5-Minute Foam Roll to Relax Before Bed
It’s not technically in Lauren Roxburgh’s job description to put people to bed—she’s just really good at it. Roxburgh is actually a body-alignment specialist, but a lot of her first-time clients have sleep issues related to stress. In a new video, she takes us through foam-rolling routine that’s ideal for relaxing the body and mind before collapsing into bed. What also can’t hurt: We rounded up the self-care essentials from Roxburgh’s nighttime routine, plus some of our own go-tos for bedroom basics.
A Q&A with Lauren Roxburgh
How do you use foam rolling to get a better night’s rest?
For many of us, hyperconnected, multitasking lives mean that we find it hard to quiet our minds enough to get a good night’s sleep. Foam rolling—which is essentially stretching, breathing, and deepening your body awareness—is the perfect way to release tension, compression, and stress. For me, jumping on the roller for a few minutes each evening is basically “undoing the day.” I put down my phone, stay away from screens after 10 p.m., and spend at least a few minutes on the roller to wind down before bed. This gives me a moment to connect to my breathing and slow down, preparing my body and mind for sleep. Most of my clients end up adopting evening rolling into their presleep routines for this reason, too. The key to the routine here, and to any restorative roller moves, is to breathe, go slow, and think of it like a massage.
Are there any other movements or exercises you recommend before bed?
Light, enjoyable exercise is a great way to unwind. Maybe that’s going for a walk outside under the moon, doing some yoga moves, or just doing some gentle stretches. Whatever exercise you like to do, try to focus on breathing deeply and releasing tension as you do.
What’s your ideal nighttime routine?
Ideally, eat a light dinner on the earlier side so the body can have a break from digesting foods and concentrate on healing instead. Moon Juice’s Dream Dust is a superherb adaptogenic blend that I like to mix into a cup of chamomile tea.
Make some time for yourself, away from all screens. I aim for 5 to 10 minutes of gentle foam rolling. One thing I like to do while I roll is incorporate some aromatherapy. Rolling helps me become more present and breathe deeply, so I feel like I’m really absorbing the scents. UMA’s Pure Calm oil is truly divine. I massage four to five drops between my toes, onto the bottom of my feet, my pulse points, my temples, and behind the ears. (I also rub it on my husband, and he loves it!)
After rolling, I like to spend a few minutes meditating, writing in my journal, and thinking about what I’m grateful for, even if the day has been a tough one. This helps me get out of fight-or-flight mode and get into more of the parasympathetic nervous system’s rest and digest mode. Another option: Try writing down your worries from the day to get them off your mind and onto paper where you can deal with them tomorrow, when you have a fresh perspective. The bedroom is for sex and sleep, so when you walk into it, you want to leave your worries from the day behind you as much you can.
Taking a hot bath with The Martini Emotional Detox salts is the perfect way to relax your muscles and mind and wash away the busyness and any toxic energy. (The scent takes you to another place.) A good bath makes me feel so clean before bed, and I also like to exfoliate my face for the same reason. The Exfoliating Instant Facial scrub is the bomb—you wake up glowing. Right before I slip into bed, I apply a vitamin C serum and Vintner’s Daughter face oil.
Zen your bedroom by minimizing clutter, which will decrease distractions. Bring in some green plants to purify the air and add some soothing color.
I keep some alkaline water and an aromatherapy mister on my bedside table.
Clients often ask me about the best sleeping position for posture and body alignment. Ideally, you’d lie on your side and use a down pillow that can form to the shape of your neck. Placing a pillow between your knees is a great way to keep your pelvis balanced, too.
If you’re the tiniest bit sensitive to light, a soft sleep mask can work wonders. I like the silk one from Slip.
Sweet dreams, beauties!
BEST IN SLEEP
In Our Bedroom
How We Foam Roll
Lauren Roxburgh is a body-alignment, fascia, and movement specialist with a private practice based in LA. She is also the author of Taller, Slimmer, Younger.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and they are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Related: Foam Rolling Exercises