Wanna Sleep Like a Baby? This Trainer Says You Should Do These 3 Essential Stretches
Pretty much every last one of us could use a stellar night's sleep. Whether you're stressed out at work, sore from your last workout, or dealing with chronic pain, stretching right before you climb into bed can provide you with some delicious beauty sleep. We talked to Francheska Martinez, stretch therapist and certified trainer, about the importance of making your body mobile prior to snoozing.
"Stretching before you go to sleep can be phenomenal for enhancing your quality of sleep by allowing your body to fully rest," Francheska told POPSUGAR. "Not only is it good for sleep quality, but for recovery and long-term health as well."
If you end the day feeling tight and stiff, you're definitely not alone. "After a long day of training, working, and commuting, our bodies hold onto tension caused by these everyday stressors," Francheska explained. "Stretching before going to sleep helps set your mind to rest, giving you one task to focus on as you begin to wind down." Well, sounds pretty good to us.
No matter how busy you are, you can create a habit of bedtime stretching. According to Francheska, adopting this habit "can lead to immense improvements in your muscle, joint, and mental health over time," and you'll even see "improvements in your range of motion, muscle activation, and tissue quality." Your athletic performance will get better over time as well.
"Three of my go-to nighttime stretches are the Swan Dive, Beast Wave Unloads, and Lateral Flexion," Francheska told POPSUGAR. "All three of these stretches focus on spinal decompression while releasing other regions of the body. I prefer to take an intuitive and enjoyable approach while also working on relaxing and decompressing my body. Therefore, rather than counting reps or sets, put on a song or two and perform these movements sequentially. Make a dance out of it if you'd like! Just move!"
You heard her: no rules, just move. Descriptions for each stretch are ahead.