Standing up straight with good posture, wrap your arms around yourself and quite literally give yourself a big bear hug.

Step 2

Take a few deep inhales and audible exhales here and then release your hug.

4. Low Lunge

The low lunge stretch will increase flexibility in your legs, hips, and strengthen your back.

Step 1

Step into a low lunge with one leg bent forward and the other extended behind you. Rest your knee on the ground and check that your feet and knees are straight.

Step 2

Push your weight into the front leg and take a deep inhale and exhale. Hold here for 20 to 30 seconds.

Step 3

Repeat on the opposite leg.

5. Seated Forward Fold

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This one will make you feel like you’re back in your middle school gym, but I promise it’s worth it.

This stretch will increase flexibility in your hamstrings and lengthen your spine.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your legs together and straight out in front of you.

Step 2

With a straight spine, reach your hands over your head and then fold over, trying to touch your toes. If you can’t touch your toes, hold onto your ankles or calves.

Step 3

Keeping a neutral spine, stat in this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, and then slowly bring yourself back up.

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6. Legs on the Wall

Even though it looks a little silly, this stretch is great for releasing tension in your back and neck.

Step 1

Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air, flat against a wall. If you can’t get your legs completely flat against the wall, don’t worry. You will get there!

Step 2

Keeping your arms by your side and your neck straight, take a few inhales and exhales.

Step 3

Slowly push yourself away from the wall to release. Do not swing your legs down.

7. Reclining Wide Hip Stretch

Similar to the butterfly stretch, this will open your hips and aid in flexibility.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with a straight posture and bring your legs and feet into a butterfly stretch.

Step 2

While staying in a butterfly stretch, lay on your back keeping your hips open.

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Step 3

Stay here with your hips as open as possible for 20-30 seconds.

8. Knees To Chest

This move will help you relax and stretch out your glutes and hamstrings.

Step 1

Lay on completely flat on the floor with your gaze on the ceiling.

Step 2

Keeping a neutral neck and spine, bring your knee into your chest as far as you can.

Step 3

Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 4

Bring both knees to your chest, hugging them. Rock back forth here for a slight massage in your spine.

9. Side Bend

The side bend stretch will stretch out your lats and obliques. It’s a great way to reduce tension and get your flexibility moving in the right direction.

Step 1

Sit cross-legged on the floor with a straight spine.

Step 2

While leaning on your right forearm, reach your left arm overhead and into as far as a side bend as possible

Step 3

Repeat the same move on the opposite side.

10. Child’s Pose

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Childs pose is my personal favorite as it is super relaxing. Seriously, I could sleep like this. All of your tension will be released, and your hips opened. This is also a great stretch for your shoulders.

Step 1

On the floor come onto your knees with your butt sitting on your heels.

Step 2

Hinge forward, resting your forehead on the ground and reaching your hands out in front of you. Try keeping your hips as open as possible.

Step 3

Try not to fall asleep and only stay here for 20 to 30 seconds.

All of these stretches are beginner-friendly but might still be a challenge. If this is the case don’t get discouraged. Flexibility takes time and you will see improvements as long as you are consistent.

Keep in mind that a stretch stops hurting as much after about 20 to 30 seconds. Hopefully, you add these stretches into your nighttime routine and start waking up refreshed and ready to tackle your day.

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Lindsey Matthews is a writer who covers love and relationships, news, and pop-culture topics.