4 Tension-Relieving Stretches You Can Do Right in Bed After a Restless Night

Stretching first thing in the morning can help improve your movement throughout the day.
Image Credit: Hirurg/E+/GettyImages

A tight neck and back is one of the worst kinds of wake-up calls after a restless night, especially if they're accompanied by a loud alarm. Fortunately, even after a horrible night of sleep, there are a few stretches you can do right in bed to relieve sore muscles.

The next time you wake up feeling stiff, Samuel Chan, physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments in New York, recommends you give these four tension-relieving moves a try.

1. Figure Four Windshield Wiper

1. Figure Four Windshield Wiper
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Region Lower Body
  1. Lie on your back with your arms stretched out to the sides.
  2. Place your feet flat on the bed, knees pointing up.
  3. Cross your right ankle over your left knee.
  4. Keeping your upper body in place, let your left knee drop over to your left side.
  5. Hold here for 15 seconds, then switch sides.

Tip

Keep your hands out at your sides as you rotate left and right, Chan says. Only drop your lower half as low as you can while keeping your shoulder blades against the bed.

2. Side-Lying Twist

2. Side-Lying Twist
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Region Full Body
  1. Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides in a T shape.
  2. Bring your feet flat on the bed about a foot away from your butt, knees pointing up.
  3. Keeping your upper body flat against the bed, drop both knees over to the right.
  4. Turn your gaze to the left.
  5. Hold here for 15 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

3. Knees to Chest

3. Knees to Chest
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Region [ "Core", "Lower Body" ]
  1. Begin lying on your back.
  2. Keeping your shoulder blades against the bed, hug both knees into your chest, wrapping your arms around your knees.
  3. As your body loosens up, hug the knees closer into your body.

4. Prone Press Up

4. Prone Press Up
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Region [ "Upper Body", "Core" ]
  1. Begin lying on your stomach, palms under your shoulders.
  2. Slowly, on an exhale, press into your palms and begin to straighten your arms.
  3. Bring the shoulders back and open the chest. Hold here.

Tip

"Let your arms do the work, not your lower back," Chan says. Squeeze the glutes as you straighten the arms to prevent tension in the lower back.

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