Getting enough sleep is essential for good health, but many people struggle with insomnia. Insufficient sleep can result in chronic fatigue, poor concentration, mood swings and a host of other issues that can negatively impact your quality of life.
Thankfully, there are a number of yoga and meditation practices that can help you get better sleep at night. These include Yin Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama.
Aim to practice bedtime yoga, or Yin yoga, at least once a week. The postures and breathing exercises in Yin yoga promote a deep state of relaxation that can make it easier for you to fall asleep.
You may also want to avoid using screens before going to sleep, especially blue light-emitting devices. Research shows that screen exposure can negatively affect your circadian rhythm and can make it harder for you to fall asleep naturally.
Try a meditation or yoga pose that helps you relax and prepare for sleep, such as Savasana (Corpse Pose). This is a great way to calm your mind and body before falling asleep, and can improve your overall sleep quality.
One of the best yogic practices that can help you sleep better is Yoga Nidra, or “sleep meditation”. The practice is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and tension and can lead to more restful sleep.
Yoga can also have an effect on your energy levels, and a regular routine of yoga practice can boost your energy in other ways. This includes increased mental and physical energy, a sense of well-being, improved stress management, a brighter mood, and reduced negative feelings.
This can be especially helpful for people who struggle with sleep because they’re prone to feeling tired or stressed out. For example, if you’re an anxious person, you may have trouble falling asleep because you feel worried about your future or worried about whether your work is going to be successful.
Another problem that can interfere with your ability to sleep is pain. This could be in your back, legs or joints, and it can make it hard for you to relax and let go before sleep.
A regular yoga and meditation routine can help relieve your pain, because the postures will release the tension in your muscles and joints that prevent you from falling asleep. In addition, if you’re experiencing migraines, practicing yoga can also help to relax the blood vessels in your head, which will decrease the throbbing sensation that causes them.
The benefits of a regular yoga and meditation routine can be even more significant if you have a chronic health condition or illness, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease or cancer. The poses and breathing exercises in yoga can help to strengthen your immune system, increase blood flow to the brain, lower stress hormones and bolster your resilience to illness or injury.
You should always consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or meditation regimen. As with any type of physical activity, there are risks associated with yoga and other types of alternative medicine.