Tips For Better Sleep

11 Best Yoga Poses To Help You Better Sleep

December 30, 2023   By JM Carpiso

Yoga offers a holistic approach to relaxation and is a potent remedy for the strains of contemporary life. Yoga induces a calming response by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system with deep breathing and intentional movement. Because there is a decrease in stress hormones, the mind becomes calmer, which paves the way for a good night’s sleep.

Yoga’s postures and gentle stretching relieve the physical strain that builds up throughout the day. Yoga relieves tight muscles by focusing on stress-prone areas including the neck, shoulders, and lower back. The physical relaxation that comes from yoga helps the body relax and prepares it for a more restful and comfortable sleep.

The Mind-Body Connection

Yoga encourages practitioners to be fully present in the moment by fostering a profound mind-body connection. In addition to slowing down rushing thoughts, this increased awareness encourages mindfulness that lasts right up until bedtime. 

Yoga creates a harmonious balance that makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep longer, allowing you to have a deeper, more restorative sleep. It does this by connecting the breath with movement and creating a calm mental state.

When you do yoga, you breathe in deeply and connect your body to each body part that you have to move for a particular pose. This intentional flow makes use of your full concentration and stops your mind from racing. With that, your tensions melt away as you become fully present in the moment. This eventually allows you to relax and even fall asleep soundly.

Hormones Influencing Sleep

Certain yoga poses encourage the production of chemicals that promote sleep, like melatonin. The deep breathing patterns and deliberate motions let the body know when it’s time to relax. The body’s natural circadian rhythm is strengthened when melatonin levels rise, facilitating a smooth transition into a peaceful sleep.

After an hour to an hour a half of yoga, your body will feel fully stretched out and relaxed. Your blood will flow smoothly and your joints will be stretched, this in turn makes you feel sleepy and relieved.

Reduction of Anxiety

Yoga’s focus on awareness of the breath and mindfulness is very helpful in reducing anxiety, which is a typical barrier to restful sleep. Yoga’s meditation techniques foster mental clarity and a peaceful inner environment, which weakens the hold of anxious thoughts. Yoga helps to stop the cycle of anxiety before bed and creates a tranquil environment that allows for restful sleep.

As you do yoga and feel the intent of your practice, you will notice your mind slowing down as you choose to be present. This will now put your body in a meditative state that dispels anxiety . 

Best Yoga Poses for Sleep

There are many yoga poses that you can use to induce sleep. These poses offer a slow phased flow that creates a relaxed feeling for your body. As you stretch and breathe into your joints and muscles, your mind eases into a more restful state.This in turn helps you sleep more peacefully.

Here is a list of well chosen yoga poses that can help you fall asleep soundly. 

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose is a great way to start your path towards a calm sleep. Bend down on the mat, stretch your arms out, and softly place your forehead on the floor. This calming pose to a  sound sleep by gently stretching the lower back, thighs, and hips.

2. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall pose will relax you as you get ready for bed. With your legs extended vertically against a wall, lie on your back. An inversion like this promotes blood flow, eases aching legs, and promotes relaxation, making it the ideal start to a restful night’s sleep.

3. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The ultimate in relaxation is the classic Savasana, often known as Corpse Pose. Give yourself over to stillness by lying on your back with your legs outstretched and your arms at your sides, palms facing up. Your body and mind can relax in savasana, which opens the door to a deep sense of peace.

4. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Spend some peaceful time with Supta Baddha Konasana. Place yourself on your back, press the soles of your feet together, and bend at the knees. This healing position expands the hips and chest, releasing tension and revealing the calm that comes before a good night’s sleep.

5. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

The Forward Fold, or Uttanasana, enables you to bend into a state of relaxation. Place your feet hip-width apart, bend forward from the hips, and extend your arm toward the floor. This mild hamstring and spine stretch releases stress and tells the body and mind it’s time to relax.

6. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Experience the nourishing quiet of Paschimottanasana. Sitting with your legs outstretched, hinge your hips and reach forward. This position stretches the spine and hamstrings, promoting inner tranquillity and laying the groundwork for a restful night’s sleep.

7. Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

With the rhythmic motions of Cat-Cow Stretch, allow your body to flow into tranquillity. Starting on your hands and knees, arch (cow) and round (cat) your back. This flowing routine relieves spinal tension, resulting in a comfortable and serene transition to bedtime.

8. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Standing Uttanasana promotes tranquillity. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hinge at your hips, and reach for the ground. This standing variant relieves upper-body stress and provides a soothing stretch to prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.

9. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Happy Baby Pose adds a playful addition to your sleep routine. Lie on your back and pull your knees to your chest, holding the outside edges of your feet. This lighthearted pose relieves stress in the lower back and hips, making it an important part of your relaxation journey.

10. Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana)

Melting Heart Pose, also known as Extended Puppy Pose, requires you to stretch your arms forward while maintaining your hips elevated. This heart-opening stance focuses on the upper back and shoulders, relieving tension from daily tasks. The gentle stretch promotes surrender, preparing the body for a comfortable night’s sleep.

11. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

End your nightly yoga routine with the relaxing Supine Spinal Twist. Lie on your back and guide one knee across your torso while keeping the opposing shoulder grounded. This gentle twist unwinds the spine, preparing you for a restorative night’s sleep.

Other Relaxation Techniques for Better Sleep

Beyond the calming embrace of yoga, there is a range of relaxation practices that invite you to a deeply restorative night’s sleep. These techniques offer a variety of methods to relax the body and calm the mind, and they fit in easily with sleep routines.

1. Meditation

Try out meditation in order to relax and sleep well. Create a peaceful environment, choose a comfortable seat, and concentrate on your breathing or chant a soothing mantra. By guiding your mind away from the daily distractions, mindful meditation creates a calm mental environment that prepares your body for a peaceful descent into slumber.

2. PMR, or Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Different muscular groups are progressively tensed and subsequently released as part of progressive muscle relaxation. Work your way up to the top of your head starting with your toes. A physical state of tranquillity is encouraged by this deliberate release of tension from head to toe, which tells your body it’s time to give in to rest.

3. Assisted Imagery

Allow your thoughts to create peaceful visions. Practice guided imagery by imagining calm scenes, private retreats, or tranquil landscapes. The power of imagination takes your mind to a peaceful place, whether it’s a peaceful forest or a beach covered in sunlight, setting the stage for a comfortable night’s sleep.

4. Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can help you tap into the transformational power of your breath. Practise diaphragmatic breathing by slowly inhaling through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill, and gently expelling through pursed lips. Deep breathing causes a relaxation response, which slows the heart rate and calms the mind.

5. Aromatherapy

Extend the aromatherapy experience beyond yoga by introducing essential oils into your bedtime regimen. Lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood scents can be diffused or applied to pulse points. The delicate fragrances stimulate the olfactory senses, resulting in a sensory refuge that promotes a tranquil transition into the land of dreams.

6. Warm Bath

As part of your pre-sleep ritual, treat yourself to a warm bath. The relaxing warmth relaxes muscles and soothes the neurological system. Adding a few drops of relaxing essential oils to the water will transform your bath into a therapeutic sanctuary.

7. White Noise

White noise or natural sounds can be used to drown out the day’s ambient noise. These audio companions, whether it’s the gentle rustling of leaves, the rhythmic patter of rain, or the subtle hum of a fan, form a tranquil soundtrack for your trip into dreamland.

Use these relaxation techniques as your companions on your journey for restful sleep. Each method provides a distinct way to unwind, resulting in a harmonic symphony of practices that gently bring you into the calm landscapes of the night.

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