If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, a stretch routine could be just the tonic you need. Pour yourself a cup of sleepy time tea, or a hot honey and lemon and try these easy stretches that promote relaxation and calm the nervous system. As with almost all stretches, there should be an emphasis on deep breathing to bring in oxygen your cells need to feel nourished after you open them up to the circulation that comes with a good stretch.
- Lay supine and bend your knees into the chest, grabbing the inside edges of the feet with your hands, palms facing outward. Push the knees out to the side then lower them toward your armpits, keeping the heels above the knees and feet flexed. Hold for 10 seconds, counted out by each deep breath you take.
- The simple bridge: Lie supine with knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms extended with palms up. Use your abs and heels to lift the hips and back into the air to form a diagonal line between shoulder and knees. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower gently back to the starting position.
- Sit cross-legged and put the left hand on the floor to the side of the left hip. Extend your right arm up by the ear. Lean toward the left, keeping buttocks firmly on the floor and shoulders down. Hold 10 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
Stretching before bed, along with eating properly and perhaps treating yourself to a relaxing soak, are some great ways to get your body in a receptive state for sleeping. Mental quietude can be hard to come by, so we want to stack all the odds in your favor if you are struggling to sleep. If pain is a contributing factor, call our office in Fremont, so we can start you on a path toward healing and better sleeping.
Dr. Francis Scorca, D.C.