As we say goodbye to March - World Sleep Awareness Month, we reflect on the importance of sleep not only during one month of the year but through every day of our lives. We are here to help you find the perfect mattress to unwind and have the best sleep, as well as ways to improve your day from your bed.
We talked to Scola Dondo, a personal trainer, who runs a Youtube channel and Instagram account @scoladondo in which she shares fitness routines embracing body positivity. Scola shared with us why she loves stretching in bed in the morning and her favourite stretching routine to start the day. ‘I love stretching and meditating in bed because is a place I associate with relaxation so it makes sense’ Scola says.
What exactly is stretching and what are the benefits of stretching?
According to the NHS ‘Stretching is a form of physical movement in which a specific muscle or tendon is deliberately lengthened or held under tension’. Stretching has great benefits such as improved circulation, better posture, enhanced coordination, stress relief, increased flexibility and improved of joint motion.
Please be aware that some of these stretches are not recommended for everyone, especially if you have an underlying health conditions, so please check before you do them and just do what feels comfortable to you and your body.
Full Body Strech
Scola recommends starting with a full body stretch, making sure you include your neck doing a few rotations and taking deep breaths. This will allow you to release any tension from the body sleeping overnight.
After an full body stretch I like to move into Child’s Pose. It’s a passive way to relief may areas of the body. You do this by folding over your bent legs and reaching your arms to the end of the mattress, allowing your shoulders to fall open and relax.
Thread the Needle Pose
'I love the thread the needle yoga pose as it is a great way to relax the shoulders that can feel really tight in the morning and to release any accumulated stress.' says Scola.
For this, start in a neutral position on all fours, then extend your right arm and move it under your chest toward the mattress. Continue to slide your right arm onto the mattress allowing your right shoulder and your head to rest on the mattress. Hold this pose and focus on your breathing and then repeat on the left arm.
Just simply pull both of your knees up towards your chest and hold for a few breaths. Form as tight of a ball as you can and gently rock back and forth. You can also do one leg first, hold for a few breaths and then repeat on the other leg. This is a great pose to stretch your lower back.
Depending on your time in the morning, you might be able to hold the positions a bit longer, do a couple more repetitions or add a few more stretches to your routine but doing this simple routine will set you in the right mindset to start your day calm and relax. . If you want to take it further here are some gentle stretches to add to your routine.