Yoga Medicine for a Good Night's Sleep

November 05, 2021

No need for yoga mats or yoga pants, yoga is the perfect exercise to do in your pajamas! Well... the yoga mat might be useful, but the rest is optional!

Yoga is the perfect exercise for winding down after a long day, relaxing your muscles, and calming your mind. Thus, it's a wonderful way to help prepare for a good night's sleep.

Sleep Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has many benefits for both mind and body including helping you relax and sleep better. There are a few ways yoga supports your overall sleep health.

Research has shown that yoga and meditation may:

  • Increase melatonin levels, helping you fall asleep1
  • Help you stay asleep longer2
  • Reduce the stress and anxiety that often disrupts sleep3  
  • Boost overall health, which improves sleep4 

Research has shown that yoga and meditation may:

  • Increase melatonin levels, helping you fall asleep1
  • Help you stay asleep longer2
  • Reduce the stress and anxiety that often disrupts sleep3  
  • Boost overall health, which improves sleep4 
Yoga Medicine for A Good Night's Sleep | Mukha Yoga

Getting Ready for Bed with Yoga

Focus on the Breath

Breathing is the foundation of yoga. And focusing on the breath allows us to move and to hold poses easily and comfortably, as well as relieving tension. Deep breathing also relaxes your body and mind, helping you transition to bedtime.

Unlike the energizing sequences of a Vinyasa practice, which may get your blood pumping—yoga for sleep should be calming. During a pre-sleep yoga practice you’ll want to move slowly through the postures, focusing on your breath and relaxing into each pose with complete surrender.

Yoga Poses for a Restful Night

A gentle practice like restorative yoga is great for anyone who wants to fall asleep faster. Restorative yoga can help you prepare for sleep by relaxing the nervous system and relieving stress, which is one of the main causes of sleepless nights.

Restorative yoga uses many floor-based poses held for an extended time. This supports your body into a deep state of relaxation.

Try incorporating a few relaxing yoga poses into your nighttime routine. The best poses will be ones you can hold for a minute or two as you breathe deeply into your belly.

Here is a short sequence to do before heading to bed.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Fold at the hips, and sweep your hands down to meet the floor, or your shins. You may even choose to hold your elbows, and swap gently from side to side. Hold the position for 10 breaths.

Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Find a wall and bring your mat perpendicular to it. Take a seat with either your left or right hip up against the wall. Then, begin to turn as you lower your back to the mat and slide your legs up the wall. Lay your hands down by your side and relax into the position for 20 breaths.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Fold at the hips, and sweep your hands down to meet the floor, or your shins. You may even choose to hold your elbows, and swap gently from side to side. Hold the position for 10 breaths.

Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Find a wall and bring your mat perpendicular to it. Take a seat with either your left or right hip up against the wall. Then, begin to turn as you lower your back to the mat and slide your legs up the wall. Lay your hands down by your side and relax into the position for 20 breaths.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Come to lie down on your back. Exhale and stretch your legs out about the width of your mat. Bring your hands to your side, palms facing up. Take in a big inhale, and exhale slowly as you close your eyes and let yourself sink into the position. Stay in Savasana as long as you like (you might find yourself falling asleep already!)

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Come to lie down on your back. Exhale and stretch your legs out about the width of your mat. Bring your hands to your side, palms facing up. Take in a big inhale, and exhale slowly as you close your eyes and let yourself sink into the position. Stay in Savasana as long as you like (you might find yourself falling asleep already!)

For some more ideas on where to start, check out our article Sleep Better With These 3 Poses for more poses to help you glide into a blissful state of slumber.

Mila Meldosian
By Mila Meldosian; All Rights Reserved @2021

Mila MeldosianBy Mila Meldosian; All Rights Reserved @2021



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