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Yoga and sleep

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

Having trouble dropping off at night? Do you wake in the night for hours on end, with your mind racing? There are multiple causes of insomnia. Yoga can help with many of them.

If you have a complex medical condition, such as a chronic ailment that cause continuous discomfort or pain, then getting to sleep may always be a challenge. However, everyone can benefit from dialing down the over-stimulation of the body and mind. Here’s how:

1. Sleep hygiene: One hour before bedtime, switch off your phone, deny social media your attention and avoid watching a horror film on TV! You want your nervous system to be in parasympathetic response (relaxation), not sympathetic (fight or flight).

2. Do some gentle asanas in a slow, meditative and breath-led way. This is not the time for sun salutations, but for a nourishing yin-type practice.

3. Sit and focus on your breath. Allow your mind to simply follow the inhalations and exhalations. If you feel like using this as a lead-in practice to meditation, then sit for a while.

When you get into bed, allow your mind to clear. If your head is still buzzing, observe the thoughts rather than following them. If you have any worries, tell yourself: “I’m going to sort that in the morning, after a good night’s sleep”.

Snuggle down. Get warm. Head for the land of nod.

Yoga and sleep

Author - Paul Fox

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