4 Bedtime Stretches for Better Sleep

4 Bedtime Stretches for Better Sleep

Here are a few simple bedtime stretches you can add to your nightly routine to help relax your body, unwind your mind


In today’s fast-paced world, it feels like getting enough sleep is more elusive than ever. From work-related stress to excessive screen time, several factors can disrupt your quality of sleep. Fortunately, there are a few simple bedtime stretches you can add to your nightly routine to help relax your body, unwind your mind, and prepare you for a night of restful, restorative sleep.

Bedtime Yoga Stretches for Sleep

Research suggests that doing a few bedtime yoga stretches before you hit the hay can have a positive impact on sleep quality. Engaging in gentle stretching before bed helps release physical tension accumulated throughout the day. This physical release, combined with focused breathing and mindful movements, can signal your body that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. Stretching also helps to reduce stress levels, promote blood circulation, and alleviate muscle stiffness or discomfort, all of which can contribute to a good night’s sleep.

The Benefits of Bedtime Stretches

  • Calms the Mind: Bedtime stretches that incorporate deep breathing and mindfulness can help calm racing thoughts, lower stress levels, and support relaxation.
  • Promotes Muscle Relaxation: Stretching before bed helps release tension from tight muscles, promoting relaxation and reducing muscle soreness that may disturb your sleep.
  • Enhances Flexibility: Consistent stretching improves flexibility, helping to increase your range of motion, especially in your joints, which can reduce the risk of stiffness in the morning and promote joint health over time.

Child’s Pose

Slim woman doing gymnastics at home.


Child’s Pose, also known as Balasana, is a calming and restorative yoga pose that gently stretches the back, hips, and shoulders, promoting relaxation and releasing tension from these areas. By incorporating Child’s Pose into your nighttime routine, you can tune into your breath, reduce stress, and create a sense of tranquility.

How to do this stretch: 

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your knees wider than hip-width apart.
  • Sit back onto your heels while extending your arms forward and lowering your forehead to the ground.
  • Take slow, deep breaths and focus on relaxing your body. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.




Cat pose and cow pose, also known as Marjaryasana and Bitilasana, are a pair of related positions that can effectively relieve tensions in the neck, shoulders, and back—particularly those caused by prolonged sitting at a computer during the day. When combined, the Cat-Cow pose can help release tension and ease muscle stiffness, helping you relax and unwind as you get ready for bed.

How to do this stretch: 

  • Begin the Cat pose by kneeling on the floor with your hands placed shoulder-width apart, reaching forward.
  • Press down on your hands, grounding yourself into the floor.
  • Begin arching your back upwards, drawing your head between your shoulders and creating a gentle stretch in your spine.
  • Continue to arch your back while drawing your stomach in, allowing your entire spine to lengthen.
  • Gradually lower your back to return your spine to a neutral position, maintaining a relaxed and comfortable posture.
  • Press down on your hands and, in a slow and controlled manner, roll your shoulders up and back, lowering your stomach to create a scoop-like shape in your spine.
  • As your spine scoops into Cow pose, lift your neck and head, gently stretching the front of your neck.
  • Slowly raise your back to return your spine to a neutral position, maintaining a sense of ease and relaxation.

Standing Forward Bend

Group of yoga students in sportswear standing on exercise mats and doing standing forward bend


The Standing Forward Bend, also known as Uttanasana, can be a valuable addition to your bedtime routine as it promotes relaxation and helps calm the mind. This gentle forward fold stretch releases tension in your back, hamstrings, and neck and helps prepare your body for deep and restorative sleep.

How to do this stretch: 

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly bend forward from your hips.
  • Let your upper body hang loose, allowing your hands to reach toward the ground or grasp opposite elbows.
  • Relax your neck and let your head hang heavy. Breathe in deep and hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.

Seated Spinal Twist 

Group of young yoga students concentrated on exercise sitting on mats and performing seated spinal twist at class


The Seated Spinal Twist, or Ardha Matsyendrasana, can be highly beneficial for promoting relaxation and getting your mind and body ready for bed. This gentle twist helps release tension in the spine, hips, and shoulders, fostering a sense of calmness and relaxation that can contribute to a restful night’s rest.

How to do this stretch: 

  • Sit on the edge of your bed with your legs extended.
  • Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg, placing your foot on the floor.
  • Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee.
  • Gently turn your head to look over your right shoulder.
  • Take a deep breath in, feeling the stretch in your spine. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the other side.

Sweet Dreams

Integrating these bedtime stretches into your nightly ritual can have profound effects on your sleep quality. By devoting a few minutes a day to these gentle stretches, you can release tension, enhance relaxation, and prepare your body and mind for a restful night’s sleep.

Want more bedtime yoga stretches to add to your nighttime routine? Check out this “Yoga Before Bed” video from Better Sleep Council spokesperson Lissa Coffey to help prepare your mind and body for sleep!

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