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Louisa Drake yoga pose

Stretch Into Sleep

Still awake? Stretch it out. Avoid another sleepless night by utilizing the mind/body connection.

We’ve all had one of those nights, after a relaxing evening you’ve prepared yourself for bed and you’re feeling quite tired. You’re ready to slip under the covers and enjoy a full 8 hours of sleep. Only once you’re under the duvet you toss and turn for no particular reason -you’re just not sleepy anymore.  It can be quite frustrating. Some people count sheep but we have a far more effective way to help you drift off when you’re feeling wide awake.

The mind and body have a powerful connection; movement can help reset your mental state. ‘Change place, change perspective’ quite often rings true!
Louisa Drake Founder and Creator of The Louisa Drake Method (LDM) specialises in helping clients find balance in their approach to fitness, health and wellbeing. She shares her tips to help you move and stretch into a better headspace and avoid another sleepless night.

Sleep - rest and repair the mind and body with these LDM protocols:

Exercise daily and use movement to restore and relax. Choose restorative movement to relax the body and mind. Try Yoga or a Stretch class that combines yoga and Pilates methods. Tai Chi and mediation techniques also offer stress-busting benefits that leave your body and mind feeling rested.

Stretches to do before sleep
The below yoga postures will encourage relaxation and open up some headspace for mindfulness and meditation:

Childs pose (relaxation)- A relaxation pose that has a calming effect on the nervous system. It gently opens your hips and entire spine, helping to release any tension your body may be holding on to. Kneel on the floor and sit back, resting your bum on your feet. Stretch your arms out in front of you and allow your forehead to rest on the floor.
Peaceful pose/Shavasana (meditation)  - A pose for relaxing your entire body and mind. Your body will recuperate, repair and rejuvenate itself.  Lie on your back and allow your arm and legs to spread out, similar to if you were to float in water.
Prayer pose - Sitting crossed legged with your hands in prayer pose, rest your thumbs near your heart and try to clear your mind, if this is difficult try focusing on your breathing- this allows your energy to settle. It brings your awareness inward, integrating your thinking and feeling centres.

Spine and sleep - what gives us a bad night sleep?
Bad posture, a bad mattress or even the position you’re lying in can all impact whether you’ll get a good nights sleep.
Mattresses are a very individual choice but I’d recommend one that is comfortable and supportive. If it’s comfortable try to lay flat on your back with not too many pillows as they can cause a sore or cricked neck.

*Extra tip for waking up well - Wake up well by applying Overnight Repair Mask. It is a great product as it provides vital nutrients to reveal a brighter complexion by morning. Mask a bad nights sleep with Tinted Wonder Eye Cream as this will de-puff and brighten.

Next time you find you can’t sleep, come into a Shavasana, focus on your breathing and melt into your mattress. This will help to reset your thoughts and you’ll soon drift off.

Images: Louisa Drake
Photographer: Oly Barnsley

READ: 6 WAYS TO A PEACEFUL NIGHT SLEEP

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