If you are having trouble sleeping, then yoga may be the answer! Yoga is a great way to relax and can help you fall asleep faster. It has been shown that practicing yoga before bedtime can improve sleep quality for up to 6 months after just one month of practice. The best part about it? You don’t need any equipment or clothing. All you need is a quiet place – although a few bolsters and yoga props can be super helpful! If interested in a few of my favorite yoga props, you learn more at my Zulily guest post: Yoga Props and Tools To Improve Your Practice.
There’s very few things that are more frustrating than laying in bed tossing and turning. Over time that frustration builds which just worsens the problem. Whether it’s an overactive mind, stress, being overtired or one of the other many reasons that sleep can be elusive, practicing certain yoga poses at bedtime can be incredibly helpful in falling asleep faster and having deeper sleep.
In this blog post, we will go over 7 poses that will leave you feeling relaxed and sleepy at night.
How Yoga Before Bed Helps You Sleep:
– Yoga before bed helps you calm down and relax your mind which will help with sleep.
– Yoga poses can also release tension in the muscles, leaving you feeling more relaxed! This is especially important if you tend to have any joint or muscle pain that prevents you from sleeping well at night.
– A study by researchers found that participants who practiced yoga for 12 weeks had better sleep quality than those who did not practice yoga.
How To Practice Yoga Before Bed After a Long Day?
For people who are incredibly exhausted after working all day, it’s best to focus on restorative poses first and then move onto gentle stretches afterwards – this allows your body to really unwind! Adding some calming breathwork or a meditative practice can also help.
Yoga Poses That Help You Sleep Better:
Seated Forward Fold
This pose is great for releasing any tension in the back, while also relaxing your mind and calming you down. To make it more restorative, place a large pillow over your legs so that you body can be more supported in this pose for ultimate relaxation.
Seated Side Bend
This pose helps relax the neck, shoulder and back. To begin, sit on your bed in a crossed leg position. On an inhale, raise your arms to the sky and on an exhale, place your left hand on the bed next to your hip while you stretch your right arm (by your ear) toward the left. Slightly lean to the left with your butt on the ground and left shoulder down and relaxed. Hold for several breaths and repeat on the other side.
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
This is one of my favorite poses to do on a regular basis. I find that it helps me release any tension in the lower back and hips while also providing relief from sciatica pain (which is awesome!). You can take this as far or low into your body as you need, just make sure you are comfortable!
Supported Child’s Pose
If you are feeling restless or even just a little stressed, this is the perfect pose for getting grounded and relaxed. To do it properly, come into all fours with your knees under your hips and heels as close to your sit bones as possible. Place several pillows under your chest so you have additional support. On an exhale and sink your torso towards your thighs. This posture helps release tension in both my back and shoulders from working at the computer day-in and day-out!
Lay on your back and relax to the max. This is a great pose for falling asleep. It’s also beneficial if you have any joint or muscle pain that prevents you from sleeping well at night, but this can be practiced anytime as it promotes relaxation! I love adding this pose last as it’s so helpful for calming both body and mind and I can often drift asleep in this pose.
Leg’s Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
This pose is so simple, but so effective, especially if you have a wall or headboard that you can place your legs upon. To do, bring your body as close to the wall as possible and gently lie back while placing your legs up the wall (it may take a bit of shifting to get their comfortably). Relax your arms along your side and take long and calming deep breaths. For additional support, you can add a cushion or rolled up blanket under your tailbone.
Happy baby is a great stretch and release for you lower back and hips. To begin, lie on your back and bring your legs toward the sky and bend your knees with your feet flexed toward the ceiling. Grab the outside of your feet with your hands and bring your knees towards your armpits. You can stay in this position or gently rock to massage the lower back and hips. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor.bed. Bring your knees to your chest and gently squeeze. Release and keep your knees bent and lifted. On an exhale, let you knees fall to the right. If comfortable on your neck, turn your gaze the left. Take 10 breaths in this position. On an inhale come back to center and repeat on the opposite side. You’ll feel a wonderful stretch in the back, hips and glutes.
What Else You Can Do To Improve Sleep?
For people who have trouble going from their workday mindset back into relaxation mode before bedtime! Following a sleep routine can create consistency and lead to better and deeper sleep. I’ve chatted about sleep routines here with lots of simple, actionable steps you can take for improved sleep and even have some DIY relaxing sleep sprays that you can try.