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Yoga For Sleep: How Does It Work?

Blog Sleep & Wellness
Yoga For Sleep: How Does It Work?

Yoga is an ancient Indian spiritual and ascetic discipline, which was primarily a form of meditation. Yoga is an exercise that focuses on stretching and strengthening the body to help improve overall health and well-being. Recently, it’s become well-known to use yoga for sleep as it increases your body’s ability to relax, which makes it easier to fall asleep.

There are different types of yoga, each has different poses and benefits. Yoga Nidra is the most popular type of yoga for sleep, it is even known as sleep meditation. You don’t need to be flexible or athletic to practice yoga, you can reap its benefits with just a few simple poses!

Yoga’s Effect On Wellness

Yoga practitioners have been shown to have lower blood pressure, higher pain tolerance, lower rates of depression, and greater self-esteem, than those who do not practice yoga. Additionally, they have fewer instances of heart disease and respiratory ailments. A recent study showed the effect of yoga Nidra on blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Paired with medication, the results showed that most of the symptoms subsided.

In addition to the benefits of physical exercise, the calming effects of yoga make it a great option for those who struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders. It helps them feel more grounded and in touch with themselves, which is a great way to wind down before bedtime.

What Are The Benefits Of Yoga For Sleep?

What Are The Benefits Of Yoga For Sleep? | Puffy

Adding yoga to your everyday bedtime routines will not only improve the quality of sleep, but it’ll also extend the duration. Here are all of the benefits of yoga for sleep:

Reduces Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety have a huge impact on your sleep quality and duration. Many sleep disorders, like insomnia, may actually be rooted in stress. Stress can occur because of burnout at work, relationship issues, or a major change in life. No matter the cause, it’ll keep you up at night and can even wake you up from deep sleep.

Yoga is a practice that can help people overcome stress. It is a physical and mental exercise that involves meditation, breathing exercises, and postures. Practicing yoga for some time can produce relaxation in the body and mind, which lowers levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. This can be especially useful for those who suffer from anxiety disorders or depression.

A study done by the National Institutes of Health concluded that 86% of yoga practitioners reported reduced stress, and 55% of them reported getting better sleep. Another study showed the effectiveness of yoga on insomnia, especially among women. It proved to be a natural tool that significantly improved their sleep.

Promotes Weight Loss

The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that decreased sleep duration and quality are associated with an increase in body weight. They reported that obesity has a close connection with sleep disorders, such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. People that are overweight are more likely to develop insomnia, while 70% of those with OSA are considered obese.

Sleep deprivation is also associated with increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that causes feelings of hunger and restlessness. Consistent yoga practice can help with weight loss, which, as a result, can alleviate symptoms of insomnia or sleep apnea. Having a healthy diet will also support weight loss and offer better results faster.

Regulates Daily Exercise

Exercise and sleep are the most essential factors in a healthy lifestyle as they also correlate in many ways. For example, if you’re not getting enough sleep, your workout might not be as effective. Additionally, a lack of sleep can reduce the growth hormone in your body, which regulates metabolism and appetite. As a result, exercise can help promote sleep faster and improve sleep quality.

Yoga is a great way to start exercising as it flexes your muscles and prevents stiffness. This is a great way to ensure you get daily physical activity without it taking up much of your time. Exercise prevents obesity and reduces stress and anxiety, which are all factors that contribute to sleep deprivation. Keep in mind that vigorous exercises should only be done during the day because it accelerates the heart rate and raises your blood pressure. At night, consider doing gentle yoga stretches and breathing techniques that’ll promote relaxation.

Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

Yoga Poses For Better Sleep | Puffy

Multiple yoga poses promote overall wellness, but some are better suited for nighttime while others should be done during the day. Highly-active yoga exercises, like hot or vinyasa yoga, will boost your energy levels, making them great for mid-day exercise. While Hatha or yoga Nidra is preferred before sleeping for their light activity.

Yoga Nidra offers deep relaxation, it is mostly done by lying down and focusing on your breathing pattern. However, you can do it through gentle stretches as well. Yoga Nidra focuses on mindfulness meditation, which is paying attention to one's present thoughts and feelings. Below we’ve mentioned the best yoga for sleep poses, it is important to do each position for at least 3 to 5 minutes before switching to the next.

  • Child’s Pose: This pose increases your flexibility and stretches your spine, it is great for back pain. It also triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that encourages the production of melatonin. To do this pose, kneel on the floor, separate your knees apart, then bow down, and outstretch your arms with your forehead close to the floor. You can use a comfy and puffy area rug for these exercises.
  • Corpse Pose: This pose is traditionally used for yoga Nidra or guided meditation. You lie down on your back and distance your feet apart, then relax your arms at your side, palms facing upward. This pose promotes spinal alignment and full-body relaxation.
  • Reclined Butterfly: This pose strengthens your leg muscles. It is done by lying on your back, opening your knees to the side, and keeping only the soles of your feet connected. You can close your knees together and open them again, similar to the wing movement of a butterfly.
  • Standing Forward Bend: Stand with your feet slightly apart and slowly bend forward, reaching for your feet, it should be stretching your spine. You can keep your arms to your sides or fold them in front of your chest.
  • Legs Up The Wall: This pose targets relaxing your legs, lying on your back in front of a wall - you should be in a perpendicular position to the wall. Bring your left or right side as close as possible to the wall and place your legs up against the wall.

FAQ

How do you stop insomnia naturally?

There are many natural methods that you can try to promote better sleep and stop insomnia. These methods include: avoiding heavy meals or spicy food before sleeping, regularly exercising, and practicing yoga for sleep or other meditation techniques.

Which yoga is best for sleeping?

To promote better sleep at night, it is preferred to practice gentle and lightly-active yoga. The most popular yoga for sleep poses you can try are the child’s pose, standing forward bend, legs up the wall, reclined butterfly, and corpse pose. You should do each pose for 3 to 5 minutes for the best results.

Why I can’t sleep after yoga?

After a highly-active and intense yoga workout, it’ll be difficult to fall asleep because you’ll have a lot of adrenaline and your heart rates will be accelerated. It is recommended to do gentle yoga poses or light exercise to promote calmness and better sleep. You can do intense workouts during the day to boost your energy levels.

Conclusion: The Importance of Yoga To Get The Best Sleep!

Yoga and sleep go hand in hand. It is a great way to release stress and tension while also promoting deep, restful sleep. Many studies have shown that deep breathing and relaxation techniques like yoga can help people fall asleep faster. Additionally, yoga for sleep helps lengthen the time spent in bed, which means more time for sleep!



Your Turn...

Does yoga helps you sleep better? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.

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