Add these simple exercises to your bedtime routine to calm your body and mind — and drift off in no time.

Sunrise alarm clocks, sound machines, weighted blankets — you can invest in plenty of gadgets to help your body get more rest. And while you can’t put a price tag on a solid night’s sleep, there’s another tool you can add to your kit that costs absolutely nothing: a pre-bedtime exercise routine.

Sure, a consistent exercise regimen, especially in the a.m., can improve your slumber. But there are also benefits to stretching and moving your muscles shortly before you turn off the lights. The best part is a nightly practice doesn’t have to be as time-consuming or intense as your morning workout.

The point is to relax your muscles and mind to promote easy sleep. The right exercises — particularly those derived from yoga — will help you feel more comfortable and relieve tension so you can drift off into dreamland.  

That’s for good reason. According to a survey of U.S. adults, more than 55 percent of people who practice yoga report improved sleep, and more than 85 percent report reduced stress. If you need help shaking off the day’s worries, consider adding these bedtime stretches to your wind-down ritual.

Here are our six favorite gentle and mindful bedtime exercises for deep, quality sleep.

Read more: The Best Natural Yoga Pillows For Every Yogi

Neck Stretch

Neck StretchIf you spend your workday staring at a computer or at a job that requires maneuvering at odd angles (dental hygienists and estheticians come to mind), you may benefit from a pre-bedtime neck stretch. According to the Sleep Foundation, this is a great exercise to release tension, which keeps some people awake at night. 

The movement is simple, too. Just sit up straight (seated or standing) and touch your ear to your shoulder on one side. Repeat on the other side. Next, stretch in the other direction by touching your chin to your chest (you should feel this in the back of your neck), then raise your chin toward the ceiling (to stretch the front of your neck). For an extra dose of relaxation, play soothing music or turn on a red light while you stretch.

Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)This simple yoga pose has big benefits for sleep, your lymphatic system, and overall stress levels. That’s because it requires placing your feet above your head, which encourages circulation. According to Narayana Health, it can also relax your body and mind by taking a literal load off your legs.

Start by finding a wall in your home that has enough space around it to lie down comfortably. Place a yoga or workout mat on the floor, perpendicular to the wall. Sit on the mat, scooting your right or left hip as close to the wall as you can. Then lie back on your mat and, as you do, move your feet up the wall as far as you can. If you’re really flexible, you may be able to scoot your butt flush to the wall with your legs flat against the wall (your body will form a right angle). If your flexibility isn’t quite there yet, don’t worry. Straighten your legs as much as you comfortably can. You’ll still reap the benefits of the increased circulation.

Read more: Optimize Your Sleep: Choosing the Right Pillow for Comfort and Support

Child’s Pose (Bālāsana)

Child’s Pose (Bālāsana)If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, this pose will be familiar. Often, Child’s Pose is the go-to when you need to take a break during a yoga session and ground yourself. So it makes sense that the movement — stretches your lower back, glutes, and upper body — is also great for pre-bedtime relaxation. 

Start by positioning yourself on all fours. Then, bend your knees and lower your butt toward your heels. Outstretch your arms in front of you on the mat letting your fingertips extend past your head. Hold the pose for 30 seconds or more, then return to the starting position. Repeat several times.

Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)If you’re sitting at a desk all day, it’s likely you have tight hips. To relieve that tension before hopping into bed, consider adding this pose to your nightly exercise rotation. 

First, lie down on a mat. Bend your knees and tuck your feet close to your bottom. Next, butterfly your legs. That is, move your knees away from each other while keeping the soles of your feet together. You may feel this stretch in your groin first, but it will also help loosen up your hips. If this movement feels strenuous, consider placing a yoga block under each of your knees to provide support. Meanwhile, place your arms about 45 degrees out from your body with your palms facing up. Close your eyes and enjoy the end-of-day stretch.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-Cow Pose 1Hunching over a computer for eight hours can create tension in your upper back and neck. Over time, this can lead to headaches and even jaw pain. Release those tight muscles with this simple yet satisfying stretch before bed. 

For this pose, start on all fours. While keeping your hands and knees planted on the ground, round your back and tilt your head down. You should feel this between your shoulder blades and the back of your neck. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then come back to a neutral spine. Next, arch your back and title your chin toward the ceiling. You should feel this through your abdomen and the front of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat.

Thread The Needle

Thread the NeddleBefore your head hits the pillow, give your shoulders a little TLC. This move is great for gently stretching those muscles, and it can also improve mobility. Get on all fours and thread your right arm through the space between your left leg and arm. Maintain a bend in the left arm as you hold this stretch. You should feel this in your shoulders as well as in your spine. Switch sides and repeat the movement as needed.

Read more: How Your Chronotypes Rule Your Sleep

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