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No More Insomnia: 5 Simple Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

No More Insomnia: 5 Simple Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? If you do, you’re not alone – and it could be more damaging than you think. According to recent research, people who struggle to sleep at night are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and diabetes.

If you are ready to improve your sleeping pattern, try yoga. Yoga is one of the best ways to relax your mind and ease tension in the body, helping you to get a great night’s sleep. We have picked out 5 of the best yoga poses for sleep, as they target different muscles in your body to make sure you are truly relaxed for bed time.

You don’t need a yoga mat or any equipment for these exercises – just lie on your bed and go through each pose before falling asleep! Here are 5 simple yoga poses for sleep:

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1. Salabhasana

Salabhasana is known for helping to reduce stress while encouraging sleep. This is because the pose helps to relax the muscles in your back and stomach, reliving indigestion and back pain. It also helps to sooth the chest and neck while removing leg pain.

Salabhasana
    1. Start by inhaling deeply in the plank pose.
    2. Raise your shoulders up and clasps your hands together behind your back.
    3. Exhale slowly and root the top part of your feet into the ground.
    4. Inhale deeply as you slowly lift up your chest and arms.
    5. Relax and hold this position while breathing slowly.
    6. To finish the yoga pose, release your hands and exhale slowly, pushing your body into downward-facing dog.

    2. Supta Baddha Konasana

    Supta Baddha Konasana is a wonderful pose that helps you to reach a deep state of relaxation within 5 to 20 minutes. The pose stretches the thighs while opening up the lower body, improving circulation and removing pressure. It also benefits your nervous system!

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    Supta Baddha Konasana
      1. Start by placing a pillow or a bolster at the base of your back.
      2. Bend your legs and gently place the soles of your feet together, but don’t push – just relax.
      3. Lie your body back across the pillow or bolster, and allow your body to open up and relax into the position.
      4. Breathe slowly and hold the position for at least 5 minutes.

      3. Jathara Parivartanasana

      This pose translates to ‘stomach rolling around’, and it is known to help with insomnia by relaxing the lower back and helping with digestion.

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      Jathara Parivartanasana
        1. Start by lying on your back.
        2. Bring your arms out to the side, with the palms facing down in a straight T position.
        3. Slowly bend both knees into the chest.
        4. Exhale slowly while you drop both knees over at the left side of your body.
        5. Slide your knees as close to the left arm as possible. This twists the spine and the lower back, providing relief for the muscles.
        6. Hold this position for 5 to 10 minutes, then repeat on the other side of your body.

        4. Upavistha Konasana

        Upavishta Konasana removes tension from the lower back, legs and groin. It can also relieve arthritis and ease sciatica, and it is great for relaxing the mind.

        Upavistha Konasana
          1. Start by sitting upright on the floor with a straight back.
          2. Extend your legs in front of you into a V shape, placing your hands on your buttocks for balance.
          3. Don’t stretch your legs too far apart – this position should be comfortable.
          4. Inhale and push backward to lengthen the spine, then exhale and bend forward from your hips.

          5. Supported Savasana

          This is the final pose before you go to sleep, as it really helps your mind to relax.

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          Supported Savasana
            1. Lie back, letting your arms and legs relax.
            2. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply, and close your eyes. Lay like this for at least 5 minutes.
            3. Come out of the pose by slowly drawing your knees into your chest, then lie down to sleep.

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            Amy Johnson

            Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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            Last Updated on November 6, 2020

            10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation

            10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation

            You come in from a long day at the office, and you want to get a workout in, but you can’t find the motivation. Or maybe you think you have workout motivation, but “life” is getting in the way.

            Making your workout a priority and finding ways to fit it into your schedule will offer you a host of health benefits, help you lose weight, and make you feel like you’ve got your mojo back.

            Working out will be a lot easier if you view it as a gift you give to yourself versus a distasteful activity you have to get through. Think about your health and vitality — by working out, you are treating yourself as a priority and coming from a place of self-love.

            Studies show that regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills.[1] So if you’re using the excuse that work is taking over too much for you to have time to work out, think of your workout as a part of your work day. You’re helping your brain be sharper at work.

            “Healthy exercise is valuable not only for the maintenance of good physiologic function of the body, but also mental clarity, and the feeling of good health.” —Paul Dudley White, MD

            Once you’re ready to make your fitness goals a priority and give yourself the gift of regular exercise routines, how do you implement your workout plans into your daily life?

            Here are 10 ways to boost your workout motivation. These strategies will help you keep your fire for working out going strong.

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            1. Commit to Your Calendar

            Say you want to work out for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Look at your calendar for that week and see where those spots will fit in the best. Then, make a commitment to sticking to those times.

            One exercise study showed that a big obstacle to maintaining regular exercise is being able to fit it into a person’s schedule.[2] Make these appointments with yourself unbreakable. Maybe you can handle variety, so one day a week you might have an early morning workout. Another day that week, you might fit it in after work.

            2. Start Your Day with 20 Minutes for Your Workout

            You may have great intentions for working out after work or during a lunch hour, but inevitably other commitments will encroach into that time and kill your workout motivation.

            If you get on up and knock out your workout first thing, you reap the benefits all day long of that energy boost. This workout could be a morning walk or hitting the yoga mat right when you get out of bed.

            3. Expand Your Horizons and Seek out Variety

            Our brains crave variety. If you are stuck in the rut of the same old workout, it might be time to stretch yourself.

            Brainstorm some wild ideas that sound appealing to you. Look for fencing classes in your area. See if there’s a place near you where you can rent kayaks, and look for some local outdoor clubs where you could go kayaking with others.

            Even if the new thing you try is challenging, give yourself some time to stick with it enough to see if it might be for you.

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            4. Include Social Time in Your Workout

            Having a hard time fitting in a workout because of your social life? Instead of only getting together with your friends at the wine bar, see if you can schedule a hike in the park with them, or you could join a rec league like kickball. You could talk a friend into joining with you, or you could sign up by yourself and meet some new pals.

            Some exercise research has reported that competition is a key motivator for exercise, and you can use that to your advantage in one of these leagues.[3]

            Other opportunities include playing basketball or tennis at local parks, gyms, or fitness centers. Scope out some ways to make your workout more social or combine fitness activities with your social life to create more workout motivation.

            5. Use Music to Inspire You

            Is your playlist stale? Spend some time creating a great workout playlist. Search Spotify or create some motivating stations on Pandora.

            Think about what songs make you move. If you hear that song, you just can’t sit still. Even the theme song from Rocky might be a good motivator for you.

            You can create multiple theme playlists to spark more creativity and fun in your workout. How about making a playlist of Best All-Time Roller Skating Songs? Or Best Heavy Metal Workout Songs? Best 80’s Workout Playlist (maybe it includes Let’s Get Physical).

            6. Find Some Cool Podcasts

            If music isn’t really your thing, download podcasts or audiobooks that interest you. Getting lost in a good podcast or audiobook can make the time fly by during your workout. And if you get the satisfaction of “multi-tasking” — you’re getting your exercise in while reading a book or staying up to date on a podcast.

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            For an extra boost of workout motivation, if you’re listening to an audiobook, stop it at a cliffhanger and decide not to listen again until the next time you work out. This will motivate you to start exercising so you can see exactly what happens.

            7. Update Your Gear

            Maybe you’re not up for working out because your workout gear is from the dark ages. If you go to pull out a T-shirt for your workout, and it’s full of holes, it’s time to re-do your workout wardrobe.

            Think of getting new workout gear as investing in yourself. How often do we make sure our living rooms or kitchens are state of the art, but we don’t put any time, energy, or money into our personal effects?

            It could be as simple as getting a new water bottle. Making sure you have supportive and properly fitting shoes is key to achieving your workout goals. And if you get a new workout tee or tights, it can make you more motivated to get moving.

            8. Get Organized for Your Workout

            Set out what you need as motivation for your workout. If you are going on a morning run, lay out your workout clothes alongside some motivational quotes the night before. Fill your water bottle and set it on the counter.

            For the after-work exercisers, pack your bag of clothes to take with you to work so you have no excuse not to go to the gym. If you are coming home after work, set your clothes out so that when you come home they will be a not-so-gentle reminder to you saying, “It’s time to go on your walk!”

            9. Use Alarms as Nudging Reminders

            So you’re not a morning person. If you think getting up earlier to squeeze a workout in before work is just not going to happen for you, then set an alarm for the time you need to start preparing for your workout in the afternoon/evening.

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            If you want to go on a walk at 6pm, set an alarm for 5:30pm as a reminder. When you hear the alarm, it’s a workout motivation reminder. You don’t want to shirk on your health and fitness.

            10. Trade Exercise for That After-Work Happy Hour

            Maybe you are skipping some workouts to meet co-workers at happy hour. Or you come in from a long day at work and have a glass of wine first thing to alleviate the stress of the day. While it’s sometimes nice to unwind with a glass of wine, doing so after work could become a habit, and you can replace that habit with exercise.

            By cutting out alcohol right after work, it gives you more time in the day to get a workout in. Try to go straight from work to your workout, or put your exercise clothes on the minute you get home and head back out the door for your run or walk. Whatever it is, think of that happy hour as a new kind of “happy hour time” for your to treat yourself and your body to your workout.

            Exercise can help stave off anxiety and depression, so if your post-work drink is to alleviate post-work stress and anxiety, give a neighborhood walk a whirl instead.[4]

            The Bottom Line

            Life sometimes gets in the way of our plans, including our plans to work out and stick to weight loss goals. However, by maintaining the attitude of self-love and giving yourself the gift of time to exercise, you can use the above tips to help you stay on track with your workout motivation.

            By using some organizational tricks and remembering your reasons for making your workout a priority, you’ll not only find the time to fit it in but feel good about doing so.

            More on How to Find Workout Motivation

            Featured photo credit: juan pablo rodriguez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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