When seeking physiotherapy Burnaby residents often tell us they have trouble falling or staying asleep at night. One thing we recommend is to spend 20-30 minutes stretching to relax the body and prepare the mind for rest.
Here are a few physio stretches to try before bed to get a better night’s rest.
1. Legs up the wall
This is a simple yoga posture that releases lower back tension, stretches hamstrings and helps alleviate swelling or discomfort from sitting or standing all day.
Sit facing a wall, and scoot your hips as close to the wall as possible. Gently swing your legs up parallel to the wall, and lay back flat on the floor. Stretch your arms above your head or out to the sides, and take slow, deep breaths.
2. Cat-cow stretch
Many Surrey physio experts recommend this stretch to patients. It soothes upper back and neck tension and helps open the chest.
Start on hands and knees with your spine neutral. As you inhale, arch your belly toward the floor and slowly lift your face toward the ceiling. As you exhale, arch your back like a cat and dip your chin toward your chest. Repeat this slow flow 5-10 times.
3. Neck twist
At physio Vancouver patients often find they hold a lot of tension in their necks. This is an easy stretch to loosen the neck and jaw. To protect your neck, perform each motion slowly, and stop if you feel pain.
Begin with your head in a neutral position facing forward.
– Inhale, and turn your head to the left.
– Exhale, and tilt your head down to gaze at your left shoulder.
– Inhale as you roll your chin toward the center of your chest.
– Exhale, and roll your chin to the right, gazing down at your right shoulder.
– Inhale, and lift your chin to look up over your right shoulder.
– Exhale as you return your head to the neutral position you started in.
This can help stretch your back and legs, especially if you spend long hours sitting or standing.
Lie on your back with your knees bent comfortably. Lift one knee and gently hug it to your chest. You can straighten the leg for a deeper stretch if you wish. Take a few slow, deep breaths as you stretch. Release your leg and repeat this sequence on the opposite side.