How yoga can help you get a better night's sleep

The easiest of all yoga poses should be 'lying down with your eyes shut'

The importance of sleep and how yoga can help
(Image credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

It goes without saying that being sleep deprived and lethargic all the time is no fun. Better sleep equates to a good quality of life. One of the ways you can improve sleep is by practicing yoga. The discipline isn’t just beneficial for improving core strength, flexibility, and stress levels. There’s a myriad of studies which show yoga helps promote a good night's sleep by relaxing the body and mind. 

Stress shows up in many ways and if there’s one thing yoga can do for you, it can help reduce it. Yoga has been shown to lower cortisol levels in the brain which in return help reduce stress. Incorporating yoga in your life can help you handle life’s uncertainties, put things into perspective and won’t have you lying in bed tossing and turning stressing about them.

Yoga is also known to regulate the nervous system. Even when we are shattered when we go to bed, if our fight-or-flight system is aroused, we’re less likely to have a restful sleep. But you can return back to homeostasis quicker by practicing yoga because it activates parasympathetic nervous system which promotes a good night’s sleep, throughout the night.

Create a yoga bedtime routine

Building yoga into your bedtime routine can do wonders for decent shut eye but it’s important to do the right kind. Some yoga disciplines are energising such as bikram and vinyasa flow but they won’t help you relax. Restorative styles of yoga on the other hand like hatha and nidra will help you unwind and have you sleeping like a baby. The following three poses are easy to do and will prepare you for a good night's rest.

Legs up the wall

Lie on the floor or bed and place the back of your legs up against the wall propping yourself in a L-shaped position. Relax and focus on your breathe for at least 60 seconds.

Dead man pose

Lie on the floor with your legs open in a V-shape, arms by the side with palms facing up. Keep your neck long and relax into the position inhaling and exhaling slowly. Five minutes will do you wonders.

Lying butterfly

Starting off from a lying position, place your feet flat on the floor before pressing the souls together and allowing the knees to fall out to the sides. Breathe gently into the pose and relax.

Sabi Phagura
Freelance Writer

Sabi is a fitness enthusiast who’s been involved in some kind of sports since school. No sport is off-limits (apart from hockey after she was scarred for life when she lost a tooth) and she will try her hand at anything that involves moving. Sabi qualified as a fitness instructor 11 years ago and teaches kettlebells, spin, women’s weight lifting and cardio. As an NCTJ-trained journalist, she travels extensively to find fun ways to be fit and healthy around the globe. She is often found exploring new trails while listening to audiobooks, baking healthy treats and upcycling furniture in her spare time. She writes about general fitness, product reviews and offers her advice and tips on following a healthy lifestyle.