When it comes to sticking to an appropriate bedtime, sometimes our brains and bodies just don’t want to cooperate.
Instead of just lying there trying to count sheep (or worse—checking your phone!), why not take advantage of the situation by performing a few restorative poses right in your bed to help relax and prepare you for sleep?
Here are seven restorative poses to try in bed for better sleep.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
This hip-opening pose helps to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate, decreasing tension both in the mind and the body. You can place your arms by your side with palms up, reach your arms above your head to grab opposite elbows, or alternatively rest your hands on your belly to feel the rise and fall with your breath.
Reclined Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
After a long and busy day, the back could use a good stretch to relieve built up tension. Reclined spinal twist stretches and relaxes the spine while lending a hand to digestive health by giving the abdominal muscles a soothing massage.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
One of the big perks of doing seated forward bend in bed is that you can place a couple pillows over your legs and fold over them for an extra soothing and cozy stretch! This pose stretches the spine, hamstrings, and shoulders while stimulating important organs like the kidneys and liver.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
Wide angle seated forward is known to have a calming effect on the brain as it stretches the insides and backs of the legs, releases tension in the groin, and strengthens the spine. Remember to keep the knee caps pointed toward the ceiling as you fold forward and consider rolling up your bedsheets to support your knees if you need to.
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
Even if there’s no wall on either side of your bed, you can still put your legs up the headboard to get into this pose. It induces relaxation by stimulating venous drainage, improving circulation, and soothing swollen or cramped legs and feet from standing, walking, or sitting all day.
Video: How to do legs up the wall
Thread the Needle Pose (Sucirandhrasana)
Threat the needle pose helps to release tension that builds up in the upper back and shoulders while stretching and opening the chest, arms, neck, upper back and shoulders. Doing this pose in bed will be easier on your knees and you can optionally place a pillow underneath your torso to keep yourself more upright.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Of course corpse pose had to make the list. It’s the ultimate surrendering pose and arguably the hardest one of them all. If you can learn to allow your mind and body to let go of stress and tension as much as possible in this pose, however, you’ll ultimately feel more relaxed, calm, and ready for a good night’s sleep.
Video: How to do corpse pose