You can help yourself release stress and relax deeply in bed before drifting off to dreamland. As soon as I climb into bed, I stretch from head to toe, inhaling as I reach my arms overhead onto my pillow and reach my feet away, exhaling as I relax. Then I hug my knees into my chest for a breath or two - a little self-hug, if you will. If I’m not feeling tired or if my legs are fatigued, I’ll flip around in bed and extend my legs up on my headboard, letting them rest in a gentle inversion while I start to settle my mind with a few deep breaths, inhaling to a count of 4 and exhaling to a count of 8.
After a couple minutes, I slide back and then bring the soles of my feet together, sit up, and fold forward over my legs. After a minute, I’m usually feeling sleepy, so I slide my legs down under the covers and I roll onto my back to do a twist, bringing one knee in and across my body, then I switch sides. I usually drift off into a happy slumber after that.
In the morning when my alarm goes off, I usually hit snooze. I sit up with my legs straight out wide and I pile a few pillows in front of me. I fold forward over them, stretching my legs and back. Sometimes I do this fold with my legs in a crossed position, switching sides after a few breaths.
I take another full body reclined stretch, arms overhead, feet stretching away, deepest inhale, then I sigh out my exhale and roll out of bed. Time to meditate and do a full yoga practice with both feet on the floor.
Try practicing a little yoga before sleep and when you wake up - right in your bed! It’s a gentle way to guide yourself into slumber and to start your day as well.