Stretching has a way of melting away stress and worry, but there’s no need to unroll your yoga mat. Here are nine stretches you can do in your pajamas and your bed — either before you go to sleep or once your alarm goes off — or both! Do all nine if you have time, or just pick a few. Either way, you’ll feel more relaxed, whether you’re heading to the land of nod or waking with the sun.
Here’s a stretch that seems like it was made to do in bed. It will target your lower back.
- Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees into the chest, and then cross them over to the left side of your body. You can even let your knees hang slightly over the edge of the bed for a deeper stretch.
- Extend your arms in T position, and gaze to the right.
- Stay like this for 30 seconds or more, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some cracks.
- Use your abs to lift your knees back to center, and repeat on the other side.
Knee to Chest Back Stretch
You’ll love this simple lower back stretch.
- Lie on your back with your legs extended.
- Gently bend your left knee into your chest. Clasp your hands in front of your shin and gently pull down to increase the stretch. Release any tension in your shoulders and neck.
- Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
- Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right knee bent.
Reclining Hamstring Stretch
Here’s a relaxing way to stretch one hamstring at a time.
- Lie on your back. Raise your left leg as high as you can, keeping your pelvis flat on the ground
- Hold your lower thigh and encourage the leg to move toward your head. Flex your bottom foot to stretch your calf too.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Lying Side Quad Stretch
- This relaxing stretch will target your quads, hip flexors, and shoulders.
- Bend your right knee and hold on to the top of your foot with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your bum. If you find it tough to balance, bend your bottom knee as well.
- Hold for 30 seconds, pressing your hips slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh.
- Release the stretch, roll over onto your right side and stretch your left quad.
This gentle stretch lengthens the muscles in your abs, chest, and neck; it also increases flexibility in your spine.
- Roll over onto your belly and extend your arms out in front of you. If you’re tall, you can hang your feet over the end of the bed.
- Keeping your legs and pelvis grounded, slowly begin to walk your hands toward your chest. As your torso lifts off the bed, keep a slight bend in your elbows. Walk your hands in until you feel a nice stretch in your abs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck. If it feels OK, lower your head back between your shoulder blades, and you’ll feel a nice stretch in your chest and neck.
- Stay here for 30 seconds and then lower your torso back to the bed.