Research shows that failing to get a solid night’s sleep can increase the chance of anxiety, depression and even diabetes. If you’re someone that struggles to sleep, don’t worry! You’re not alone. In a world where we’re surrounded by technology all day and, sometimes, night, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to switch off at the end of the day which, ultimately, reduces concentration and happiness.
Everyone is looking for the answer to how to get a good night’s sleep, and we think we may have found it: yoga. Yoga is a fantastic way to relax your mind, relieve tension, and take a few moments to feel a sense of calmness at the end of each day before you hit the hay. Better still, you control how long you spend on yoga every night. From five to 45 minutes, take as long as you need to feel entirely relaxed.
Below, we explore seven essential yoga poses for better sleep that you can do from your bed.
Let all your worries seep from your head with the Standing Forward Bend. To begin, stand tall, take a deep breath in, and reach upwards, so your arms are straight above your head. Then, as your exhale, hold your stomach in and bend forward, keeping your back straight. Curl your neck inwards, so your chin is almost touching your chest before loosening your shoulders and stretching further towards the floor while lengthening your spine. To keep your balance, shift your weight onto your toes and keep your legs as straight as possible. If you’re able to, place your hands flat on the floor in front of your feet. You should hold the pose for at least ten breaths; however, you can hold it longer if you wish.
The perfect moment to sit and breathe, begin the Winding Down Twist by sitting cross-legged on your bed. Take a deep breath in and then, as you exhale, put your right hand on your left knee and rest your left hand behind you on the bed, just behind your tailbone. Gently twist your upper body to the left, keeping your head still so your eyes follow until you’re looking over your left shoulder. Always control your breathing. Once relaxed and stretched, return to the centre and repeat on the other side.
It is now you’ll start to feel sleepy. Lie on your bed on your back with your legs apart, knees bent, and the soles of your feet pressed together. A long diamond shape should form in the gap between your legs. Rest your arms by your side or, for further release, above your head, so you’re completely relaxed. If your legs – particularly your thighs – are strained, place a pillow under your legs to elevate them and relieve the pressure. Take a few deep breaths, relax, stretch and enjoy a moment of bliss.
The Lizard Pose helps to relieve stress and aid a good night’s sleep by relaxing the muscles in your back and stomach and is particularly good if you’re feeling tense in your hips. The Lizard Pose helps your digestion system to run smoother, too. To begin with, get into the Plank Pose and take a deep breath. From the Plank, lift your shoulders and lock your hands together behind your back. Breathing out slowly, push the tops of your feet into the floor and, breathing naturally, lift your chest and arms slowly. When you feel stretched, hold the pose for at least a few breaths before releasing your hands and pushing your body down into the Downward-Facing Dog, which you can include in your routine.
Have you been on your feet all day? Relieve the pressure and, quite literally, put your feet up with the Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, which also improves circulation and stretches your lower back. First, sit in front of the ball and then lie on your back. Bring your knees to your chest and then, straightening your legs, shuffle closer to the wall until your buttocks are almost touching it and, with your legs straight in the air, rest your heels on the wall and flex your toes. For more stretch, put your arms above your head rather than to your side, which is a little more comfortable. Hold the pose until you’re relaxed.
The ideal position if you need a minute to breathe and release all the tension in your body, the Child’s Pose allows you to stretch, relax and gather your thoughts at the end of a long day. To begin, kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Then, keeping your back straight, lower your chest and neck towards the floor until folded and your forehead meets the floor. To stretch further, stretch your arms out in front of you. Stay in this position for as long as you need to and breathe deeply as you release tension.
As the name suggests, the Rock-a-Bye Roll is the perfect finish to your evening yoga routine. To begin, lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest and hug them. Then, cross your ankles and wrap your hands around your shins. Take a deep breath in and gently rock your body upwards, so you’re sitting and then, as you exhale, back down, so you’re on your back. Do this for around one minute before rolling back and releasing your arms and legs, so you’re flat on the floor. By now, you should be feeling sleepy, which means it’s time to switch the lights off and get some much-needed shut-eye.
If you struggle to sleep or simply want some time to yourself before bed, try our yoga poses for better sleep; each pose will help you to release emotional stress and physical tension. Better still, as you get into a nightly routine, yoga before bed will tell your brain to prepare for sleep. To help you relax, try playing soothing music during your yoga routine, or light a scented candle or soothing incense stick.
By incorporating yoga into your evening routine, you will wake up every morning refreshed. Also, please do not forget to check out our yoga shop for the latest yoga wear designs to make your yoga practice fun and frolic.