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Stretches to Help You Sleep Better Tonight

Do these stretches right before bed to fall asleep faster and sleep better.

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Sleeping swan
Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
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Sleeping Swan

What you'll need: A pillow

Tip: With each pose, breathe in and out through your nose for a calming effect on the nervous system.

Targets: Neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs

  • Sit on floor with pillow in front of you. Bend left knee, bringing sole of left foot to right inner thigh. Lift butt and extend right leg behind you.
  • Staying centered, gently hinge forward from hips, placing head on pillow. Extend arms forward, elbows slightly bent.
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Roll back up. Switch legs; repeat.

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Happy Baby

Targets: Back, hips, and hamstrings

  • Lie faceup. Bend knees into chest and grab inside edges of feet with hands, palms out.
  • Bring knees out to sides, then lower toward armpits, keeping heels above knees, feet flexed.
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths, gently rocking from side to side.

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Targets: Hips and legs

  • Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms extended by sides, palms up.
  • Keeping shoulders down, engage abs and press into heels to lift hips and back to form a diagonal line from shoulders to knees.
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths; lower.

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Seated Side Bend

Targets: Neck, shoulders, back, and obliques

  • Sit on pillow in a cross-legged position. Place left hand on floor to side of hip, left elbow slightly bent. Extend right arm by ear.
  • Lean to left, keeping butt on floor, shoulders down.
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

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Rag Doll

Targets: Neck, shoulders, back, and hips

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Place right hand on left elbow, left hand on right elbow.
  • Bend over from hips, letting arms and head hang down.
  • Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Gently roll back up.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2009.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

somatoast2003 wrote:

Here is a helpful book just released for before and after rest stretches.

5/26/2013 01:14:16 AM Report Abuse
cynsmith331 wrote:

Great for BETTER night's sleep. I skipped last night and could tell. Of course, as anyone would know stretching is a form of "warm up" and this is NOT to treat INSOMNIA.

1/27/2012 01:17:07 PM Report Abuse
natalieerussell wrote:

I want to know why these stretches in particular would help me sleep. Can you tell me that, Fitness?

12/6/2011 09:32:12 PM Report Abuse
Claresi wrote:

How about putting these in a list rather than slides. Much easier to view (less time-consuming) & print.

12/6/2011 12:07:12 PM Report Abuse
cabrooker1 wrote:

Go to to get real advice on how to treat insomnia from a Cleveland Clinic-trained Sleep Doctor and Neurologist, Dr. Craig Brooker, M.D.

12/2/2011 03:19:11 PM Report Abuse
jwdemata1 wrote:

helped me a lot .. i tried it then i got wonderful dreams! Amazing workout

3/21/2011 11:37:25 AM Report Abuse
volcraze wrote:

I'm going to need an artificial knee and spine if I try to do that.

10/16/2010 06:59:40 PM Report Abuse
kdswenson wrote:

I wish I could print all at once, like we used to be able to do.

10/13/2010 10:09:03 AM Report Abuse
strawberry_diane wrote:

It forgets to mention something imprtant however - you should never stretch without warming up first to avoid injury.

9/24/2010 07:34:52 PM Report Abuse
prashantmaruti wrote:

Thanks for the information.This is a very important information. use it. ======================pras

9/22/2010 01:23:36 PM Report Abuse
elizapaa wrote:

I looove this stretch!

4/12/2010 10:11:18 AM Report Abuse
dvangor wrote:

I don't think this is recommended for anyone with an artificial knee,do you think?

1/16/2010 05:25:48 PM Report Abuse

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