Using Yoga for Sleep Issues

April 13, 2020
Shanna Windle

Using Yoga for Sleep Issues

Treating sleep issues with yoga:

The brain is a busy organ, sometimes especially before you go to sleep. We all have experienced it: we are stressed or overworked and at the end of the day, the only thing you see is your bed but…your mind refuses to shut off. Instead, it's on a loop of everything that happened that day and everything that you will have to do tomorrow.

Yoga might be your fix.  

Yoga stimulates the nervous system and increases blood circulation to the brain, specifically the part of the brain that is responsible for inducing sleep. This helps reduce insomnia and promote more regular sleep. Yoga is also useful for detoxifying your mind and body. The increased oxygen intake during yoga also aids in revascularization and regeneration of body cells.  According to research,

“For every minute you spend in yoga, your sleep requirement reduces by one minute.”

According to another study conducted in the USA,

“55% of people who performed yoga had better sleep and 85% of people performing yoga experienced stress reduction.”

Here are a few yoga tips and poses that promote sound sleep:

1. Breathing:  

Yoga implements a gentle breath referred to as the “ocean breath.” This is slow and deliberate, breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth.

2. Wide knee child’s pose:  

Sit back on your legs and bring your toes together. Separate your knees and hips apart. Exhale and, at the same time, lower your torso onto your thighs. Let your hands relax alongside your torso, with your arms on the floor and pointed to the back of the room, palms facing up. This releases shoulder and back stress by separating your shoulder blades away from each other.

3. Legs up the wall:  

Find an empty wall and place your yoga mat at a right angle to the wall and in contact with the wall. Lie back on the floor and place your legs up the wall. Meanwhile, relax your arms by your sides.

4. The final resting pose, or “corpse pose”:  

Lie back on the floor, relaxing all your limbs. Inhale and bring your knees in towards your chest. As you exhale, stretch your legs out away from your torso and rest them back on the floor. Your hips should be apart and relaxed, legs and toes turned out. Let your lower back relax with your palms facing up.

Any one of these poses, with the slow ocean breathing, will relax your body, release tension, and calm your mind.  Focus on inhaling your breath into every cell of your body, and exhaling out any bad energy or stress. Try one or more before bed tonight, and experience better sleep.

Still not sure what RTT is all about? Find out here.
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