To celebrate Koala joining forces with Nimble, Chloe de Winter of Go Chlo Pilates shared her snoozy bedtime stretch ritual. Sleep deeper by switching up your sleep habits!
We all love a good snooze, but how many of us are actually getting those deep, uninterrupted sweet zzz’s? Actively preparing your body for a big ol’ sleep is the golden ticket to slumberland. which is why we’ve joined forces with Nimble (just call us Kimble) to serve your body better. Teaming up to create our ‘Move to Snooze’ set, this cosy, comfy limited edition get-up brings more snug to your sleep-time ritual. We’ll have you counting sheep while you move your feet, because a bedtime groove can help you snooze!
Slumber is the secret to supreme health. It’s the créme de la créme to our wellbeing – our bodies run on sweet dreams and without it, we’d all be grumpy, bashful and hazey. But we’re not all versed in the benefits of beauty sleep: while most of us are conscious of the food we eat, the way we move and the serums we slather on our skin, sleep is usually swept under the rug.
The world is noisy right now, and we’re tossing and turning more than ever before. But the longer it takes us to fall asleep, the less potent snooze is for our mind, body and (let’s be frank) sanity! In fact, folk who fall asleep less than 15 minutes after their head hits the pillow soak up some pretty epic zzz’s.
You’re here, reading about resting – so odds are you’re a part of the 55% of Aussies who can’t doze on demand. Maybe you’re even part of the 29% that take over half an hour to hit the hay (that’s about 1800 sheep too many). Whether your culprit is a wired mind or a bustling bod, sleep can come in a jiffy if you make it count.
Switch up your sleep
Moving around before bedtime might seem a little strange at first, but the science stands. When you stretch before a snooze, your body doesn’t need to rely on counting sheep. Gentle movements help to improve blood flow and relieve tension in muscles, which are both incredible catalysts for a great sleep. The deeper you sink into relaxing before you get tucked in, the deeper you’ll sink into sleep when the lights go out.
One of our favourite movers and groovers is Chloe De Winter (aka Go Chlo). She’s a pilates instructor & physiotherapist, and she’s generously opted to share seven of her favourite stretches to help you unwind before bed.
If you can, taking 10 minutes to stretch before jumping under the covers can make or break your bedtime bliss. Chloe uses the series below every evening, especially after a long day of sitting. Use a yoga mat or stretch out on your bed before dozing off.
She says, “After I finish, my body feels rested and ready for bed. You can do these on your yoga mat or to reduce the distance between stretching and sleeping do them on your mattress.”
1. Cat and Cow
Start with a gentle round of Cat and Cow, which is bliss for neck, shoulder and spine flexibility. You’ll also be chuffed to know it stretches the muscles of the hips, back, abdomen and chest, making for a smooth shift into sleep.
Simply inhale to arch your spine, and exhale to round your back out, pressing the mat/mattress away from you.
2. Extension and Child’s Pose
Moving on to your next stretch, this is a pose that will help you sink deeply into sleep. Relieving built-up tension and stretching the spine, hips and knees, start by inhaling and dropping your hips forward. Lift your chest and extend your spine, exhaling softly into child’s pose. Hold this move for a few moments and breathe in the calm you’re creating.
3. Hamstring and Nerve Stretch
This is a stretch to write home about – it’ll leave you feeling centred and ready to get cosy. Simply lay on your back and extend one leg up to the ceiling, holding behind your thigh. Bend and extend the leg and feel the lovely stretch, holding it and circling the ankle. Rinse and repeat with the other leg!
4. Figure 4 Stretch
A deep stretch for a deep sleep, this little doozy focuses on the outsides of your hips and your glute muscles. Lie on your back, bending your legs with your feet flat on the ground. Cross an ankle over the opposite thigh and, if possible, thread your hands through to the back of the opposite leg, drawing the shape in towards your chest. Hold for a few seconds and breathe.
5. Supine Twist
We love a good Supine Twist! Stretching the glutes, the chest and your obliques (the sides of your abs), this is a special move as it’s considered a heart opener. Said to improve spinal mobility and even digestion, this is a snoozy move to add to your routine before bed.
Start with your knees bent and your legs together, before rolling the legs and hips over to one side. Open your arms and twist your head the opposite way, and then hold and breathe. Repeat for the opposite side of your body. Rest awaits!
6. Butterfly Stretch
Stretching the lower half of your body out, the Butterfly Stretch is a keeper for your bedtime routine. Working wonders for your thighs, groin, hips and knees, simply lie down on your back with your knees bent to begin with. Open the knees and press the soles of your feet together. Gently press on your inner thighs to sink deeper into the stretch, and try not to doze off while you’re at it!
7. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is the cherry on top if you’re cruising to get snoozing. Slow, conscious breathing slows down the various functions of your body and helps you loosen up. By slowing your heart rate, clearing your monkey mind and settling into your body, you’ll find it easier to drift off to sleep. Simply get comfy, close your eyes and soften your body. Inhale for three counts, hold for three counts and exhale for five. Can you feel slumber knocking?
When you’re all stretched out and sleep is creeping around the corner, you’ll be itching to introduce this stretching series to your nightly routine. Here at Koala, we’re so sold on snoozing that we can do it with our eyes closed. Healthy hibernating makes you a happy camper, and we’re here for it. Remember: good sleep is intentional, but great sleep takes practice.