Why Foam Rolling Before Bed Can Relieve Stress and Help You Sleep Better

foam roller
 Image via Trigger Point

If you’ve made foam rolling a regular part of your gym routine, that’s great. But I tell clients to add in another session: right before bed. Our lives are inherently active, and the gym isn’t the only place we tax our muscles.

Lifting groceries hits our shoulders, running to catch a train fires our glutes, and sitting upright at a desk requires constant abdominal and back activation. Plus, the stress of the day creeps into our muscles—which you know if you’ve ever noticed your shoulders hiked up toward your ears.

So each night before bed, dig into tight spots.

First, roll out your shoulders (lying with the roller across your blades and going up and down, then moving it along your spine and twisting side to side), hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes—wherever feels stiff.

It helps muscles release tension so your body is relaxed when you lie down. Plus, the massage action is soothing. You’ll sleep more comfortably and more deeply, and you’ll wake up feeling better after just a couple of nights.

David Reavy, PT, is the owner of React Studio in Chicago.