Can’t sleep? Try yoga for insomnia instead of pills. Here are 7 relaxing yoga poses to try…
Insomnia has been reported as the most common of sleep disorders among adults in America, with approximately 12% of the population having chronic insomnia. Of those, approximately 40% are adults. That’s a lot of people losing sleep every night!
Those of us who do yoga all know the many positive effects that yoga has on the body – it improves flexibility and physical strength, reduces stress, improves breathing and enhances mental focus, among other benefits. However, did you know that yoga can also have a positive effect on your sleep patterns?
Not only can yoga help you to relax at night and go to sleep but it also has been shown to help improve the quality of sleep that you get every night. While there aren’t many studies available yet on the effects of yoga for insomnia, the few that have been done do indeed show improvement in patients’ sleeping patterns.
There are even a number of yoga poses that you can do before you go to bed that have been specifically found to help you relax, free your mind and help you sleep better at night. And we all could benefit from getting a better night’s sleep!
Below is a helpful bedtime yoga sequence that will help to prepare your body and mind for sleep:
- A good way to start your bedtime yoga routine is with Child’s Pose. Do this for about 10 breaths and then move on to the next pose. This relaxing pose will help you begin to relax your mind and your body.
- Next, move on to Standing Forward Bend pose, which will stretch your spine, hamstrings, and calves. Hold this pose for about 10 breaths also and you’ll begin to feel yourself relax even more.
- Next, you can move into Wide-Legged Forward Bend to help relax your shoulders and spine. Our shoulders and neck often seem to take the brunt of our stress throughout the day and this pose is perfect for getting rid of all of that stress that has built up all day long.
- Then, move down to your mat and stretch it out in Butterfly Pose to release tight hip muscles, which are common if you do a lot of sitting during the day. It is important to move all of your joint and muscles through their full range of motion before bedtime so that you are completely relaxed and can easily drift off to sleep without nagging pains or tension keeping you awake.
- The next move is Bridge Pose, which will help to stretch your back and open up your chest and abdomen. Hold for about 10 breaths here, focusing on feeling your breath opening up your rib cage as you lengthen your tailbone towards your heels. (Feel free to modify as needed so that you feel relaxed and comfortable in the pose.)
- Gently roll down to the floor when you are finished, and move straight into Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose to help relieve any swelling in the lower extremities, and further relax your mind to prepare you for sleep.
- End your bedtime yoga routine with Savasana (Corpse Pose) and relax there for about 10 minutes or so.
By this time you should feel much more relaxed and ready to climb into bed to get some of those well-deserved zzz’s!