Best Stretches Before Bed Time to Rest Better

This article will help you learn the most helpful stretches before bed - we will explain the benefits, and teach you how to stretch in and out of bed
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Medical Advisory Team
Medical Advisory Team
Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: August 26, 2023
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A bedtime routine is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep bit it’s often overlooked. Partly because it seems too cumbersome and partly because we just don’t know what to do. If you have trouble getting a solid night’s sleep, it might be time to engage in some stretches before bed.

These are easy to do and can make a world of difference. We’ll cover some easy stretches that only take a few minutes while also explaining just what their benefits are. Better sleep means a better you, and that’s what we want to help you achieve!

Benefits of Stretching Before Bed

There are many ways to create a better sleep environment. First, you should definitely look at the type of mattress you have. Once you have a quality mattress, the next step if finding a bed frame that will fully support your weight. There are many options, such as The Nectar Mattress Foundation. It is made from durable materials that gives you all the support you crave.

Once you have your basics down, you can then settle into creating a bedtime routine that works for your body, such as including stretches.


All day long, it’s go, go, go. Take the time at the end of the day to slow things down. Stretching allows you to reflect on the day and take stock of your body. Perhaps there’s a kink in your neck you’ve been trying to ignore all day. Or maybe the stress of your busy life is now felt in your shoulders.

As you work through your stretches, asses what parts need more attention and be sure to alter your routine as you go along.

Back strength

Best Stretches Before Bed Time to Rest Better

Back pain is a leading complaint, especially as we become older. But did you know back pain is often caused by poor core muscles? While we like to think we can isolate certain parts of our body, everything is connected and therefore one group of muscles can easily affect another.

When you do yoga stretches before bed, you are helping your entire body connect and thus every area, including your back, will become stronger.

Improved blood flow

Strong blood flow is important as this is how oxygen and nutrients move throughout your body. When you are stagnant, blood doesn’t move as fast and therefore less oxygen is delivered to your muscles.

Even light stretching can get your blood flowing faster, and this replenish your muscles and organs for a healthier body.

Injuries prevention

Too often we think of treating injuries when really, we should focus more on preventing them. The more limber you are, the better your muscles are able to move and react to stresses. Furthermore, strong muscles means better joint support.

As we age, it can be harder to bend out knees, such as getting up and down from the floor. With stronger muscles and joints, these movements become easier. Then, if you move suddenly, or don’t land right, the impact is cushioned as your body is better able to flex around the movement.

Stress reduction

We hold emotions in our muscles and joints. Movement allows those stressed to be released. Neck and shoulder stretching exercises before bed are particularly useful. All day long we can slowly hunch our shoulders up and it is though stretching that the weight and stress of the day diminishes.

Better sleep

Best Stretches Before Bed Time to Rest BetterWhen you are relaxed, you sleep better. While it’s important to get physical energy in during the day, it is not recommended to be too active before bed. However, stretching is the perfect way to wind down from the day and give your body that last bit of a push to expel extra energy.

Furthermore, we are creatures of habit. If you start a bedtime routine, it will signal your body that it is time to sleep. The more you make relaxation stretches before bed a routine, the more you signal to your body that it is time to sleep.

Grow taller

No, this isn’t a miracle routine but you can indeed grow taller from back stretches before bed. During the day, our spine compresses as we sit or stand and move around. This is natural but overtime, the compactness can become permanent.

By stretching your spine, you allow more space between the vertebrae, which actually makes you taller.

Stretching Exercises Before Bed

Best Stretches Before Bed Time to Rest BetterHere are a few ideas for stretching before you get into bed. You can pick and choose depending on how much time you have and what parts of your body feel pain. Remember that better sleep leads to better health Trusted Source Why is sleep important? 9 reasons for getting a good night's rest Sleep is important for energy, avoiding weight gain, lowering the risk of heart disease, and reducing stress. Learn more about the importance of getting a good night’s rest here. , so try to do these stretches every night.

Neck side stretches

This stretch is especially important if you spend most of your day at a computer.

  • Stand tall but bend your knees slightly.
  • Tuck your chin and move your neck so that your left ear reaches down to your left shoulder.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Hold each stretch for five breaths.

Doorway chest stretch

To help stretch your pectoral muscles, try this stretch.

  • Stand in the doorway and place both hands on the outer wall.
  • Place one foot inside the doorway and the other foot just behind it.
  • Lean in so that there is resistance in your chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

Standing quad stretch

Among the strongest muscles in our body, the quadriceps do a lot of work during the day and a good stretch is always needed.

  • Find a wall or bed frame to help with balance.
  • Place your left hand on the wall and keep your left leg standing on the ground.
  • Move your right hand so that your right heel bends and touches the back of your leg.
  • Keep your right leg folded for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side for 30 seconds.


This stretch is perfect if you are on your feet a lot during the day.

  • Place your left knee on the floor with your leg behind it, bending your knee at a 90-degree angle.
  • Place your place your right foot on the floor and bend that at a 90-degree angle.
  • Your right knee should be stacked and level with your right foot.
  • Place your hands on your knees or the floor, depending on how deep you want your stretch to be.
  • Keep your chest facing forwards and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Switch to the other side and hold for another 30 seconds.

Bear hug

This stretch is a great way to lessen tension in your shoulders and back.

  • Stand up and reach your arms to the side.
  • As you breath out, move your arms across your body so that your right arm reaches your left shoulder and vice versa.
  • Breath in and out as you hug tightly.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and focus on your breathing and try to hug a bit tighter as the stretch goes on.

Stretching Exercises in Bed

There are those who fall instantly asleep once they go to bed and then there are others who lie their helplessly, willing sleep to come. These stretches are a great way to prepare your body for sleep once you are in bed. They are also good if you wake up in the middle of the night and need help falling back to sleep.

If you plan on stretching in bed, you will need a sturdy bed frame. These include a lot of movements and if your mattress is too soft, or not supported enough, you won’t get the full benefits of them. You can opt for something fancy, or even try a reliable frame, such as the Natural Form Metal Bed Frame. As long as it is constructed well, you should be good to start stretching.Best Stretches Before Bed Time to Rest Better

Raised legs

This stretch helps release tension in your lower back and strengthens your glutes.

  • Lay down on your bed and bend your right knee so the foot is flat on the bed.
  • Take your left leg and hold it straight in the air.
  • You can then pulse the leg for a count of 10.
  • Switch and repeat with the other leg.

You can use one more variation for this stretch if you have difficulty with holding legs up:

Spinal twist

The ultimate in spinal relief, this stretch will also make you fractionally taller.

  • Lay flat on the bed and hold both arms straight out on the mattress.
  • Keep your feet straight out on the mattress.
  • Take your right foot and twist it over so it goes over your left leg.
  • Try to keep both shoulders pressed into the mattress.
  • Repeat with your left leg.

Knee to chest

If you want to release pressure in your back, this is a good option.

  • Lay on your back and bring your knees to your chest.
  • Hold your knees with your hands and rock back and forth for 30 seconds.
  • You can also hold one knee at a time for a deeper leg stretch.

Butterfly pose

This stretch is great for your thighs and groin area.

  • Sitting up on your mattress, bring the soles of your feet together.
  • Inhale and gently move your chest downwards, trying to get as low as possible.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and come up.
  • Repeat the process by inhaling and lowering, then holding for another 15 seconds.

Child’s pose

If you are a stomach sleeper, this can help you relax more.

  • Bring your knees up to your chest so that they are bent.
  • Fold your chest over your legs, making space between your legs if it is more comfortable.
  • Stretch your hands out in front and hold for 30 seconds.

Final Thoughts

Sleep should be a peaceful experience, not an agonizing time where you constantly look at the clock. Help yourself unwind after a hard day’s work by creating the perfect bedtime routine. Dim the lights, put on cozy pajamas, and take stock of what you accomplished during that day. Then, spend a few minutes stretching. This part of your routine does not need to take long. Even five minutes can help you feel more relaxed, break down tension in your body, and get your body ready for sleep. Pick a few key stretches for bed and target the areas of your body that were worked the hardest during the day. Something this simply can greatly affect your entire mood, your mental health Trusted Source The importance of sleep | Mental Health Foundation Today, our charity partner Virgin Trains is holding a Pyjama Party to highlight the crucial role that sleep plays in mental health. , and of course, your sleep.


Why is sleep important? 9 reasons for getting a good night
Sleep is important for energy, avoiding weight gain, lowering the risk of heart disease, and reducing stress. Learn more about the importance of getting a good night’s rest here.
The importance of sleep | Mental Health Foundation
Today, our charity partner Virgin Trains is holding a Pyjama Party to highlight the crucial role that sleep plays in mental health.
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