Practicing yoga before bedtime is a great way to let go of all the emotional and physical baggage you’ve been carrying around all day.
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The quality and duration of your sleep may be improved if you incorporate a soothing yoga practice into your evening routine. Insomniacs, light sleepers, and those with time constraints will all benefit from this.
Learn about the health benefits of bedtime yoga, as well as yoga postures to try, and how to succeed in your practice.
It’s never too late for bedtime yoga.
1. Alleviates insomnia
Practicing yoga on a daily basis can help alleviate insomnia symptoms. There are several ways in which you can improve your sleep quality and get back in the slumber after waking up at night.
Yoga and other mind-body therapies have been shown to be useful in treating insomnia and promoting better sleep, according to a reliable source. People who practiced meditation, tai chi, and qigong had better sleep patterns than those who didn’t.
Further research is required to fully explore the implications of these findings.
2. Weight loss
Weight loss and restful sleep are both associated with a regular yoga practice. Yoga before going to sleep can help you sleep better, which has a favorable impact on weight loss and weight maintenance. ‘ It may also assist you in becoming more conscientious of what you consume.
3. Improves sleep quality and quality of life
For elderly folks, yoga is an excellent alternative to pharmacological sleep aids.
Long-term effects of yoga practice on elderly persons were investigated by researchers in a 2013 study (Trusted Source). In comparison to the control group, which saw no improvements, they discovered that regular yoga practice improved sleep quality and general well-being.
4. Promotes relaxation
The relaxation response, which is a state of deep relaxation, can be induced in the body through yoga. Fight or flight is the opposite of flight. Practicing soothing yoga positions can put you in a more relaxed and sleepy frame of mind.
A decreased blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol may result from this. Weight gain, worry, and insomnia can all be alleviated by establishing a daily regimen.
As long as you perform the positions correctly, there are a few drawbacks to practicing yoga before bed. Yoga poses that cause even little mental or physical stimulation should be avoided if possible. The best way to deal with stress is to practice breathing exercises or meditation.
Late in the day, your body may be more supple and open. Maintain a healthy balance between muscle strength and flexibility, and be mindful not to overdo it. Before starting a new exercise routine, consult your doctor if you have any medical issues, including injuries.
Yoga moves to try
Yoga poses that are easy on the body and mind might help you wind down and prepare for sleep.
Under your hips, you can place a cushion or bolster. Pose your feet together or wide apart in order to alter this position.
- Place your right side against a wall as you relax.
- As you lie on your back, place your hips on or close to the wall and swing your legs up against the wall.
- Put your arms down in a posture that feels good to you.
- Concentrate on letting go of tension in your body by following your breath.
- Hold this position for a minimum of five minutes.
Assists in relaxing the neurological system and reducing tension. Place blocks or pillows under your knees for further support.
- Keeping your back straight, place your hands on the soles of your feet and squeeze.
- Extend the legs out to the sides.
- Lie on your back and relax.
- Your hands should be in a relaxed position.
- This stance can be held for a maximum of 5 minutes.
- As demonstrated in the GIF above, you may also execute this stretch with a partner.
The spine is stretched and lengthened in this restorative stance. Place a cushion under your thighs, chest, or forehead for additional support.
- The hips should fall back toward the heels from a tabletop position.
- Kneel in a wide stance or with your knees close together.
- Allow your chest to drop into your thighs as you relax.
- Relieve any aches or pains in your back.
- Hold this position for a minimum of five minutes.
Finish your practice with this calming stance. Just take a break and enjoy yourself. Yoga Nidra, guided visualization, or meditation can also be used as a kind of self-healing.
- Take a deep breath and relax.
- A little broader than hip distance apart is a good place to start.
- Your spine should be in a neutral position.
- Relax your body and mind by focusing on your breath.
- Allow yourself to be weighed down.
- Maintain this stance for as long as possible.
It is said that yoga Nidra is a sort of guided meditation that promotes a profound state of relaxation and improves the quality of sleep. The technique entails lying down, taking deep breaths, and paying attention to the spoken cues that help you relax and release tension in your body and mind.
You can get some free yoga Nidra recordings by clicking on the links below.
Tips and tricks
In order to maximize your bedtime yoga practice, there are numerous ways to do it. If you can only spare 10 minutes, that’s all you need to get started. Your practice will go more smoothly, and you’ll be able to stay up later if time permits if you plan ahead.
Slower forms of yoga-like Hatha, yin, and restorative are ideal. Avoid hot or vinyasa yoga classes, as they can cause burnout. You should concentrate on soothing postures that are also restorative.
Stay away from postures that require a lot of energy, such as backbends. When you’re done with your session, take a few deep breaths to help you go asleep.
Using a candle or an essential oil diffuser to generate a calming aroma might help you get a good night’s sleep by keeping the room at a suitable temperature, turning off any electronics, and removing any clutter from the space.
Practice in a dimly lit environment and wear an eye mask for longer holds if possible. Consider using music that induces sleep, such as binaural beats or Solfeggio frequencies, as a background soundtrack. Earplugs can be used to mute the sounds around you.
How to change your routine
Make a few minor adjustments to your bedtime routine. Based on your time constraints and the key gains you want to achieve, plan your yoga practice around a few manageable goals.
Determine what motivates you to stay in your daily routine. To help you stay on track, there are several options, such as using technology to keep track of your work or keeping a journal.
Be upfront with your roommates about your nightly pattern if you share a home. Make allowances for slip-ups and be forgiving with yourself. You always have the option of starting over the next day.
Make Yoga for Sleep Work for You
Is yoga something you’d like to try to help you sleep better? Here’s a good place to begin.
Choose the right style of yoga for sleep.
If you’re looking for a relaxing experience, Rowland-Seymour warns that not all yoga practices are made equal. There are two types of hot yoga: vinyasa (flow) and hot vinyasa. You wouldn’t exercise on the treadmill right before night, either, she explains. Hatha yoga (which emphasizes proper body alignment) and Nidra are better options for pre-sleep relaxation (which focuses on breathing and more restorative poses, such as lying and sitting postures).
Set the scene for sleep
Rowland-Seymour advocates practicing yoga positions for sleep in a different room, if feasible, because it’s a good idea to keep the bedroom for sleep and sex. Place your legs up against a wall so that you can stretch out. If you prefer, dim the lights and play some relaxing music. Make sure you’re lying on a padded surface, such as a carpet or a yoga mat, and have a few cushions on hand to help you get into the position. It’s also a good idea to put on some comfortable, loose-fitting clothing before going to bed.
Focus on your breathing.
Breathing is a key component of yoga’s therapeutic benefits. Focus on your breath and allow your thoughts to float away during each session so that you can be fully in the moment. Do you have difficulties concentrating? Rowland-Seymour suggests the following drill: Consider yourself a bystander on a motorway, taking in the traffic as it passes by. She claims that no one would ever consider jumping into a nice car if they saw one. All you could do is watch it go by. Think of your thoughts in the same way. According to Rowland-Seymour, the most important thing to cultivate is compassion for oneself. “You can do whatever your body can,” she says. If your thoughts wander or your muscles tense up, don’t be hard on yourself.
Those who have difficulty sleeping can benefit from practicing bedtime yoga. Practicing yoga before bed can help you get a better night’s sleep, whether you want more or deeper sleep.
You can loosen up your muscles with these calming yoga positions. Keep up the good work despite the fact that results may not be apparent for a few more weeks. Keep a journal to track your development and find out what parts of your routine are most effective. Keep an eye on your progress.