Some nights, falling into a peaceful, deep sleep seems like it's never going to happen. You can't get comfortable, you find yourself tossing and turning, and, before you know it, it's 2 a.m. Rather than watching those precious hours slip away, fitness expert and yoga instructor Jill Miller suggests taking two minutes before bedtime to do an exercise that can actually help you sleep better through the night.
Speaking with #OWNSHOW, Miller explains that people who work desk jobs are especially prone to these types of sleepless nights. "A lot of us spend our workdays seated at a desk. The tension you build during the day can impact the quality of your sleep at night," she says in the above video.
For better sleep, Miller says to look no further than... your hips.
"I'm going to teach you a hip stretch that also works overtime as a sleep aid," she says.
Using a flat vertical surface (such as a wall) and a sturdy block-like object (such as a book), Miller demonstrates the simple stretch.
"Lay on your back and then plant your left foot against the wall while your pelvis is supported on the block," she instructs. "Then, fold your right knee and draw it in towards your chest."
This position allows your hip flexor -- more specifically, your psoas muscle that connects your leg to your back, through the hip -- to get the deep stretch it needs.
"That deep hip flexor gets short and tight the longer you sit," Miller explains. "That psoas, being connected to your lower back bones, its attachments don't just stop there. It's also connected to your diaphragm, your chief breathing muscle. So if your hip flexors get short and tight, guess what that impacts? Your ability to breathe deeply. If you can't breathe deeply, you can't relax."
The hip stretch is also as quick as it is simple. "You'll do this for one minute on each side," Miller says.