How Yoga Can Help You To Sleep Better
Did you know that yoga is a great way to help you wind down and relax before you go to sleep? It can be a really great way to help you release everything you have been holding on to throughout the day and allowing your body to sink into a restful and peaceful nights sleep.
It can also help to improve both the quality and amount of sleep you get each night. This can be especially helpful for those of us who are light sleepers, those who don't have a lot of time to sleep or even those who struggle with insomnia.
It is important to know though, that not all yoga helps sleep. Keep reading to find out more...
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Sleep Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a form of exercise which is famous for its health and relaxation benefits. It can help to relieve symptoms of insomnia and improve the quality of your sleep. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, or you wake up in the night regularly, night-time yoga can help relax your body and allows you to let go of any stress from the day. This means that when you finally get tucked up in bed, your body can relax into sleep easily.
Good sleep is also linked to weight loss. Bad sleep patterns and irregular sleep can mean that weight maintenance or weight loss are badly affected. If you are tired, you tend to lean towards easy, unhealthy food choices, or decide not to exercise. By doing yoga before bed, it means that you can sleep better, and as a result, your weight loss or weight maintenance will benefit: you won't be too tired to hit the gym after work or to prepare a healthy breakfast to start your day.
Yoga Poses For Better Sleep
The main thing to remember when practising yoga is to breathe. Without this, you won't properly relax into the poses. You must inhale deeply through the nose in yoga, and with your mouth closed, breathe out through your nose. It is also helpful to use your breathing as timing. Move into a pose as you inhale, and relax as you exhale.
Don't expect to do one night of this and sleep great immediately though. The more you practice the better your sleep will become over time, so stick to it and you will start to notice the change.
If you are struggling to get into the poses when you start, try using a yoga block or strap to help you.
1. Hero Pose (Virasana)
Firstly, we have the Hero Pose. By sitting on your feet, this pose stimulates the pressure points on your feet, creating total relaxation, whilst also helping the body feel more loose, warm and comfortable.
It is also used to help relieve symptoms of menopause and is beneficial for people with high blood pressure and asthma, all of which are things that can disrupt a good night's sleep. The Hero Pose is also helpful during the second trimester of pregnancy as it can help to reduce swelling in the legs.
Overall, this yoga pose helps the body to feel more physically healthy and emotionally stable, meaning you can settle in for a good nights sleep feeling relaxed and stress-free.
2. Child's Pose (Balasana)
The Child's Pose is a common yoga pose that is perfect to help relax you for sleep. Doing this pose releases any tension in your back, shoulders and chest, whilst also alleviating any stress and anxiety.
This pose is also good for relieving any neck and lower back pain you may have that could disrupt your sleep, whilst balancing circulation throughout your body.
3. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
The Upward-Facing Dog pose stretches the chest and lungs as well as the shoulders, abdomen and the spine. By stretching the spine, it can help to relieve the pain if you suffer from sciatica, as well as helping to ease mild depression. It also increases lung capacity which can relieve some symptoms of asthma.
The Upward-Facing Dog helps the body to relax at multiple different points, where other poses focus just on one specific area. It allows the body to fully stretch out, meaning it can relax fully when you come to going to bed and getting some sleep.
4. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
The Camel pose is perfect for anyone who works at a desk. By stretching backwards it can relieve any back pain, as well as aids in counteracting the effects caused by sitting and working at a desk for long periods of time.
Being sat at a desk can also cause slouching and curvature of the spine, so by practising the Camel pose, it can help to counteract this and improve your posture. It's really great to get rid of all of the stress and aches caused by a long day at work, so you can sleep restfully.
5. Butterfly Pose (Purna Titli Asana)
The Butterfly Pose is designed to quiet the nervous system and is known for it's calming and restorative benefits. Practicing this pose can help to stimulate your heart and improve circulation, as well as helping with mild depression, anxiety and fatigue, all of which are things that can cause issues with sleep.
It is also perfect for soothing menstrual discomfort, sciatica and symptoms of menopause, all of which can make it difficult to not only fall asleep but can make it hard to go back to sleep if you wake in the night.
6. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
The Supine Spinal Twist is great for anyone whose sleep is disrupted by stomach problems, as this pose can help relieve a swollen stomach as well as the retention of any gases. It also helps to aid with circulation whilst relieving tension in the neck and back area, helping create a good night's sleep as you won't wake up in the night or the next morning with back or neck pain.
7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
The Bridge pose is another good pose that targets multiple areas of the body. It helps to calm the brain and alleviate stress and mild depression, whilst also helping to relieve symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort. This pose is also aimed at reducing anxiety, backache, headaches and insomnia.
In terms of physical benefits, the Bridge pose also stimulates the abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid, and rejuvenates tired legs, perfect if you spend your days on your feet. It is particularly therapeutic for anyone who suffers from asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis.
By targeting so many areas, it helps the body to fully relax and let go of the day's stresses, so you can sleep better at night,
8. Wind-Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)
The Wind-Relieving pose, it does what it says on the tin. This pose is designed to alleviate bloating and gas, Practising this pose can help to increase blood circulation in the hip joints and as well as easing tension in the lower back.
In terms of yoga helping with sleep, this pose can really help stretch and strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, to relieve discomfort and pain, and help you to fully relax into a good night's sleep.
9. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Finally, the Corpse Pose is a perfect way to end a yoga session. It is a restorative pose which allows you to simply relax, and is great to pair with some guided meditation. Practising this pose helps the body to release stress, mild depression and tension you are holding on to, whilst reducing blood pressure and anxiety.
Some of you may have trouble sleeping due to overthinking, and this pose is great to help you calm the mind and to sort through your day to get rid of any negative thoughts or stress, leaving you in a state of rejuvenation.
Night-Time Yoga Workout Plan
Practicing all of these poses in a workout can really help to improve your sleep, and as a result improve many other aspects of your daily life. We all know what a bad night's sleep can do to us, so make a start towards making sure you sleep as well as you can.
|Hero Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Child's Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Upward Facing Dog||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Camel Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Butterfly Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Supine Spinal Twist||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Bridge Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Wind-Relieving Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
|Corpse Pose||60 Seconds||20 Seconds|
Download the plan here:
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.