As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep.
But no need to worry; some solutions can help you not be that one person who is sleep deprived.
Among hundreds of solutions, one of them is yoga for sleep.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice system that includes breathing techniques, relaxation, chantings, stances, exercise, and others.
The Harvard Medical School conducted an experiment involving insomniac patients who were taught basic yoga. They were asked to practice yoga for eight straight weeks. After that period, the researchers collected the patient’s sleep diaries and saw consistent improvement patterns. The patients could feel more relaxed with their improved sleep quality thanks to yoga.
Yoga promotes a good sleep cycle. When you practice yoga poses for better sleep, you start providing more oxygen to the blood, which enhances your sleep cycle and helps you master your sleep.
Yoga helps relax your body and provides better sleep, if we are constantly sleep-deprived we might face various difficulties like trouble with concentration, increased stress, and anxiety. It won’t just help you increase your physical well-being but also improve your mental health.
13 Yoga Poses For Better Sleep
Now we know how sleep deprivation affects us, and yoga can be the solution to this problem, here we have provided you with the best yoga poses for better sleep.
Salabhasana refers to the stance of a grasshopper or locust. Hence it is also called the “Locust Pose.”
- Facing downwards, lie flat on the ground.
- Keep your legs and toes together and in a straight position.
- You can keep arms on either side of the legs or under the legs too.
- Relax your whole body.
- While keeping your legs together, raise them above the ground level as per your convenience and inhale slowly.
- Maintain the raised leg position as long as possible.
- Bring your leg down with an exhale.
- Always remember that your chin should be in contact with the ground throughout the practice.
- Repeat the cycle 2 to 3 times.
This yoga pose helps you to sleep better, but along with that, it also strengthens your abdomen muscle as well as improves circulation, and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce stress and other mental health issues.
2. Prasarita Padottanasana
In Parasarita Padootanasana, the word “Pada” means foot, “Ut or Oot” means intense, and “Tan” means to stretch or extend. Therefore, this yogic pose is also known as Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose.
- Stand straight in the Tadasana pose.
- As per your height, place your feet at least 2 to 3 feet apart and inhale slowly.
- Place your hand on your hips.
- Slowly exhale and bend your upper body until it reaches almost parallel to the ground.
- Try to touch your fingers on the ground.
- Inhale and gaze forward, making sure to keep your head straight.
- Always keep your leg straight.
- Exhale and bend further while keeping your back and head straight
- Push back your upper thigh and bend your elbows to balance yourself.
- Inhale and exhale in the same position for 30 to 60 seconds, but not more than 90 seconds.
- It is a very complex yoga and needs a lot of flexibility, so stretch and bend as per your capability.
This yoga pose helps lengthen and strengthen your hamstrings and lower body parts. It helps calm your mind and relieves stress.
Uttanasana is a yoga pose that encompasses touching your toes to increase your flexibility.
- Take deep breaths and stand upright on your yoga mat.
- Bring your hands down to your waist.
- Keep the spine straight, exhale, and bend your upper body pushing back your hips.
- Keep bending until your head and neck are perpendicular to the ground.
- Try to touch your toes and keep breathing.
- Keep this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Inhale and bring your palm back to your waist.
- Always remember to bend only up to what your body allows you.
One of the most straightforward yoga poses for better sleep is Uttanasana which also helps us by increasing our circulation and oxygen flow to our brain, making us fresh and more happy.
4. Janu Sirasana
One of the easiest yoga poses is Janu Sirasana, also known as Head on-knee pose.
- Raise one leg in front of you while sitting on your mat.
- Fold your other leg and place your foot against your inner thigh.
- First, sit straight and take a deep breath.
- Place your arms above your head.
- Slowly hinge your upper body and reach for the toes of the stretched leg.
- Hold this stance for 30 to 40 seconds.
- After completing one cycle, switch legs and continue this at least 2 to 3 times.
This yogic pose is used widely as a stretching pose that helps increase blood circulation and also helps relieve back pain and stretch your groin, spine, and hamstrings.
Bitilasna, also known as cow pose, is a form of yoga used widely for stretching and warm-up your spine.
- Place your hand and knees at a decent distance on the ground.
- Inhale slowly and arch your back toward the ground.
- While curving your back, raise your head towards the sky.
- Slowly exhale and return to the initial stance facing down the ground.
- Repeat this 5 to 10 times.
Along with being a yoga to sleep better, bitlasana also benefits the body’s metabolism and strengthens the spine and abdomen muscles.
6. Ananda Balasna
One of the yoga poses for better sleep, Ananda Balasna, is considered a restorative pose. It is also known as the Happy Baby pose.
- Lie on the ground facing the sky.
- Bring both knees to your chest.
- Grab your two big toes with the index and middle fingers.
- Keeping the tailbone on the ground, pull the heels up to the sky.
- You should be able to rock back and forth to massage your back gently.
- Your knees should be drawn towards your underarm area.
This yogic posture also stimulates you to learn how to stay calm when overwhelmed. It also reduces anxiety, relaxes the sacrum, and reduces back aches.
Paschmottasana is one of the seated forward bend poses in yoga.
- Sit on the ground with legs outstretched and close but not in contact with each other.
- Straighten your torso.
- Take a deep breath, expanding your chest.
- While breathing, bend forward, keeping your lower spine straight.
- Try to grab your big toes with your fingers.
- Inhale, keeping your legs straightened by your arms.
- Make sure not to put your back under pressure.
- While exhaling, bend your elbow and bring your torso down towards the legs.
- Try touching your forehead to your knees.
- Keep the position for as long as possible.
It helps relax muscles in our body and stretches the groin, neck vertebrae, and others. Paschmottasana stance massages and enhances functions of your internal organs located in the abdominal regions, including the spleen, adrenal glands, liver, and kidney
8. Supta Virasana
An advanced form of varasana Supta Virasna is also known as The Reclining Hero pose.
- Stand on your knees.
- Spread your feet wide apart.
- Place your buttocks in between heels.
- Press your elbows to the floor.
- Exhale and start leaning back.
- Pace your hand o your heels and lie down on your back.
- Inhale and raise your arms, extending them straight overhead with your palm facing upwards.
- Stay in this pose for 30 to 40 seconds and keep breathing.
- Inhale and bring your arms back up.
- Get back to the initial vajrasana pose.
Along with stretching and strengthening your muscles, Supta Virasana also benefits in the betterment of mental health, as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system reducing stress and anxiety in us. This yoga pose is for better sleep, too, as it helps people who have insomnia.
9. Ardha Uttanasana
Ardha Uttanasana is a modified yogic pose of Uttanasana. It stretches the body dynamically, providing a wide range of movements.
- Stand at a decent distance from a wall.
- Place your feet at the hips-width apart.
- Start pressing your palm against the wall at the height of your hips.
- Step back and lower your torso until you reach a flat stance.
- Keep your ear collinearly with your arms.
- Continue to breathe deeply as you press the wall away with your arms.
It helps in strengthening core muscles and makes hamstrings flexible and at lower risk of any hamstring injury in the future. Along with these, it also affects our respiratory and immune systems and helps enhance them.
10. Supta Buddha Konsasana
A restorative asana, Supta Buddha Konsasna is one of the seated-positioned yoga.
It is also known as the reclining goddess pose.
- Lie on your back.
- Bend the knees and bring the bottoms of the feet together.
- Bring the feet to the floor with the heels close to the hips.
- Let the knees open wide apart.
- Inhale and slide the arms along the floor up over your head.
- Place the palms together, crossing the thumbs.
- Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
- Exhale and gently release the arms and legs.
It helps stimulate the abdominal organs like ovaries, prostate glands, and kidneys. Supta Buddha Konsasna even improves circulation and stretches the inner thighs and knees. If someone is undergoing stress, depression, menstruation, or even menopause, then this gives a lot of relief to them.
A modern-day yoga Halasana is also known as the forward bending pose. Halasana is also called the Plough Pose.
- Lie down on your back with your palms pressing the floor.
- While inhaling, raise your legs up 90 degrees.
- Exhale and roll your pelvis off the floor.
- Move your legs to the back of your head.
- Lower your legs toward the floor.
- Keep your hands on your lower back for more support.
- Place your pinky fingers on either side of your spine, and the rest fingers should be pointing up toward the ceiling.
- Slide your hands up your spine to elevate your spine.
- Draw your shoulder blades and elbows as close together as possible.
- Hold this position for 2 minutes.
- Place your hands side your body with palms down.
- Exhale and roll down your spine back to the floor.
- Stop when your legs are extended to 90 degrees.
- While exhaling, engage your abdominals and slowly lower the legs to the floor.
A classic yoga pose that includes many yoga practices boosts circulation as it is an inversion that states that our heart is above our mind. Not only does it keep the circulatory system fit, but it also improves blood pressure and lowers blood sugar levels. It also relieves the tightness in the back, neck, and shoulders.
12. Viparita Karani
Viparita Karani is one of the forms of kaya yoga mudra. It is comparable to the shoulder stand pose, known as Sarvangasana, and the headstand pose, known as Sirsasana.
- Stand close, facing towards a wall near you.
- Make your toes touch the wall ending at the floor.
- Inhale and sit down on the floor with knees bent and toes still touching the wall
- Exhale and place your palms on the floor.
- Slowly inhale and lay on the floor with knees bent and toes still touching the wall.
- Exhale completely, relaxing the entire back on the floor.
- Inhale again and raise the legs and bring them onto the wall.
- The neck, shoulders, and chest should be completely relaxed.
- Stay in the position for 12 deep breaths.
- Inhale slowly and move your hips backward.
- Release your legs and place your feet on the floor closer to the wall.
- Relax the lower back completely.
In this yogic pose, the legs get relaxed completely. So, it is the best pose for tired legs. Even this soothes our nervous system and calms down our minds. As the legs are supported with the help of walls, no pressure is exerted on the abdomen; because of this, there is maximum support for the lower back. By helping relax muscles, it is also considered a great yoga to help you sleep better.
One of the most basic poses is mainly used for meditation. The word Vajra means Thunder in Sanskrit, hence the name of the pose, the thunderbolt.
- Kneel on the floor.
- Point your knees and ankles together.
- Place your feet in line with your legs.
- Remember that your feet should face upwards.
- Exhale and sit back on your legs.
- Rest your buttocks on your heel.
- Take deep breaths as you position yourself to sit up straight by straightening your spine.
- Look straight with your chin parallel to the floor.
- Place your palms facing down on your thighs.
According to a study done in the year 2010 on “Clinical evaluation of selected Yogic procedures in individuals with low back pain” by A.M. Pushpika Attanayake and team, it was seen that people with lower back pain got relief from this yoga. It helps people concentrate more and is among the best meditation poses. It even gives relieves or prevents constipation, strengthens the pelvic muscles, and aids in digestion too.
In this fast-paced world, we often stop taking care of ourselves, and one of the symptoms is sleep deprivation. But now we know how we can fight sleep deprivation. Yoga for better sleep, helps us ease the process, and diverts our minds into something more positive. Yoga is just a cornerpiece from the entire puzzle that is mental health. While practicing these techniques, you might not see the benefits in a day or two, but you will surely reap their benefits in the future. Add some of these yoga poses to your short-term mental health goals.
Yoga and meditation are interrelated, and both are essential for building better mental health. Here are some techniques for guided meditation that can help you in your process.
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