Recommended Relaxation Techniques Before Sleep

Dr Buscomb recommends four simple stretches, movements and positions that you can practise before bed to help get a good night's sleep.

The static back position

The static back position, also referred to as the 90-90 position, is a fantastic postural reset that I demonstrate to just about everyone I see in practice. It puts you in a neutral position, so it takes out most of the postural distortions we have. It’s a great way to ease lower back or neck pain and allows your body to relax so you can have a good night's sleep. Here’s how to do it:

Some fine-tuning points:

The Cat/Cow Move

The cat/cow exercise is one of my favourite yoga exercises to do – it’s also known as cat/dog or cat/camel. Practicing this flow is an excellent way to get some movement into your spine. Here’s how to do it:

NOTE: If you have back pain, make sure you stay in your pain-free range. Don't push it into a painful position.

The Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is another favourite yoga stretch that I enjoy practicing regularly. Here’s how to do it:

For most people, this is quite a comfortable position. If you experience back pain that’s worse when you bend forward, this may not be the best stretch for you. If you have knee pain, sitting back onto your heels may be uncomfortable, so try placing a pillow in-between your feet and pelvis and see if that helps? Otherwise, just avoid this stretch.

Try simple breathing techniques

A simple breathing technique I often suggest to people is called 'tactical breathing'. If you want to fall asleep quickly, this simple breathing technique could help with the stresses of day-to-day life. Breathing slowly into your diaphragm can help shift you from a stressed or sympathetic state into a more relaxed or parasympathetic state. Our parasympathetic system is our rest and digest state and is where all of our healing occurs. You can utilise this technique whenever you like during the day, but it can really work once you’ve turned the lights out and are ready to go to sleep. It goes like this:

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