With running between appointments, meetings and tasks, our busy lifestyles have left many of us struggling to sleep at night. Yoga can be a great addition to your busy lifestyle. Because of its meditative and calming nature, yoga improves sleep patterns and habits.
Sleep deprivation and stress can be incredibly closely linked and can form a vicious cycle that leaves you stressed and tired. Because of the busy and stress-filled lives, we lead we may find we have trouble sleeping. This failure to fall asleep can lead to us feeling more frustrated and anxious about going to bed, which only makes the situation worse.
That’s where yoga comes in. Because of its combination of physical exertion and relaxing meditation, yoga is a great way to improve the quality of your sleep as well as improving the amount of sleep you get by helping you to fall asleep faster.
So how exactly does it work? Well, there are lots of ways that yoga can help your sleeping pattern by relaxing both body and mind. Here's how:
1. It tires out the body
Because yoga can be physically challenging, it can cause physical fatigue. This is partly why yoga improve sleep as it tires your body out making it easier for you to fall asleep. When your muscles get tired, it’s easier for your body to fall asleep – which is half of the battle. But because certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea occur when the body begins to fall asleep but the mind is still active, it’s crucial that you do an exercise that not only calms your body but also helps your mind to unwind too.
2. It calms your mind
The meditative side of yoga allows you to relax and de-stress, making it easier for our minds to wander to sleep at night.
Although anxiety and stress are mental states of unease, they do lead to several physical issues including an inability to sleep. Yoga is perfect for stress relief and the meditation involved helps clear the mind. By trying out a few yoga poses every night before bed to clear your mind you'll see exactly how yoga improves sleep. With a calmer mind, you'll find sleep will not only come quicker but will be much more satisfying.
If you’re not up for practising a full routine of yoga poses, you can also try practising mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation involves learning to accept your thoughts, emotions, and feelings and relies on you to develop an awareness of the sensations you’re experiencing in the present, which can be hugely relaxing. Whilst mindfulness is great for unwinding your mind, it doesn’t tire out your body. Combining both physical fatigue and mental relaxation is one of the main reasons yoga improves sleep.
3. It relaxes the nervous system
To increase blood flow to the brain’s sleep centre and decrease activity in the nervous system, try yoga poses such as uttanasana, halasana, and savasana to your nightly pre-sleep ritual. These particular poses will help relax your nervous system and are part of the reason why yoga improves sleep.
4. Yoga revives your bodyGoing through your yoga routine your body will use your breathing rhythms to increase the oxygen levels in your blood and eliminate toxins, all of which contribute to rejuvenating your body. By focusing on your breathing you distract yourself from regular, daily worries and reduce anxiety and stress. All of this adds up to why yoga improves sleep.
By completing regular, and even daily yoga practice will not only improve how you sleep but can also improve how you feel throughout the day too.
Other recommended poses for your pre-sleep yoga ritual include:
- Balasana (child's pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (head-to-knee pose)
- Baddha Konosana (bound angle pose)
The benefits of yoga are numerous, not only does yoga improve sleep, it also improves physical strength and flexibility, breathing, mental focus and can also reduce stress. In fact, it is perhaps because of these reasons that yoga improves sleep.
Insomnia, a repeated inability to fall or stay asleep, is one of the most common sleep disorders. But because of the many benefits of yoga, it is exceptionally useful as a treatment for insomnia.
Of course, even if you do plenty of yoga in your calming bedtime routine, you’re good night’s sleep is only ever going to be as good as the bed you sleep in. If you think you’ve tried every hack under the sun for a better night’s sleep, take a look at our amazing Sonno mattress and see how we could give you a more comfortable night’s sleep.