Bedtime stretch sequence for better sleep.

Friday, 06 December 2019

It's one of my favorites times of the day, bedtime!  And I'm talking my own, not necessarily the [sometimes maddening, sometimes sweet] routine with the four kiddos. When those little angels have gotten past their second/third/forth wind and are finallly sleeping, I actually pat myself on the back and say "Nice work, Amy, you did it!"  While I love the light that they bring to my life, these quiet evening hours are moments that I look forward to for ME. 

This is what it generally looks like - vegging out to a little DVR or Netflix (my current favs: So You Think You Can Dance, Modern Family, It's Always Sunny and Survivor with the hubs), scrolling/responding to IG & FB, brush, wash, take my contacts out, then B to the E to the D, BED! And truly, there are many days when I get the kids down by 8pm and I immediately get myself ready for a 9pm bedtime. #MamasTired! 

If it's been a particularly hectic season (holidays, work ideas, life transition) I have difficulty "shutting off" my brain. It’s the running tally of how the day went. Things that were sucky, things that were swell. The lists that are looming for tomorrow. The chatter of the mind that won’t. quiet. down. 

Guess what, we're not doing anything wrong when we notice that chatter, it’s what the brain naturally does. It thinks. Hooray! But, we can help it shift into a calmer state when our bodies say “sleep” but our brain says otherwise...

There are many suggestions for helping you quiet your mind before bed: 

  • Create a cozy, quiet, dark space for rest.
  • Journal. Get those thoughts out of your brain and onto paper.
  • Keep computers and TV’s out of the bedroom.
  • Avoid caffeine 4 hours before bed and alcohol 3 hours before bed.
  • Remain consistent with your sleep schedule.
  • Various relaxation techniques: a bath, journaling, reading aaaaand, stretching! That’s where I come in.

Stretching before bed offers many benefits. In short, it allows you to physically and mentally shift from the activities of the day to the slower pace of the evening before drifting off to sleep.

Stretching can improve circulation, relieve muscle tension and bring you into the present moment. Ahhh, #mindfulness

Connecting these stretches with slow and steady breathing allows your brain to tap into the calming quality of the parasympathetic nervous system. This can help bring about a state of ease as you cozy in for the night.

If you’re ready to shift gears, check the video below and join me for three of my favorite nighttime stretches that you can do in bed!  Ok, there’s four, I couldn’t help myself.

Sweet dreams, darlings.

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