When it comes to cultivating positive sleeping patterns, there are a number of steps you can take as an individual. From creating mind maps and organising your thoughts to taking up yoga, it is possible to develop a healthier mental outlook that leads to a more consistent and deeper sleep.
Yoga for sleep: How can specific poses help you?
In fact, yoga is one the best disciplines if you are looking to enhance the quality of your sleep. There have been numerous research projects which have proven this, with subjects in one particular study recording improved sleep efficiency after practising a 45-minute Kundalini Yoga sequence that induced deep breathing. Another study has highlighted that young adults practising Bikram Yoga regularly woke up on fewer occasions during the night.
This video by SarahBethYoga also provides visual evidence of how yoga can improve the quality of your sleep, as it highlights three specific poses that prepare your body and mind for continued rest. It is important that you pay attention to the precise form and the duration of these poses if you are to use yoga for sleep, while also understanding the following core benefits:
- The release of tension from the spine and the lower legs
- The alleviation of anxiety
- Engagement of the Parasympathetic nervous system which slows the heart-rate and prepares the body for deep sleep
Frequently asked questions and answers
Before you undertake these poses, here are a few frequently asked questions and their answers:
- Why do I feel as though there is a rush of fluids down my legs in the final pose?
This is a normal sensation when performing this pose, and one which represents your blood and lymph draining. This reduces edema and is proven to have a calming influence on the human mind.
- When is the ideal time to perform these poses?
Right before bed, after you have changed into your pyjamas, dimmed the lights and brushed your teeth.
- Are there any other steps that can optimise the impact of these poses?
Try to avoid eating at least three hours prior to sleep. This will minimise the risk of you being forced to get up during the night, allowing your yoga for sleep poses to achieve their maximum impact.