Stretching before getting out of bed can help wake up the body and improve circulation. It can also turn on the parasympathetic system — the ‘rest and digest’ system — which puts us in a more relaxed state right when we get out of bed, helping set the tone for a calm morning and day.
Besides, stretching before getting out of bed may also help prevent falls.
How to get started?
It’s normally advised that before you stretch, you should warm up your muscles; that gets blood flowing to them so they’re more pliable. But experts, say the muscles are already on the warmer side when you’ve been in bed all night. Then, all it takes to prepare for stretches in bed is a few minutes of flexing the joints before you stretch. (Tip: Remove your blanket and sheets before stretching, to give yourself more room.)
While lying down, flex your lower limbs: put your knees and feet in the air; with your knees in the air, raise and lower your feet; roll your ankles and move them back and forth.
Next, sit up in bed. Slowly look left and then right. Roll your shoulders a few times; work your elbows by holding both arms before you and doing biceps curls; flex your wrists up and down; open and close your hands several times.
Now you’re ready to start a full body stretch.
4 Stretches To Do in Bed
Stretches to do before waking up can all be done from the comfort of your bed. These will help increase the range of motion, improve circulation, and relieve tension.
Full-Body Stretch: While laying on your back in bed, reach your arms overhead, interlocking your fingers. Flip your palms out so they are facing away from your head and simultaneously straighten your legs and point your toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds and release. Repeat three times.
Hip Lift: Lie on your back and bend your knees while placing your feet on the bed. Keep your hands on either side of you with your palms flat on the floor. Bridge your lower back and push your hips up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat three to five times.
Knees To Chest: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the bed. Raise your feet and bend your knees. Draw them into your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees and gently pull. Tightly hug your knees and take deep breaths. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat three times.
Seated Side Lean: Sit with your legs criss-crossed on your bed. Straighten your spine, lift your right hand above your head, and place your left hand on the bed beside you. Slowly bend left from the waist, moving your right hand over your head toward your left hand while keeping your bottom firmly planted on the bed. Hold for 10 seconds before returning upright to your center. Repeat on the other side and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat these lean three times on each side.
Supine Twist: From Knees-to-Chest Stretch, release your grip on your shins and let your arms fall out to a “T” shape. Guide your legs over to rest on one side, keeping your knees bent and shoulders planted down into your mattress. Look toward the opposite side of your legs. Hold for 10 deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.
When you finish stretching, you are bound to feel better. Stretching can release the body’s ‘feel good’ chemicals, lubricate the joints, and help you maintain your range of motion. And that makes the wake-up stretching routine a prescription for a full day of better functioning.