Fall asleep quickly and stretch after a long day with this 20 minute yoga flow

I tried this 20 minute yoga routine before bed & I've never slept better

Yoga for sleep, woman in a seated position on a bed with her arms above her head
(Image credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova / Pexels)

If you’re having trouble sleeping or your body feels achy and sore after a long day, a quick yoga flow can make a world of difference. As someone who’s been finding it hard to drift off lately, I recently turned to sleep yoga to help me relax… and I’ve never slept better.

Yoga is a gentle, restorative and relaxing way to wind down at the end of the day. It helps you calm the nervous system, focus on breathing and rest the muscles, so taking just 20 minutes to stretch and centre yourself before hitting the hay can help you sleep better and make you feel refreshed in the morning.

Following a quick yoga or stretch routine before bed on the best yoga mat is a great activity to do as part of your bedtime routine and this yoga flow I’ve just found from Cat Meffan on YouTube only takes 20 minutes… and you can even do it from the comfort of your bed.

Try this 20-minute yoga routine for sleep

As Cat says in her video, making sure to stretch gently through the body before bed is so important. As sitting behind a desk is the norm for many people, the body gets used to slumping and hunching. If you take this uncomfortable achy feeling to bed with you, you’ll tend to feel worse and stiff in the morning. When following this yoga routine, make sure to concentrate on your breathing and flow through the movements slowly and consciously to take away the stresses of the day.

As you can see in the video, the moves are as follows:

Step 1: Start in a seated position before rolling the shoulders backwards and forwards. You can use a pillow behind your back for more support if you’re doing this in bed or utilise a couple of yoga blocks behind you if you’re seated on a yoga mat. Pause in the seated position for a few breaths before rotating your head down to your chest and around from side to side.

Step 2: Walk your fingers forward in your seated position. Reach forward as far as you can and do a cat and cow-like movement with your body to stretch out your back.

Step 3: Stretch out your right leg, keeping your left leg bent. Roll your body forward over your right leg to deepen the stretch. Next, bring your right leg over your left leg in a crossed leg position. Inhale and lift your arms up above your head and push your palms out to the front. Return to the outstretched position with your right leg, put your left hand on the other side of your left leg and push yourself up to stretch down the right side. Repeat on the left side.

Step 4: Lie on your stomach and spread your legs shoulder width apart. From here, push yourself up to a cobra pose while inhaling and bring yourself back to the floor while exhaling. Do this a few times.

Step 5: Slide your right arm underneath your body and lie on it, with your arm above your chest. Take your right arm back out from underneath you and place it into a cactus position before pushing yourself on to your right side. Here, you can put your left leg slightly behind your right in a bent position for a deeper stretch. Return to your stomach and repeat on the left side.

Step 6: Push yourself up and swing your legs around in front of you. Stretch your legs out and come to a forward fold pose, bringing your head and chest as close to your legs as feels comfortable. Take time breathing in and out.

Step 7: Lie down on your back and come to a happy baby position, with your legs in the air and your hands holding your feet. Alternatively, you can hold your knees to your chest. Rock yourself side to side in this position before coming to savasana. In savasana, place your hands on your chest or stomach and focus on your breathing and relaxing your muscles.

For more sleep yoga routines, check out 3 yoga poses to do before bed and try these 8 stretches to do before bed for a good night’s sleep.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!