We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is pretty important, as it’s during this time that our body and mind restores itself.
To wake up feeling refreshed and at the top of our game, we need between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night. Yet a recent survey found almost three quarters of Brits are actually getting less than 7 hours of shut eye, with stress sited as the biggest reason keeping people awake. As research shows yoga is an effective tool for tackling anxiety and promoting relaxation, some simple bedtime yoga could be the solution.
3 Bedtime Yoga Solutions To Help You Sleep
1. Yoga in bed
How many of us are guilty of climbing into bed and then spending 15 minutes or more scrolling through our phones, checking emails, instagram, facebook etc. Do yourself a favour, leave your electronics in another room and swap this toxic bedtime habit for some restorative yoga poses.
You don’t need long, and you don’t even need a yoga mat, in fact you can do some pre-sleep yoga from the comfort of your own bed. Put on a pair of comfy yoga pants or just your PJ’s, pull back the duvet, grab a couple of pillows and try it out...
These “in bed yoga asanas” from Yoga Journal adapt (from left to right) Child’s pose, Wind Relieving Pose, Corpse Pose, Half Frog Pose, Reclining Bound Angle and Reclining Twist, for a super supportive yin practice.
2. Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra, sometimes known as “yogic sleep” is state somewhere between sleep and awake, that can help to bridge the gap into a more restful state. With its health benefits including body restoration, de-stressing and increasing awareness, some people claim that one hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to several hours sleep.
This specific form of sleep meditation typically takes around 30 minutes. If you’ve got a smartphone, you can find yoga nidra scripts online and record your own using the voice memo function. You’ll also find plenty of free guided yoga nidra meditations on youtube, varying in length, like this one from Jason Stephenson that acts as a good introduction to the practice.
3. Best yoga routines for sleep
If practicing yoga before bed, ideally you want to avoid more dynamic postures which could lead to over stimulation. Some of the best asanas for promoting restful sleep are; spinal twists to release stress from the spine and aid digestion, legs up against the wall to ease tension from the legs and lower back, and gentle forward bends to stretch out the spine and legs. One of our favourite sleepy time practices comes from Adriene and takes just 20 minutes:
Transform your bedtime routine with these 3 yoga techniques for better sleep, and trade tossing and turning for sweet dreams...