Yoga Regulates The Nervous System
Many insomniacs suffer from hyperarousal. That means your fight or flight response that was prompted by something that happened to you earlier in the day is still elevated. Even if you feel exhausted, your nervous system may still be wide awake.
Yoga can help people come back to homeostasis quicker than people who dont practice yoga. Activating your parasympathetic nervous system is going to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. While you may pass out from exhaustion when your fight-or-flight system is aroused, it wont be a very restful sleep.
Who Sleeps Better With Yoga
Yoga has been shown to help benefit all age ranges and improve sleep. From children to the elderly, yoga provides numerous health and sleep benefits.
For instance, sleep disorders are common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Yoga as a behavior intervention can lessen stress for children with ASD and improve their mental health, which can help with sleeping difficulties. It can also help parents and subsequently the well-being of the whole family.
Adult women in particular often have more difficulty sleeping than men. Studies have demonstrated that yoga can benefit many subpopulations of women. For example, pregnant women who practice yoga have reduced sleep disturbances in addition to reduced prenatal anxiety and depression. Women in menopause who practice yoga have also found similar outcomes they have improved sleep and reduced depression and anxiety.
Elderly populations also often report having sleep disturbances. These disturbances range from snoring to insomnia to restless leg syndrome , which can affect ones overall quality of life. Preliminary research has shown that elderly people who do yoga regularly have both improved quality of sleep and improved overall quality of life.
Ayurvedic Rituals For Youthful Vitality
I love the buzzword longevity. Saying it almost makes me feel five years younger. Try it.
Dont we wish it were that easy? We have tried the low carb diet and the eat right for your blood type diet. We heard about the power of goji and acai berries and so on, and we believed that the magic anti-aging pills would actually work. We believed these multi-million dollar industries that avowed that their products would indeed remove ten years from our being.
The truth of the matter is that it takes serious effort and a massively strong will for changes to occur.
The good news is that if we make the optimal choice of changing our lifestyle habits, we can attain that beloved state of being which radiates youthfulness even late into our eighties. By beginning to take seriously the task of obtaining balance over your own health and wellbeing, and committing fully and wholeheartedly to a set of healthful daily habits, the universe will be at your service.
The 5,000 year old science of Ayurveda holds all the secrets to living, maintaining and preserving a sweet long life, in all respects to our constant dance of life.
Attaining a human life, according to the Vedas, Buddhism and old Ayurvedic scriptures is by far the greatest gift nature endowed on us humans. This gift makes it so that we can conquer the most profound of goals possible: nirvana/moksha or liberation.
It is indeed our birthright to realize our true selves.
Such lucky humans are we.
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Yoga Stretches For A Good Nights Sleep
Reach for better rest when you add these bedtime yoga poses to your sleep routine.
Before the pandemic, 25% of Americans suffered from acute insomnia every year, according to a 2018 study from the University of Pennsylvania. We can only assume that number has gone up. Bills, chores, work, technology, and now a global pandemic all conspire to keep our brains constantly on, when sleep needs the opposite. We try anything in order to settle down and let go of the day, from cups of tea to writing in a journal. Heres one more approach to consider: mindful movement.
Many studies have linked yoga with better sleep. Harvard Medical School sleep and circadian health expert, professor Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, notes that experimental trials have also shown meditative breathing can be a powerful sleep aid.
And as Khalsa adds, theres no reason to wait for double-blind studies. The fundamentals for any bedtime routine are consistent. One needs to unwind the mind and the body, so the autonomic nervous system is quieted down and the production of stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, decrease. The slowdown also needs a certain time investment. While there isnt a magic combination of poses, doing yoga certainly falls into those parameters. Its gentle. Its relaxing. And, most especially, its lying down, and You cant fall asleep standing up, Khalsa says.
Bottom line: Theres little downside to trying and only positives to gain.
What Other Ways Can I Get A Good Nights Sleep
The U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggest that there are positive approaches you can implement to improve your chances of getting a decent sleep which include:
– Stick to a routine go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.
– Avoid disruption of more than an hour on the weekends as this can interrupt your body clock
– Use reminders to start a wind-down time an hour before bed
– Avoid challenging workouts and bright artificial lights late at night
– Dont eat your final meal too late
– Steer clear from alcohol, caffeine and nicotine before bed
– Make your bedroom quiet, dark and peaceful.
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Next Try The Reclining Bound Angle
This is another great pose that you can do from the comfort of your bed to help prepare you for a restful sleep.
The reclining bound angle or Supta Baddha Konasana, is another pose that you may have found yourself doing without even knowing it.
Lay on your back, bend your knees, bring your heels in near your bottom, then drop your knees to your sides while keeping your back flat on the bed. Rest your hands on your belly and heart then breathe in and sink deeply. Next, youll find yourself sleeping like a baby.
Set The Scene For Sleep
Since its a good idea to reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex, Rowland-Seymour recommends doing your yoga poses for sleep in another room, if possible. Find a location where you can stretch out and also put your legs up against the wall. Dim the lights and turn on soothing music, if you like. Lay on carpeting, a yoga mat or something else padded, and keep some pillows handy to help you get comfortable in the poses. You may also want to change into loose-fitting pajamas or clothes that wont restrict movement.
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Standing Half Forward Bend At The Wall
This is another modification of the pose, standing forward bend. Video available here.
- Place your mat perpendicular to the wall.
- Stand about a foot away from the wall.
- Your feet should be hips width apart and parallel to the edges of the mat.
- Press your hands against the wall with your palms spread at the height of your hips.
- Step back with your feet hips width apart and lower your torso until you come into a flat back position, so that your torso is perpendicular to the floor.
- Use your palms to press the wall away from you to lengthen your back.
- Press into all four corners of your feet.
- Keep your ears in line with your arms.
- Adjust your distance from the wall to make sure your body is at a 90-degree angle . If you are too close to the wall, your back and arms will not be able to be fully extended. If you are too far from the wall, you will not be able to bend forward enough.
- Continue to breathe deeply as you press the wall away from you with your palms.
Other Tips To Help You Sleep Better
- Avoid doing Bhastrika pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya in late evenings. They will fill you with a lot of energy and prevent you from falling asleep.
- Avoid watching a horror movie late night, as the thought of it will keep lingering in your mind.
- Listen to soft instrumental music such as veena or chanting or some knowledge talk before getting ready to sleep.
- Sleeping in the afternoon for about half an hour and at night for six to eight hours is a good practice.
- Introspect on what you did during the day. Feel content, pray and go to sleep with a happy and relaxed mind.
- Finish your dinner latest by 8:30 p.m. Keep a gap of at least two hours between your last meal and bedtime.
- If you had a quarrel with your partner or loved one, make sure you sort it out before you go to sleep.
- Avoid taking stimulants at night, especially if you are suffering from insomnia.
- Meditate or do Yoga Nidra before going to sleep. This will help you relax and assist in getting sleep.
Practicing Yoga helps develop the body and mind, yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is essential to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga only after consulting your doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.
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Can Yoga Help Me To Relax Before Bed
Heading to the mat rather than watching our many screens, engaging in conversations or stimulating the senses with other indulgent pleasures can give you time to nurture your body and calm your mind, to prepare for bed time instead of jumping straight into bed with a busy head and hoping for a good nights rest.
Yoga Poses Thatll Help You Fall Asleep Faster
The Pose: Siddhasana
The Teacher: Tias Little
I never have trouble falling asleep. I am like a cow I am so prone to sleep that I could fall asleep standing up. But when I wake too early in the morning, or in the middle of the night, I always go to Siddhasana, a pose for meditation to slow my autonomic rhythms.
How-to: Sit upright, eyes closed in the dark or semi dark, and allow your breath to become soft, velvety, and slow. This is not an active posture, so theres no need for lifting your spine or holding your shoulders back. Rather, I keep my spine supple and delicate, like a long-stemmed tulip. Cover yourself in a shawl, hoodie, or a blanket. Notice how at night or early morning the vibration in the air is exquisitely subtle. Let the silence envelope you. If thoughts come in, especially thoughts about the day to come, carefully shelve them away. When you first find yourself slipping off to sleep, roll back into bed in Savasana. Lie on your back and be still, enjoying the feeling of ease and spaciousness you accomplished by sitting. If you do not drift off to sleep, be assured by the fact that you have guided your body and mind to a place of deep restoration the second-best thing to sleep.
The Pose: Viparita Karani
The Teacher: Natasha Rizopoulos
The Pose: Supta Ardha Dandasana
The Teacher: Sage Roundtree
The Teacher: Mary Taylor
The Pose: Muertasana
The Teacher: Jeanie Manchester
The Pose:Supta Baddha Konasana
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Can Beginners Do These
Many of the poses mentioned in this article are suitable for beginners. However, if you are injured, pregnant, or recovering from an illness or surgery, please consult with your doctor before beginning any new program. Additionally, if you feel any strain or pain with these poses, we advise you to stop rather than forcing yourself into an uncomfortable position.
Best Yoga Poses For Sound Sleep And Relaxation
Due to lack of sleep many other diseases surround our body. In such a situation, our body and mind start to ignore any work.
Which also has an impact on our personal life. In such a situation, you should take the help of yoga.
This will make you physically and mentally strong, as well as relieve you from the problem of sleeplessness.
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Happy Baby Reclined Butterfly W/pillow Beneath Each Knee And Blanket Over Torso
On your back, allow your knees to fall open and grab onto the inner or outer blades of your feet. Gently pull your thighs towards the bed as you slowly rock side to side, massaging your lower back. To increase the stretch, you can straighten into one leg as you keep the other bent, and alternate back and forth. From here, you can move into Reclined Butterfly by bringing the bottoms of your feet to touch and allowing the outer blades of your feet to rest on the bed. This stretch opens the hips and helps release tension to break up emotional stagnation. Drape a blanket over your torso to help relax the body even more. Happy Baby with alternate leg stretches helps open the hips and lengthen the hamstrings, releasing tension in the areas that tend to store a lot of it. Reclined Butterfly continues opening the hips and creating more space in the body.
What Type Of Yoga Is Best For Bed And Why
While the morning and afternoon are great for more vigorous classes to help recharge and energize, says Ugrinow, the evening hours are opportunities to slow down, release any lingering energy from the day, and calm the body and mind.
DelPozo says some of her favorite types of yoga to do before bedtime are:
- Yin Yoga: a practice at a slower pace with asanas that are held for longer periods of time
- Restorative Yoga: a more restful practice that’s also very healing
- Yoga Nidra: also known as “yogic sleep.” Deep relaxation is the focus of this type of yoga, which can set you up for a great night’s sleep.
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Focus On Your Breathing
Breathing is one of the most important therapeutic aspects of yoga. Your goal during each session is to focus your attention on your breath, let all of your thoughts drift away and be present in the moment. Having trouble staying focused? Rowland-Seymour offers this exercise: Imagine yourself standing on the side of a highway watching the cars pass by. When you see a nice car, you wouldnt think of trying to jump into it, she says. Youd just watch it pass. Try to do the same with your thoughts. Above all, practice self-compassion, says Rowland-Seymour. Whatever your body is able to do is OK, she says. Dont judge yourself if your mind wanders or your muscles feel tight.
The Plow Pose Halasana
This is a handy pose for opening your shoulders and relieving any back pain. It also helps with blood flow around the body.
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How Often Do You Need To Practice Yoga To Improve Sleep
Occasional yoga practice will likely improve sleep quality more than no practice at all. However, regular, long-term practitioners experience better sleep quality.
If you aim to use yoga as a tool to improve your sleep, consider making a schedule where you regularly practice. This may include attending classes weekly, designating a certain time of day to practice at home, or a combination of both.
The Standing Forward Bend Uttanasana
This is one of the most common poses used in any yoga practice. It helps to relieve stress, promote a healthy sleep pattern and ease headaches.
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How To Change Your Routine
Make small, simple changes to your nighttime habits. Design your yoga practice around a few attainable goals based on the amount of time you have available and the main improvements you aim to make.
If you live with others, let them know what to expect of your nighttime routine. Be easy on yourself if you slip from your routine. You can always commit to starting again the following day.
But Does That Enable Me To Answer Your Question Will Yoga Help Me Sleep
My experience of sleep is limited to not having had very much of it. Not enough, thats for sure, and for a variety of reasons over the years:
- I cant turn my washing machine brain off to actually get to sleep
- I am woken up by a child/snoring husband/something banging outside/a bad dream/my own snoring/being kicked for snoring
- Not going to bed early enough because Im working
- Im desperate for some time to myself, even if that can only happen between midnight and 2am!
- Not getting quality sleep because Ive had a few glasses of wine
- Not getting quality sleep because Im worrying
Im mindful that not everyone reading my posts is a parent, but it has a bearing on my experience of sleep.
Neither of my children really got the whole sleeping thing, for a loooooong time. That said, my eldest child could now sleep through a hurricane , and my youngest is getting a lot better at sleeping . Anyhow, it occurred to me today that I have Googled How to help your child sleep an awful lot over the last six years. But not once did I ever Google How can I sleep better? over the 40-odd years Ive walked this planet and slept pretty badly, despite practising yoga for many of them.
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