8 Benefits of Stretching Before Bed (and what to AVOID)

It is often said that exercising before bed can negatively affect your sleep, but research has shown that stretching before sleeping can be beneficial. So, does stretching before bed help you sleep? Is it good to stretch before bed?

Here are the main benefits of stretching before bed:

  1. Stress Relief and Calmness
  2. Relieve muscle tension
  3. Distracts your mind from worries and anxiety
  4. Improves Sleep Quality
  5. Increased Flexibility and Fitness
  6. Helps to prevent injuries
  7. Improves blood circulation
  8. Improves posture

Let’s learn more about those benefits of stretching before sleeping, then I will explain what is better to avoid.

The Health Benefits of Stretching Before Bed

The health benefits of stretching before bed can differ from person to person, but, in general, we can observe the following ones.

1. Stress Relief and Calmness

When you’ve had a long, busy day, it probably isn’t uncommon for you to lay awake in bed, feeling unable to sleep.

If you often feel restless and stressed out at bedtime, having a stretching routine before you try to sleep may be exactly what you need. 

Exercise is well known to be very helpful for stress reduction, and stretching is no exception.

2. Relieve muscle tension

Stretching before sleeping can relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow.

This is because when you’re very stressed out, it can trigger your muscles to tighten up, which makes you feel tense and can cause pain. By stretching, you can allow your muscles to relax and release the tension being held in them.

3. Distracts your mind from worries and anxiety

Stretching is also an activity that requires concentration. It takes your mind off of whatever thoughts and worries may often keep you awake, and moves your focus towards your body and how you’re physically feeling instead.

As you feel calmer and your mind is cleared, you’ll be able to go to bed feeling more refreshed and worry-free.

If you would like to fully release all the stress from the day, you may want to complement your bedtime stretching routine by sleeping with a weighted blanket.

These blankets have a therapeutic anti-anxiety and soothing effect that is helping to relax your body and mind, melting away the stress and anxiety cumulated during the day. By using a weighted blanket you will get more restful sleep and full restoration of your body and mental energy.

4. Improves Sleep Quality

In addition to stress reduction, studies have shown that stretching, like most forms of exercise, can have a highly beneficial effect on the quality of your sleep, even for people with sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Physical activity makes you feel less tired during the day and more tired at night and helps you to fall asleep sooner. Practices such as yoga and tai chi have also been shown to have a similar impact.

However, you may be worried that doing stretches before sleeping could make it harder to fall asleep, rather than easier.

It is often said that doing exercise in the later hours of the day will negatively impact our sleep since it increases body temperature and heart rate.

However, it has not been proven that there is truth to this, except perhaps with the more vigorous exercise done right before bedtime. For light exercise such as stretching, the evidence points towards it being more likely to benefit your sleep rather than harm it, even when done quite close to bedtime.

5. Increased Flexibility and Fitness

Increased flexibility is probably the first health benefit from stretching that a person will think of.

Being able to move and stretch your body freely with an increased range of motion is an important part of staying healthy so that you can do everyday activities more easily.

6. Helps to prevent injuries

Stretching before bedtime helps to prevent injuries, especially when you get older. This is because thanks to the improved flexibility and fitness, it will be less likely for you to get injured.

This isn’t the only physical health benefit of stretching, however. 

7. Improves blood circulation

Stretching regularly could also improve your blood circulation around your body.

Better blood flow is an incredibly important health benefit, especially if you live a more inactive lifestyle. This ensures that every part of your body receives the oxygen and nutrients that are needed to function properly.

It also keeps your muscles working at their best and allows them to recover faster after stress and exercise.

8. Improves posture

Stretching regularly can also improve your posture, avoiding or relieving back pains.

This is because stretching helps to prevent and heal problems with your muscles and problems such as back pain, and improve your physical health in general. 

Tips For Stretching Before Bed

  • Don’t exert yourself too much. Although it isn’t proven that exercising before bed is harmful to your sleep, this is more likely to be the case the heavier the exercise you do and the closer to bedtime you do it. When you’re stretching quite soon before going to bed, you shouldn’t make the session so intense that it wears you out.
  • Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Like all other forms of exercise, your body will need time to recover after stretching. You should avoid stretching harder or more often than what is comfortable for you. If you start to feel pain while stretching, you should stop there and allow that part of your body some time to recover before you stretch it again.

Additionally, you may be wondering whether there are any reasons you shouldn’t stretch too much before bed. Could it be bad for your sleep?

Is It Bad To Stretch Before sleeping?

For most people, there is every reason to believe that stretching before bed is a very beneficial activity. However, there are some situations where you may want to take care.

  • If you have recently suffered an injury or are recovering from surgery, for example, you should make sure that any stretching you do does not aggravate the injury and make it worse. You should make sure to ask your doctor what kind of stretches will be safe for you to do.
  • If you are sick or recovering from a sickness, you should be similarly cautious. Your body will need plenty of rest to recover properly, and exerting yourself too much may make you feel worse instead of better. 

It is always best to do stretching before bed as a regular routine, but don’t be afraid to skip it when necessary, or if you don’t think it will help you get better sleep on a particular night.

And as mentioned previously, try to keep your stretching light so that you don’t elevate your heart rate and temperature and possibly disturb your sleep.


This summarises the main health benefits of stretching before bed: doing some light stretching before bed is a fantastic routine to have. It helps you to relieve stress, calm yourself, get better sleep and improve your overall health as well.

As long as you make sure not to overdo it or stretch when you are sick or injured, there is every reason to make stretching before bed a part of your life.

In addition, doing an activity at the same time every day, such as before bed, is one of the best ways to stick to a new habit, and having a routine of stretching every day will have mostly just benefits for your physical and mental health.