There’s no feeling like a good stretch before bed. Stretching is a quick practice that anyone can do anywhere… and the benefits “stretch” across many aspects of life (pun intended)!
A 2016 review of studiescites a link between meditative movements such as yoga or stretching and enhanced sleep quality.
Moreover, if you have a sleep disorder, stretching can help you keep a handle on symptoms.
Yoga for sleep apneaexists – and it’s thought to tone the open upper airway muscles for boosted airway health.
Our quality of sleep is directly tiedto our quality of life, and stretching is a simple, free tool that anyone can take advantage of.
That’s why we’ve rounded up five stretches to try before bed for your best sleep yet.
But before we embark on our journey toward each stretch, there’s more to uncover about what you have to gain from nightly stretching.
The advantages of stretching before bed far outweigh better sleep! By simply stretching each day we can relieve stress, prevent injury, and more.
Stretch Your Way to Wellness
Stretching is a secret weapon for better sleep, largely because of the additional perks it provides the body and mind.
The act of stretching is proven to improve blood flow by boosting circulation to muscles and joints, helping to deliver more oxygen to these areas.
In turn, it’s thought that leg stretches may even help protect the body against conditions associated with reduced blood flowsuch as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
As a result, stretching helps to relieve tense muscles. The phrase, “use it or lose it” is a truthful one, as large periods of inactivity cause a build-up of tension in the muscles.
That means more all-around discomfort, especially when you’re trying to sleep. Stretching provides relief from muscle tension by extending the lengthof each muscle.
The greater a muscle’s length extends, the less tension it holds. This doesn’t just decrease discomfort, it prevents the risk of injury and lowered mobility caused by stiff muscles.
Furthermore, stretching places the body and mind in a relaxed state, bringing stress levels down.
Around 77 percent of peoplesay that stress impacts their physical health, while 73 percent blame stress for negatively impacting their mental health.
Moreover, 48 percent of people report problems with sleeping due to stress.
It’s no surprise that stress levels have skyrocketed due to the stresses of modern life that leave many of us stuck in a stressed state of “fight or flight.”
As stress becomes a chronic problem across the globe, stretching offers a meditative practicethat activates our parasympathetic nervous system, taking us out of fight or flight and preparing us for rest and relaxation.
Place a cushion under your bottom for added comfort and scoot away from the wall to avoid forming a precise 90-degree angle.
To perform this stretch, find a wall and place your cushion or pillow against it. Scoot your hips toward the wall, moving your feet up until your body nearly makes an “L” shape.
Rest your arms along your sides or on your chest. Focus on breathing slowly in and out of your nose while stretching your legs and calming your mind.
Stay in this pose for a comfortable few minutes, building up to anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes total over time.
If you find it hard to practice controlled, slow nasal breathing as you practice these stretches, your airway health may need some attention.
Most people who find it hard to nasal breathe during the day find it even harder to nasal breathe at night. As a result, their risk of snoring and developing sleep apnea skyrockets.
Talk about a nightmare!
Stretch Your Airway: Nasal Breathing 101
Even if you stretch your way to a relaxed state for improved sleep or you practice yoga for sleep apnea every day, your health may still be at risk if you aren’t nasal breathing the majority of the time.
Our noses were made for breathing and smelling, while our mouths are for eating. If you’re habitually mouth breathing, your risk for snoring and sleep apnea is elevated, putting your overall health at risk.
Remember the phrase “use it or lose it?” If you don’t use your nose to breathe, it becomes harder to regain control of your airway health.
The more you mouth breathe, the more congested you become. In turn, nasal breathing is harder than ever before. To break the cycle, you have to train yourself to nasal breathe.
What’s the big deal, anyway? Mouth breathing causes airway tissues to fall backward during sleep, leading to snoring and sleep disordersover time.
Moreover, the nose filters and humidifies the air, injecting our bodies with a natural production of nitric oxide, a miracle molecule that works as a vasodilator to improve oxygenation.
Mouth breathing leaves the air unfiltered and de-humidified, allowing for harmful pathogens and bacteria to enter the body, wreaking havoc on the immune system.
There’s just one problem…how do you nasal breathe while you’re asleep? By preventing the mouth from falling open at night, you can ensure that you’ll nasal breathe all night long.
Mouth tape offers a gentle, effective lip seal that promotes nasal breathing, prevents snoring, and improves sleep.
SomniFix offers Mouth Strips with a gentle, gel-like adhesive free from irritants known to cause rashes and irritation.
Our Mouth Strips also offer a patented breathing vent that offers emergency mouth breathing if you happen to become congested overnight.
Stretch out your lungs and airway for your best sleep yet by nasal breathing into the night with SomniFix!
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