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If you struggle to fall asleep, stretching is an often-forgotten technique to help. Quick and easy exercises are known to improve blood flow and relieve muscle tension — both of which aid in muscle recovery and sleep qualitylegal bug2. The more you can get your body to relax before sleep, the better your sleep will be. Try some of the stretches below and get ready for sweet dreams.

Give Yourself a Bear Hug

This stretch is as simple as it sounds. It works the upper back and helps to alleviate shoulder blade discomfort or pain that’s caused by poor posture.

A woman embracing herself
  • Start with a deep breath in and open your arms out wide.
  • As you exhale, bring your arms in around your body to give yourself a hug.
  • Breathe deep and use your hands to draw your shoulders forward.
  • Hold and breathe deeply for 30 seconds.
  • Release the hug and relax your arms.
  • Repeat steps 2-5 once more.


Relax into Child’s Pose

Yogis, you know it well. This is a resting stretch, perfect for tuning your breath, relaxing your body, and reducing stress.

A person doing yoga pose
  • For those who have not done this pose before, grab a small pillow just in case you need extra support.
  • Start by coming down to your knees and sit back on your heels. If you find this challenging, place the pillow beneath your thighs.
  • Hinge at your hips and fold forward. Rest your forehead on the floor.
  • Extend your arms in front of you or bring your arms alongside your body, whichever is more comfortable.
  • Breathe in deep and hold the pose for up to 5 minutes.


“No pain in the neck” Stretch

These stretches are here to help to relieve tension in your head, neck, and shoulders. Try to focus on maintaining good posture during this exercise.

A boy stretching his neck
  • Find a comfortable place to sit. Take your right hand to the top of your head by your left ear.
  • Gently pull your head towards your right shoulder and hold for five breaths.
  • Release your head and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Now, without your hands, turn and look over your right shoulder, keeping the rest of your body facing forward.
  • Hold this position for five breaths.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Get Low and Lunge

This stretch helps to relieve tension in your lower body, but also helps relax your back and shoulders. Try to stay loose when doing this pose and don’t push yourself too hard.

A woman doing a lunge pose
  • Start by coming into a low lunge with your right foot forward below your right knee and your left leg extended back, keeping your knee on the floor.
  • Place your hands to the floor beneath your shoulders, on your knees, or bring them up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold the pose and breathe deeply. Focus on lengthening your spine and opening your chest. Add tension while on the ground to promote stretching of certain muscles.
  • Feel the line of energy extending out through the crown of your head.
  • Hold this pose for five breaths.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Cat Cow Pose

This pose is ideal for stretching the spine, neck, and shoulderslegal bug3. It involves moving the spine from a rounded position (like a cat) to an arched position (like a cow.) Wonder where they got the name?

A woman doing yoga pose
  • Find a comfortable place on the ground or a flat surface like your bed.
  • Put yourself in a crawling position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground and your knees directly below your hips.
  • As you Inhale deeply, arch your lower back down and bring your head up. Make sure to tilt your pelvis up to mimic the shape of a cow.
  • As you exhale deeply, bring your stomach in, arch your back up, and bring your head down, mimicking the shape of a cat.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.