Do you have trouble sleeping too?
Perhaps you’re one of the many people who has been accruing hefty amount of sleep debt. Sleep debt, or sleep loss I mean.
You may try to close your eyes for minutes or for hours, toss and turn, yet unable to sleep still no matter how tired you feel. Or when you wake up in the middle of the night, and simply getting back on your sleep is a struggle. It’s awful, I know.
While sleep insufficiency is common, particularly for millennials, all the anxiety, stress, and turmoil caused by this pandemic made sleep difficulties worse for us.
Some factors contributing to sleep problems:
Stress and anxiety
It is indeed difficult to fall asleep when your mind is so loud with thoughts or worries, or both
Increased usage of smart phones or social media
Study says that those who use social media in the 30 min preceding their bed time experience sleep disturbances. And we all know that social media is quite addicting, that it’s hard to put our phones down once we get too engaged
This pandemic made school harder for some people because of online classes
How can yoga help us sleep better?
We know that yoga is best for improving one’s flexibility and strength, but it’s actually beneficial for improving our sleep as well. Doing the purposeful poses while focusing on our breathing before going to bed can help us have a quality sleep, and wake up feeling rested. Yoga:
- Improves sleep quality
- Loosen up muscle tension
- Reduce anxious thoughts and stress
- Promotes relaxation
- Helps us fall asleep faster
Practicing yoga before bed may be exactly what you need.
These are the yoga poses that help me sleep better:
1.Hero Pose | Virasana
- Sit with your knees together and bent
- Keep the tops of your feet flat on the floor, and your spine straight with your shoulders
- Place your hands on your thighs
- Head aligned over your hips
- Stay in this pose for 20-39 seconds
2. Child’s Pose | Balasana
- Get down on your hands and knees
- Sit on your heels while stretching your arms straight in front of you
- Rest your forehead on the floor
- Hold balasana for 20-30 seconds
3. Upward-Facing Dog Pose | Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
- Lie face-down on the floor, legs stretched back and palms on the floor
- Extend your arms, lift your torso up, thighs, and press front of your legs into the floor
- Stay for 20 to 30 seconds
4. Camel Pose | Ustrasana
- Kneel on the floor with your legs apart, hip-width
- Lean back and reach your hands towards the heels
- Drop your head gently back
- Hold the camel pose for 20-30 seconds
5. Supine Spinal Twist | Supta Matsyendrasana
- Lie on your back and turn your head to the right
- Rotate your hips to the left and cross your right knee over your left knee while keeping your shoulders on the floor or on the bed
- Keep your right arm on the floor while rest your left hand on your right knee
- Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side
6. Bridge Pose | Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
- Lie faceup with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor
- Place your arms alongside the body, palms up
- Keeping shoulders and arms down, press into heels to lift hips and back to form a diagonal line
- Hold the bridge pose for 20-30 seconds
7. Wind-Relieving Pose | Pawanmuktasana
- Lie down on you back
- Bring your both legs towards your chest
- Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds
8. Corpse Pose | Savasana
- Lie on your bed or on your yoga mat
- Extend your arms and legs
- Focus on your breathing
- Let go of all the tension in your body. Just allow your body to fall heavy
Practice yoga in a room with dim lighting. You can also put some calming music or binaural beats.
Lighting scented candles (Lavender, Jasmin…) can also help you feel more relaxed
It’s better to practice yoga on a mat or on a firm surface instead of bed even if this is yoga before sleep, because there are some poses that will hurt your wrist like the Upward-Facing Dog Pose if practiced on a soft surface.
I hope these yoga poses can also help you sleep better! Good night!
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