All you need is a foam roller and a yoga mat to perform these exercises
- A healthy sleep schedule is necessary for the body to function properly
- Insomnia is a common sleep issue faced by many these days
- Exercise can help you ensure better sleep
For many of us, good sleep at night might be a difficult thing to achieve despite working out regularly. If you're experiencing similar issues, fitness trainer Kayla Itsines has a few tips to get you snoozing, come bedtime. Her secret? Stretching and foam-rolling. In a new video on Instagram, Kayla shared how she has been facing difficulties going to sleep ever since her endometriosis surgery earlier this year. She pinned it on not being able to stretch and foam roll as much as she would have liked to. If you think you relate to her struggles, then try out the handy 6-minute routine she suggested in her latest Instagram video before you go to bed.
Try these exercises to fall asleep
She starts the routine by foam rolling her glutes. In order to do this, sit down on your yoga mat with your legs bent upwards in front of you. Then, fold your left leg over your right knee in the shape of the figure 4, while sitting up. By supporting yourself on your arms, prop yourself up so you can fit your foam-roller under your left glute. Now balancing yourself on your bent right leg and your arm, roll forward and backwards on your foam roller so you get a nice glute massage. Do this for 30 seconds on one side, then for 30 seconds on the other glute.
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You can do the next exercise in a similar position. Stretch out your legs in front of you while sitting up on your yoga mat. Keep both feet on the mat, but bend your right leg. Now plant your palms on your sides and prop yourself up to fit the foam roller between the yoga mat and the stretched out left leg. Make sure the foam roller is directly under your calf. With support from your arms, roll back and forth over the foam roller keeping your left leg straight so the roller massages the entire length of your calf. Foam roll on each calf for 30 seconds.
Simple stretches before bed can help you ensure better sleep
Photo Credit: iStock
Now to foam roll the trap muscles in your shoulder, lie down on your back and bend your legs while keeping your feet on the mat. Pull your glutes, upper body, neck and head off the mat so you can accommodate the foam roller directly underneath your shoulder. Now resting on the foam roller and anchoring down through the feet, in a bridge-like position, roll back and forth for 30 seconds. You can use your hands to support the back of your raised head.
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Keep your foam roller aside now, because this is where we move into the stretches. The first stretch on Kayla's list is a 'lateral stretch' in the 'mermaid pose'. Sit on your mat with your legs folded on one side, bending towards that side. Deepen the stretch by raising the other arm over your head and towards the bending side. The other arm can rest on your mat. Stretch out each side for 30 seconds.
Kneel on your mat and then sit down on your heels such that the knees stay bent outwards towards the edge of your mat and your big toes touch. Stretch your arms out in front of you over the mat and bend your upper body down. Let your forehead kiss the mat as you stay in this wide child's pose for 30 seconds.
For the next exercise, the hip flexor stretch, kneel down on one knee and bend forward such that you feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Make sure your raised knee stays aligned with your foot and doesn't protrude outwards. Stay in that stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other leg.
You can transition into the last exercise, 'the pigeon stretch', directly from the hip flexor stretch. All you have to do is to stay in the hip flexor stretch and then drop the knee in front of you so it stays folded on the mat. Kayla recommends you do this stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
In the caption, she wrote:
Glutes (Foam Roller) - 60 secs (30 per side)
Calves (Foam Roller) - 60 secs (30 per side)
Traps (Foam Roller) - 30 secs
Lats (Mermaid) - 60 secs (30 per side)
Wide Childs Pose - 30 secs
Hip Flexors - 60 secs (30 per side)
Glutes (Pigeon) - 60 secs (30 per side)
Watch the demonstration here:
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Did that feel good? Let us know in the comments if this stretching and foam-rolling routine could lull you to a good night's sleep.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.