Surrendering to sleep is one of the finest and, for some unfortunate people, one of the most elusive feelings in human existence. Nothing is worse than lying in bed staring at the ceiling with your mind racing. One of the quickest (and only) ways to combat this is by putting your body and mind in a conducive state for sleep: while this process starts as soon as you wake up (dieting, stress levels and caffeine consumption can make your body pulse like a music visualizer), there are specific steps you can take in the hour before bed time that will help you fall asleep easier and, along this line, stretching may be worth a try. Here are a few stretches to try, and always remember that the secret here is as much about the deep breathing as it is about the stretching:
- Simple bridge: lie supine with knees bent and feet flat with arms extended by your side with palms up. Use your abs and press down with the heels to lift your hips into the air, creating a diagonal line between shoulder and knees. Hold for 10 deep breathing then slowly return to starting position.
- Lay on your back and bend your knees in toward the chest. Grab the inside edges of your feet with palms facing outward and push your knees to the side. Once they reach a point of resistance, lower them toward the armpits, keeping the heels above the knees and feet flex. Hold for 10 deep breaths and return to starting position.
- Sit cross-legged and put the left hand on the floor next to the hip. Extend right arm up past the right ear then lean toward the left keeping the buttocks on the floor and shoulders down. Hold for 10 deep breaths then return and repeat on the other side.
When it comes to falling asleep, we want to stack every odd in your favor in the crucial moments leading up to bedtime. For help on addressing any more pressing physical conditions or pain which may be holding you back, give our office in Sacramento a call and schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.