After reading this, you will be convinced that you need to add a few ‘unconventional’ exercises/stretches into your routine.
Before we get to that though, why do we even care about this? Well it recently came to my attention people seriously inquire about how to sleep with good posture. As if this is something that we even have control of? I don’t know if any of y’all confine yourself while sleeping — but the only thing stopping me from tossing and turning all night is the fall or falling off the bed.
We are not in control of how we sleep. Trying to sleep with good posture is a waste of time.
So we are faced with two decisions. Train in a way that prepares our body for the positions we find ourselves while sleeping, or pretend like it doesn’t matter. So here are 3 reasons you’ve been waiting for.
Mobility Training Gives Your Body More Options For Getting ‘Comfy’
What do I mean when I say mobility? Flexibility + Strength. aka mobility is the amount usable rage of motion you have.
When I’m trying to fall asleep, I feel like a cat trying to find the final position my body needs to be in to hit the hay. You do this too, right? So it would make sense that having more control of your joints would give you more opportunity to find the comfy spot. Maybe you need to hike up one hip while pointing the opposite toe and twisting your shoulders in one direction and your neck in the opposite. Positions get crazy sometimes. Can you imagine having really poor range of motion? Like, really terrible. You would have way less options to get comfy. Sleeping on your side with one hip up may feel so comfy to you, but if your hip is bad then your body won’t ever get to experience that. That may sound a tad overdramatic, but can you really put a price on comfort? Is that a stretch? Maybe…
The Law Of Specificity
You should be strong in the positions you actually go in. This is practically common sense when it comes to sport. There’s no reason why this doesn’t apply to sleeping either.
To have pain free control in a range of motion, you need plenty of experience in it.
Over time we lose range of motion and strength unless we train to keep it. If you never squat in full range of motion because chairs are so high then don’t be surprised when doing squats during a workout causes you problem. If you have little experience in a range of motion, that will affect the quality of that tissue. Strength and control of a tissue are angle and direction specific. The law of specificty when applied to isometric strength state that strength in any one angle transfers +- 15 degrees. So if you want to improve your sleep, you need to be very aware of what exact ranges/angles does your sleep put you though. Is it 85 degrees of shoulder flexion? 110? Discover exactly what positions you sleep in and train towards gaining more mobility in that position.
Wake Up Feeling Less ‘Stiff’
Why might you wake up feeling stiff? I see it simply like this:
You have a limitation in a particular range of motion → Your body ends up in those end ranges passively for extended amounts of time → Joints spend time in ranges they can’t control → Brain responds with discomfort/pain sensation in attempt to protect yourself from injury
So mobility training can help you start with the end in mind. If you are aware of the body positions you’re going to be in, you can practice to get stronger in those positions. As you build resiliency in those positions, you’ll wake up feeling better.