How Yoga Can Improve Your Rest

Having trouble getting a good night’s rest? In today’s world, we get so wound up with all of our schedules, meetings, friends, families, phones, and TVs, that it can be really hard to relax when it comes time to put your head on the pillow. But staying up late night after night will eventually make us crash, quite possibly during the day when we are supposed to be doing something important.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually fall asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed?

It would certainly make our lives a lot easier! So, how can we make this happen? Studies show that practicing yoga can help cure several ailments, including abnormal sleeping patterns.

Yoga unwinds all the tense energy that we’ve held onto during our stressful day. It gives us time to just think about nothing, and focus on our breathing.  However, it’s important to know what kinds of poses to do before bed if your goal is to achieve a relaxed body and mind. Some yoga poses can be very invigorating and get your heart pumping, which doesn’t signal to your body that you are ready to sleep.

Your Ideal Nighttime Yoga Poses

Child’s Pose

A great pose to begin your nighttime practice is “Child’s Pose”. Begin with your knees on the ground while sitting on the backs of your heels. Fold your body forward and stretch out your arms over your head and bring your forehead down towards the ground. Make sure that you keep stretching your body in both directions, and that your tummy stays on top of your thighs. You can spread your knees apart if you would like to bring your chest down farther to get a bigger stretch. Have your hands together in a prayer position and try to only have your pinkies touching the ground, supporting the rest of your hands. Stay like this for as long as you’d like.

Cat & Cow Pose

From there, come on to all fours as if you were a cat. The next series of stretches is called “Cat and Cow Pose”. Begin by stretching your neck and head upwards along with your chest. Allow your belly to descend into a curve with your hips and butt stretching upwards to allow a nice big stretch of the entire spine. Then, when you are ready, curl your head and neck downwards and raise your spine up in an opposite curve so that your belly is moving upwards and your hips and butt are now reaching down towards the floor beneath you. These series of stretches help stimulate digestion, which will in turn help you sleep better.

Legs-up-the-wall Pose

Finally, a nice pose to end with is called “Legs-up-the-wall Pose”. This is an especially good pose to help calm the mind. Find an empty space of wall and sit down close to it. It helps to sit parallel to the wall so that your hip touches the wall. Then lie your body down, and swivel your hips so that you are lying flat on your back and your butt now rests against the wall and legs have stretched upwards, using the wall as support. Try to scooch your butt as close to the wall as possible. Then lay your arms out in a T or U shape, parallel to your shoulders, whichever one you prefer. Rest here for as long as you need, focusing on your breathing.

It’s important to remember that consistency tends to be a strong factor when training your body to go to sleep more easily. Sleep experts stress the importance of a regular nighttime routine in order to signal your body that it’s time to go to sleep.

So, even if you only have 10 minutes, spend the time performing these poses every night before bed and soon your body will become accustomed to your new nighttime relaxation routine.

What are your favourite yoga poses or nighttime routines? Let us know  and you could be featured in one of our blogs!