On March 13th it’s World Sleep Day! A day all about celebrating the beautiful phenomenon that allows us to grow, re-generate and revitalize so we can go out into the world to achieve our fantastic goals and dreams! We quite often take sleep for granted, either because we feel we get enough already, or that we can survive on just a little. The thing is, there is nothing that replaces good quality sleep – not coffee, not a brisk walk, not even a good glass of wine… Good quality sleep sees you waking up fresh, with energy and optimism and a swing in your step (which most of us have never felt…). But it can be tricky to gain if we stick to what we know!
The good thing though, is something as simple as bed yoga can improve your quality of sleep by helping you to sleep longer, fall asleep faster, and get you to sleep quicker if you wake up. And it’s as easy as stretching in bed!
How not doing bed yoga can cost us…
Whilst it can be tempting to swap sleep for a few hours of valuable wakefulness, it’s important to identify what this can actually cost us. Sleep is unbelievably precious too. Numerous studies have found that ack of adequate sleep has been associated with a shortened lifespan and lack of and low quality sleep can increase our chances of developing serious medical conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
But hurray! This can be avoided with some daily stretching, think of it as an extension of your bed stretch anyway – this time you step out of bed feeling chilled out and optimistic about your day, or relaxed and settled into sleep and all it takes is a little bed yoga.
5 poses you can do morning + night
Whilst still lying on your back, with the pillow under your head, bring your feet together and let your knees drop to either side. With every in breathe, float your knees up and together, with every out breath, allow them to fall to the side. You can always place your knees on pillows as well if you want to chill out even more!
Bring your knees back together from lying butterfly and slowly lower them to one side as you breathe out. Gaze over to the other side if you like and relax your knees and shoulders. Breathe in to come back to the centre, breathe out and lower to the other side. Try and soften your feet and knees into the bed – if this is too tricky you can either prop your knees on a pillow or straighten your legs a little.
This is so easy, and just feels like an extension of what we do so naturally in bed anyway! As you breathe in, reach your arms up and over your head and point your toes. On your out-breath, bring your arms back up and over your head and back down the sides of your bed whilst flexing your feet. Do this a few times!
From stick pose, slowly come up to sit with your legs stretched out. Take a nice breathe in as you lift up tall, and on your exhale lean forward and reach for your feet. Stay here for a few breaths or move with each inhale and exhale.
Reach up + over
Bring your legs into a crossed position and relax your arms down by your sides. On your in-breath, reach your arms up to the ceiling and as you breathe out, stretch to one side. Breathe in to come back to the middle and repeat on the other side! Do this a few more times and you’re good as gold.
These stretches are super valuable to the quality of your sleep as they help your body to relax, help your muscles to soften and help your brain to settle so you can move through your day with intention, and what sounds better than a little bit of bed yoga?!
If you’re needing some more support in improving your sleep quality, join me and my ladies over in my Yoga LIVE group. For $10 a month we work through de-stressing, calming our bodies and quietening our minds so we can all sleep well – we frequently do specific sleep sessions. Join us now right here!