6 Bedtime Exercises to Reset Your Body and Mind

Experts like to focus on the benefits of exercising in the morning - like balancing your internal clock. 

But, winding down at bedtime with a low impact, light practice can help you achieve deeper and more restful sleep. 

Establishing a nightly wind-down routine is a great way to relieve body pain issues that can disturb your rest. Just twenty minutes a day can make a world of difference. Check out this quick routine for yourself!

1. Neck Stretches

Neck extension movements can help you improve your flexibility and rotation. Make sure you take it slow and only apply light pressure if you use your hand to aid in stretching. 

Start by sitting cross-legged on a mat, your floor, or the bed. Then, lean your right ear to your right shoulder. Repeat on the left side. 

Next, place your hands behind you flat on the surface and rotate your head from side to side slowly observing any tension and breathing to create space between your joints.

2. Seated Side Bends

Now that your neck is stretched, remain seated and stretch your right arm straight in the air so that it becomes parallel with your ear.

Then, lean your body all the way to the side imagining your hand pressing towards the earth. Elongate your spine as you progress through the movement. 

Repeat the exercise on your other side until your body feels light and limber. 

3. Spinal Circles

Spinal circles are another great seated exercise. Sit with your legs in a butterfly position - feet souls touching.

Then, simply place your hands on your knees and transfer your body wait in a rotating motion clockwise. After a few rotations, begin a counterclockwise motion.

4. Roll Downs

On a mat, sit upright with your knees bent. Hold the back of your thighs with your hands.

Then, as you inhale, roll backwards one vertebrae at a time and at the same time release your arms and raise them back until they are straight above your head.

Return to your upright position and repeat for five to eight reps. 

5. Leg Circles

Laying flat back on the mat, raise one leg in the air and then circle it around your body in a complete motion.

Focus on engaging your core and stabilizing your hips as you repeat your circles. It may help to place your hands under your bottom to stabilize yourself. Then, try the same movement on the other side. 

For an enhanced stretch, in between circles you can hug your thigh to your core and then draw it across your torso, as you turn and look in the opposite direction, stretching your lower back.

6. Bridges

There are many different types of backbends in pilates and yoga. Before bedtime, attempt one of the simplest. 

Lie on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your inner thighs and feet are touching. 

Then, as you inhale, lift your hips rolling your spine from the floor one vertebrae at a time. At the same time, lift your arms, clasp your hands together and reach back towards your feet. Slide your shoulder blades towards each and put your weight on the back of your upper arms.

As you exhale, Return your arms, hips, and spine to the mat. Repeat 5 to 8 times. 

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