Muscle and joint pain can make it a real challenge to get out of bed. It can also increase the chance of a fall and make it a lot harder to get your day started.
But you don’t necessarily have to get out of bed this way. You can loosen up your muscles and joints in bed, allowing you to move easier, feel less pain, and even reduce stress.
Stretching in bed can offer several benefits. Aside from improving mobility and reducing pain, it can help release “feel good” hormones, offer a mind-muscle connection that can enhance bodily awareness, and allow you to be more prepared when your feet hit the floor.
Before stretching, you’ll want to prime your body for a moment before getting started. Since you’ve been lying in a warm bed all night, you won’t need to spend too much time warming up. Pull off the sheets and blankets and prime your body by:
- Flexing your lower limbs. While lying down, put your knees and feet in the air. Raise and lower feet, roll ankles, and take them through a full range of motion.
- Sit up and warm up your neck by moving your head from left to right. Roll shoulders, and extend your arms in front of you and curl them up. Flex your wrists as well.
Once your blood is flowing and you’re loose and limber, you can start your in bed stretching routine. Try to hold each stretch for about 30-60 seconds, and consider sleeping with a resistance band and or towel beside your bed.
Here are a few stretches you can use to relieve joint pain and improve mobility before getting out of bed:
- Full Body Stretch with Towel: Lie on your back with both legs extended. Hold a towel about shoulder-distance apart with your hands down by your hips. Slowly lift the towel towards the ceiling, over your head and down towards the bed behind you.
- Knee Pulls: Lie on your back with legs extended. Bend your left knee and hold the back of your thigh, just below the knee, to pull it towards your chest. Flex your other foot and press your entire leg down into the bed so you feel a stretch in your right hip and the top of your thigh. Return to start and switch legs.
- Child’s Pose: Get on to all fours, keeping your knees hip-width apart and big toes touching. Head and neck should be aligned. Slowly bring your butt back towards your heels and extend hands in front of you. Your head, face down, should be resting on the bed and the stretch should be felt in the arms, shoulders, and back.