You know how important it is to get a great night’s sleep. More than likely, you also know how much slogging through a day when you do not get enough sleep can suck. Now how do you make sure that your sleep is giving you what you need? There are many different aspects to proper sleep hygiene, which are the habits you have that increase or decrease your sleep quality. Today you will learn how yoga can improve your sleep, and what poses are recommended.
The Yoga Principles
Yoga is a mixture of physical activity and mindfulness practices. Both of these are key factors in sleep hygiene. Studies show that people who are physically active are going to have an easier time falling asleep and will also have a higher quality sleep throughout the night. Sedentary lifestyles lead to restless bodies, and it is very difficult to sleep if you are restless. Mindfulness is a little more complicated. Similar to a restless body, a restless mind is also going to keep you awake. Practicing mindfulness lets you find skills to calm the mind, which lets you finally shut down and fall asleep.
Yoga Poses for Sleep Throughout the Day
You can see an improvement in your sleep through yoga, even if your life does not allow you to practice in the evening. In fact, more strenuous activities, like vinyasa practice can keep you up when they are done too close to lights out. However, when completed at other times through the day, can still help you get a great night sleep.
Poses and sequences that give you a good sweat are great during the day. The increase in heart rate helps your body burn through its energy. Tired muscles are more likely to sleep well at night. Some poses you may like to add to your practice during the day are Plank, Chair pose, and Chaturanga. Of course, there are many poses that will help you get the muscle usage that leads to solid sleep, but these are some of the most common ones that really fire up your body.
Yoga Poses before Bed
Closer to when you want to sleep, you are going to want to avoid some of the more stimulating poses. Within an hour of bed, you are going to be trying to calm your body and your mind. Restful poses, like Child’s pose, a gentle Locust pose, and Savasana pose are all great ways to ease yourself into sleep. During this practice, you want to focus on breathing and practicing mindfulness. This settles your mind and body, letting you sleep well.
In short, no matter when you practice yoga, you can use it to improve your sleep quality. Using your body throughout the day will decrease your restlessness before bed. Your yoga practice can also be a great way to settle your mind, which helps you fall asleep easier and quicker. Sleep requires that both your mind and body be ready for rest, and yoga is a great way to prep yourself for slumber.