Sleep deprivation and stress can together develop into a vicious cycle. It is common to have trouble falling asleep due to worries and anxiety. A night of insufficient sleep can add to the stress of the following day. It can easily become a pattern. Yoga can be a gentle and restorative way to relax the body and mind. Research indicates that the majority of people who practice yoga, say they find it helps them to attain improved sleep.
Certain resting and inversion poses can be particularly helpful in fighting restlessness and insomnia. Breath is the key in becoming accustomed to relaxing in various poses. Blankets, blocks, bolsters and other props can be helpful as well. We live in such a fast-paced environment and the fact that we are often over-stimulated affects our nervous system. The technique of focusing on breath and staying in certain yoga poses can relieve tension from our bodies, as well as help the mind to relax and, in turn, allow our bodies to more easily get better sleep.
Staying in each of the following poses for 3 to 5 minutes each can relieve tension and stress at the end of a busy day and improve your sleep:
- Wide-knee child’s pose
- Standing half forward bend
- Standing full forward bend
- Reclining bound angle
- Corpse pose or Savasana
- Legs up the wall pose
- Easy sitting forward bend
- Child’s pose
- Supine spinal twist
- Seated spinal twist
Sleep plays a very important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repairing of your heart and blood vessels, so ongoing sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments. Sleep is also vital for learning and memory.
The practice of yoga has so many benefits and improved sleep patterns is absolutely one of them.