Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your good health and these 6 stretching exercises for seniors will help you relax before bed to sleep better.
Many seniors find falling asleep and staying asleep to be a real problem. Sometimes sleep disorders are caused by medication: But the truth is as we grow older we just tend to sleep lighter.
We seem to wake up with the slightest noise and movements along with the normal body aches and pains that wake us during the night.
Lack of sleep, or insomnia, is not life threatening in itself, but can cause a number of health related problems for senior citizens. Among the problems that can occur from lack of sleep are higher risk of accidents, falls, depression, anxiety, weight gain, obesity, dementia, and cognitive impairment.
If you haven’t been sleeping sound lately, try these easy and gentle stretching exercises for a good nights sleep.
6 Stretching Exercises for Seniors for Better Sleep
Take 15 or 20 minutes to relax your body and mind and get a better nights sleep. When you sleep deep and long, you’ll wake up refreshed and nimble.
These stretches are not meant to be exercise, so be gentle with yourself without over exertion. And remember to breath.
1. Seated side bends
You can do these stretches in a chair, or standing.
Just cross your legs, and raise your right arm above your head. Lean over to the left and feel your side and entire torso stretch out.
You want to feel the stretch, but don’t overdo it. If you are standing and your balance is not so good, stand close to a wall just close enough to touch as you lean over.
Now repeat the sequence with your other side, with your left arm over your head.
Get down on all fours. On your knees with your arms straight and hands on the floor directly under your shoulders.
Drop your belly so that your back arches down as you stretch your face and neck up towards the ceiling.
Now you want to move your butt from side to side, rotating from your hips while your back is arched.
Do this several times, but **caution** be careful not to over stretch your neck as you look up towards the ceiling. You want to relax and not be sore in the morning.
3. Child’s pose
You are already on the floor, so try to sit on your heels with your back and torso straight up. Lean forward as far as you can, ideally until your forehead touches the floor.
Keep your arms by your side and palms up, behind you. After you’ve practiced this stretch a few times you will come to love it. The childs pose very gently stretches your lower back, relieving built up tension. Stay in this position for 5-10 breaths.
4. Back stretch extension
Before leaving the child’s pose, just move both arms from behind you to extended palms down in front of you just as far as you can stretch out.
Hold this for 5-10 breaths.
5. Lying twist
Now roll over and lie flat on your back with arms stretched straight out from your shoulders, palms down. Keeping your feet side by side, bring both knees up – feet on the floor.
Now let your knees fall to the floor on your left side, feet on top of one another. When your knees are to the left, turn your head and face to the right.
Now you merely twist your body and knees to the right as your face turns to the left.
Hold in each position for about 5 breaths, and do it as many times as you like on each side.
6. Happy Baby
Lying on your back, feet side by side, lift your legs up and bend your knees. Extend both arms up to hold your feet.
This is a really soothing stretch for your back, and it’s even better when you rock back and forth from side to side. The rocking motion will massage your back for you, as the stretch is relieving pressure from hips and back.
The entire routine shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes or so. You don’t want to over exert yourself to the point of exercise, you just want gentle stretching.
If you do them after the TV goes off, and just before getting to bed your body and mind will be in a relaxed state and give you a good nights sleep.
Going to bed at the same time every night is the best way to train yourself to sleep. A regular sleeping routine and these stretching exercises for seniors will have you sleeping better, and waking refreshed in no time.