Insomnia can be a frustrating occurrence. You may be physically exhausted, but still unable to sleep or you may find yourself wide awake each bedtime and just unable to “shut off.” You want to sleep, but you just can’t. Yoga might be a helpful option for fighting insomnia, and the following poses, which can be done in bed, are a perfect starting point.
What Causes Insomnia?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, recent research shows that insomnia may be related to an issue in the brain itself. The brain has a wake cycle and a sleep cycle, and in individuals with insomnia, there may be an issue with this sleep cycle, keeping them awake during normal sleep hours.
Causes for insomnia include:
- Unhealthy sleep habits
- Certain specific substances
- Psychiatric conditions
- Medical issues
- Biological factors
You should always speak with your doctor regarding any issues with your body, including insomnia, but medication is not necessary the first choice in a solution. Surprisingly, some people respond quite well to yoga as a response to insomnia.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is not just an exercise for your body. In fact, most exercises, if performed close to bedtime, can keep you awake. Yoga, however, is different.
This ancient Hindu discipline has been adopted worldwide for its effective health and relaxation methods. The practice utilizes breath control, simple meditation, and specific body postures to achieve different results, including fighting insomnia.
Poses To Fight Insomnia
Regardless of the reason for your insomnia, if you would like to unwind, relax, and fall asleep, then this in-bed routine may be the solution you need. These gentle yoga poses may put your mind and body at ease. They do not require a mat, block, or sleeping pills to help you achieve a restful night’s sleep and a good morning.
Step One: Preparation and Meditation
Get ready for bed. Brush your teeth, wash your face, and put on your pajamas. The room should be sleep-ready, so shut the lights off and put your phone down. Sit cross-legged on your bed in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing, ridding your mind of all activities of the day or worries for tomorrow. Breathe in and out and meditate for a few minutes to begin.
Step Two: Twist
While still seated, place your right hand on your left knee. Straighten your spine and inhale, then exhale as your twist your torso to the left. Hold this position and take several deep breaths. Exhale and return to the starting position. Place your left hand on your right knee, inhale deeply, and exhale has you twist to the right.
Step Three: Bend and Stretch
Sitting cross-legged, bend forward at the hips. Stretch your hands forward, walking them along the bed until you feel a slight stretch in your hips and back. Hold this pose and breathe deeply a few times before returning to the upright position.
Step Four: Leg Stretch
Sit with your legs in front of you with your knees slightly bent. Inhale, feeling your lungs fill with air as you straighten your back. As you exhale, reach for your feet. Keep your back straight, even if you must bend your knees. You will feel the stretch in your hamstring.
Step Five: Knee Bend
Slowly lie on your back, resting your head against your pillow and drawing one knee to your chest. Hug your leg to your chest and take several deep breaths, stretching your straightened leg out and feeling the stretch at your hip. Switch legs and repeat.
Go To Sleep
The goal is to loosen and relax your muscles to prepare you for sleep, not to work up a sweat. This is not meant as a pre-exercise stretch, but a pre-sleep relaxation routine.
As a final step before sleep, lie on your back with your legs out straight and your arms at your sides. Let all of your muscles relax and concentrate on breathing in and out. Meditate once more, letting yourself drift off to sleep.
NOTE: Always consult your physician before starting any exercise regiment to make sure you are healthy enough to do this kind of exercise.