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Mental Health

Yoga for sleep: How to sleep better through yoga with these 10 poses

Struggling to find peace and tranquility before bedtime? You’re not alone.

In today’s fast-paced world, disconnecting and finding rest can seem like an insurmountable task. Luckily, there is an all-natural solution: yoga for sleep.

As you can hear, one of the advantages of yoga is that it helps you sleep better, increasing the quality of your sleep.

If you want to know how to use yoga to sleep better, stay in this article and you will find out.

What is yoga for sleep?

Yoga for sleep is a tailored approach within the broader practice of yoga, specifically aimed at enhancing sleep quality and duration.

It consists of carefully selected poses and techniques that prioritize relaxation, stress reduction, and physical ease, distinguishing it from the more dynamic or physically demanding yoga styles.

The essence of yoga for sleep lies in its ability to soothe the nervous system, thereby preparing the mind and body for a state of deep rest.

This preparation involves gentle stretches and poses that can be performed as part of your bedtime routine, effectively bridging the gap between wakefulness and sleep.

The practice not only aids in falling asleep more easily but also contributes to a more profound and uninterrupted sleep cycle, making it an invaluable tool for those struggling with sleep-related issues.

Why yoga can help you sleep

Yoga, with its holistic approach to well-being, offers a natural and effective remedy for sleep issues, addressing both the physical and mental aspects that contribute to restful sleep.

Here’s how yoga can be a pivotal factor in enhancing sleep quality:

Alleviates insomnia

Regular yoga practice has been shown to effectively manage symptoms of insomnia, allowing for:

  • Quicker sleep onset
  • Longer sleep duration
  • And less nighttime awakenings.

Promotes relaxation

Yoga activates the body’s relaxation response, counteracting the stress and anxiety that can hinder sleep.

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By lowering stress hormone levels, yoga facilitates a state of calmness conducive to sleep.

Improves sleep quality

Engaging in a nighttime yoga routine can significantly enhance the quality of your sleep, making it more restful and rejuvenating.

How to prepare for sleep with yoga

Preparing for sleep with yoga involves more than just performing a series of poses; it’s about creating a holistic environment and routine that signals to your body and mind that it’s time to wind down.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting the stage for a restful night through yoga:

Step 1: Create a relaxing environment

The ambiance of your practice space plays a crucial role in your ability to relax and unwind.

  1. Start by dimming the lights or using soft, warm lighting to signal to your body that the day is ending, and it’s time to prepare for sleep.
  2. Consider lighting a candle with a calming scent like lavender or chamomile, known for their sleep-inducing properties.
  3. Adjust the room temperature to a comfortable level, neither too hot nor too cold, to prevent any discomfort that might distract you from your practice or keep you awake later.
  4. Ensure the space is tidy and free from clutter, which can subconsciously signal chaos to the mind, making relaxation more challenging.

Step 2: Choose the right poses

The selection of yoga poses is critical in preparing your body for sleep.

Opt for gentle, restorative poses that focus on releasing tension from the body and calming the mind.

Avoid poses that are overly stimulating or physically demanding, as they can increase energy levels and make it harder to fall asleep.

Step 3: Select Good Music to Help You Sleep

Background music can significantly enhance your yoga practice by providing a soothing soundtrack that supports relaxation.

Choose soft, slow-paced yoga music or nature sounds that have a calming effect on the mind. The rhythm and tempo of the music can help slow down your thoughts and breathing, guiding you into a more meditative state conducive to sleep.

Ensure the volume is set to a low, unobtrusive level so it enhances rather than distracts from your practice.

Here you have an ideal playlist to sleep doing yoga:

This is just an example of music that usually works for sleep. Keep in mind that every mind is different, so ideally, you should create a personalized playlist for you.

10 Best yoga poses for sleep

Once you have everything ready for yoga for sleep to take effect, it’s time to start performing the proper techniques.

It is important to keep in mind that some poses are more effective than others when it comes to falling asleep:

1. Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani)

This pose aids in relaxation by reversing the blood flow, relieving swollen or cramped legs and feet, and calming the nervous system.

How to do it:

  1. Sit with your left side against the wall.
  2. Gently lie on your back and lift your legs up the wall.
  3. Keep your buttocks close to the wall and your back flat on the floor.
  4. Rest your arms by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes.

2. Child’s pose (Balasana)

Balasana soothes the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue, making it easier to fall asleep.

How to do it:

  1. Kneel on the floor, touch your big toes together, and sit on your heels.
  2. Separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
  3. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs.
  4. Extend your arms forward, palms down, and relax your forehead on the floor. Hold for 3-5 minutes.

3. Reclining butterfly pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This pose reduces stress and tension in the hips and groin, promoting relaxation and facilitating deeper breathing.

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor, bend your knees, and bring the soles of your feet together.
  2. Lie back, allowing your knees to fall open, placing support under each knee if needed.
  3. Extend your arms out to the sides or place one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes.

4. Corpse pose (Savasana)

Savasana relaxes the entire body and reduces blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia, preparing the body for deep sleep.

How to do it:

  1. Lie flat on your back, legs slightly apart, and arms relaxed at your sides, palms facing up.
  2. Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing.
  3. Allow your body to feel heavy and sink into the floor. Remain in this pose for 10-15 minutes.

5. Happy baby pose (Ananda Balasana)

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This pose gently stretches the back and calms the mind, relieving stress and soothing the nervous system.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back. With an exhale, bend your knees into your belly.
  2. Inhale and grip the outsides of your feet with your hands. Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your armpits.
  3. Rock gently from side to side, if it feels nice. Hold for 3-5 minutes.

6. Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)

Helps reduce anxiety and fatigue, calming the mind and preparing it for sleep.

How to do it:

  1. Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you, spine erect.
  2. Inhale and raise your arms overhead. Exhale and hinge at the hips to lean forward.
  3. Hold your feet or legs, keeping the spine elongated. Hold for 3-5 minutes.

7. Cat-cow stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

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This sequence gently massages the spine, relieves tension in the torso, and promotes a more relaxed state.

How to do it:

  1. Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position.
  2. Inhale, arch your back and look up for cow pose.
  3. Exhale, round your spine, and tuck your chin to your chest for cat pose.
  4. Continue flowing between these two poses for 1-2 minutes.

8. Supine spinal twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Releases tension in the spine, calms the nervous system, and promotes relaxation.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back, and bring your arms out to the sides in a T-shape.
  2. Bring your knees toward your chest, then lower them to one side. Turn your head to the opposite direction.
  3. Hold for 3-5 minutes, then switch sides.

9. Forward bend (Uttanasana)

Calms the brain, relieves stress, and stretches the hamstrings and calves.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, exhale, and hinge at your hips to fold forward.
  2. Let your hands touch the floor or your legs. Keep a slight bend in the knees if needed.
  3. Hold for 3-5 minutes.

10. Thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana)

Helps improve digestion, which can lead to better sleep, and calms the mind.

How to do it:

  1. Kneel on the floor, bringing your knees and ankles together.
  2. Sit back on your heels with your spine straight and hands on your knees.
  3. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes.
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With yoga, you will sleep better than ever

Incorporating yoga into your nighttime routine can be a game-changer for those struggling with sleep.

By practicing gentle poses and focusing on relaxation, you can ease the transition into sleep, improving both its quality and duration.

Remember, consistency is key. Give these practices time, and you may find your nights transformed by the restful sleep you’ve been dreaming of. Namaste.

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