A lot of people struggle to sleep, and it’s not uncommon to toss and turn. Sometimes it’s hard to get a good night’s rest, and we often wake up in the middle of the night.
Well, the good news is that yoga workout can help you regulate your sleep patterns. Yoga does not necessarily need to be extreme; get your adrenaline pumping.
Some of the most advantageous facets of a yoga practice are its serene, calming, and reflective elements.
While yoga cannot guarantee a good night's rest, it can help you relax before bed and set a sleep phase that works for your body.
In this article, we will be focusing on yoga poses specifically designed to aid in sleep. First, I will discuss the stages of sleep and then look at some common yoga poses that can help you fall asleep.
The Stages Of Sleep
The sleep journey is complex and not fully understood by science, but generally, there are three stages of sleep; each step has its purpose.
Stages I and II are phases in which the body recovers from wakefulness, and is very light and occurs at lighter stages of the night.
Stages III and IV last longer and are deeper sleep during which the body can repair itself.
Stages I-IV are called REM sleep, or Rapid Eye Movement, as one’s eyes flicker rapidly beneath closed eyelids.
Most organs remain active in this sleep phase, such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, digestion, and hormone production.
When we sleep, our breathing slows, and our muscles relax. As a result, the heart rate is the lowest during sleep, and our body temperature drops, causing us to become drowsy.
Eventually, deep sleep occurs with stages III and IV, where muscles relax even further. Stages I and II are vital times for the body, making them ideal for specific yoga poses that promote relaxation.
Yoga Poses For Sleep
Numerous yoga poses are designed to promote deep or slow breathing and relaxation, helping you to sleep.
This section will break down some of the best yoga poses to aid sleep and help you fall asleep fast. Here are some common yoga poses for rest:
This pose is just a reclining cat where you lean your back against a wall with your legs straight out in front of you.
It is a good pose for those who have trouble falling asleep because it helps you relax and is also one of the most commonly practised poses.
Halasana is a yoga pose that stretches your back and strengthens your abdominal muscles.
This pose is also ubiquitous among yogis who practice before sleeping and is the inversion of Sirsasana (Headstand) as both poses work to strengthen the back.
This pose may be challenging for those who suffer from neck issues, so proceed with caution if you do.
Child Pose (Shishuasana)
The pose that’s most calming for the back is this one. It also calms your nerves and allows you to sleep well. This pose is also great because it is helpful for any back pain you may have.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Savasana is one of the most common poses in yoga classes when they complete their practice. This pose is the final relaxation posture before going to sleep.
In this pose, focus is on the breath and your body as you exhale. It will help you let go of thoughts that are causing anxiety or stress.
By staying focused on the present moment, you take your mind off the pressure or anxiety-producing situation. Thus, it can help relieve your distress and anxiety.
Deep breathing (Shavasana)
This pose is for those people who are working their way to sleep. It will help you relax and reduce anxiety and stress.
Reclining Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
It is nothing but a variation of the basic butterfly yoga posture and can assist the body to get into rest mode. This pose is also great for those people who suffer from back pain.
Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
Viparita Karani is my favourite yoga pose because it refreshes me. When I need to wind down and recharge, I turn to this pose. It is great for bedtime, as it reduces stress and tension in the body.
It is a well-established posture that you can practise with a few variations. In all circumstances, it’s about supporting the nervous system by encouraging the relaxation response. It is also an excellent antidote for tired legs.
Supta Ardha Dandasana (Supine Half-Bow Pose)
If you’ve been lounging around your house watching TV or reading, this is good for your hip flexor. Also, it is helpful if you’re a side sleeper, as this means your hips are in constant motion.
If you're feeling sore, try reclining on the bed during your yoga practice. You might find yourself falling asleep as the pose becomes more and more relaxing.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Reclining Bound Angle is another great nighttime yoga pose. This pose is powerful at reducing fatigue, especially if you are struggling with Insomnia.
It also has benefits for women during menstruation.
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
The Baby Pose is one of the best postures for combating Insomnia. The position that resembles a child in the womb is an absolute relaxing stretch to the spine and back.
This position helps you calm your mind, ultimately managing your emotions and coaxing the mind into better sleep.
Yoga cannot guarantee a good night of rest, but it can help some people get a better night’s sleep. While yoga may not be the miracle cure everyone wishes for it to be, there is no denying that there are numerous benefits from practising yoga, and it can help with sleep issues.
The above-mentioned operative yoga asanas with soothing moves condense stress levels, calm the mind and relieve tension from the body. In this way, it can serve as an on-the-spot insomnia treatment.
I hope that this article will serve you as an introduction to the world of yoga and better understand how it can help you combat stress and get a better night’s sleep. If you’re interested in learning more about yoga, please leave a comment below!