Alaska Sleep Education Center

7 Yoga Poses to Help You Sleep Better

Posted by Adam Reeve on Aug 11, 2020 6:06:00 AM

Do you stay up late watching the ceiling because sleep eludes your stressed brain? Does drowsiness overpower you only in the daytime? Would you like a better and healthier alternative to sleeping pills? Try exercising yoga for inducing sleep.

Among the many benefits of yoga poses, mind relaxation and peaceful sleep are the most important. Here are 7 of them to relax your physique and improve flexibility.

Soothing Yoga Poses To Induce Sleep:

  • Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani

Do you have to stay on your feet for long stretches of time, leading to swollen feet and pained ankles? Viparita Karani is your go-to-yoga pose. It also relaxes the nervous system, so it is highly recommended among yoga poses to do before bed. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place a yoga mat against an empty wall. Now take a round bolster or tightly folded blanket for support. The position of the supporting bolster will be adjusted depending on its height and body flexibility. 
  • Now sit on the mat sideways in such a manner that your hip is placed against the wall, and raise your legs together while letting out a deep breath. 
  • With your legs swung up against the wall, put your arms in a relaxing position, either by your sides or resting on your chest. Take a deep breath and hold it for some time. Stay for five to ten minutes. Slide off the support and turn to your side before releasing yourself.

 

  • Yoga Poses On Stomach-Supine Spinal Twist

Ideal for relaxing the spine, this pose will allow a good deal of stretching and twisting, thus strengthening your abdomen and intestines. Hence, you can keep it in your list of yoga poses good for digestion. Quite an easy pose, it can be performed by beginners.

  • Lie down on your back and stretch your arms in a T-position, that is, horizontally.
  • Straighten the left leg and bring your right knee up against the chest, bent.
  • Take a deep breath. While releasing, cross the folded right leg across the middle part of your body towards the left side. The knee should touch the floor, and the right hip should rest on the left hip. Turn your head and look to the right.
  • Exhale slowly and feel your body muscles stretch. Continue inhaling and exhaling for 5 to 10 times, while staying in this pose. When you feel like releasing, turn to face the ceiling lying on your back. Straighten your body and repeat on the left side.

 

  • Baddha Konasana

 

Meditation pose

 

Baddha Konasona or “bound angle yoga pose” has a variant named supta baddha konasona. Both are yoga poses relaxing the hip and groin area, and are particularly helpful in reducing abdominal cramps on menstruation. Would-be mommas, we advise you to practice these yoga poses if you are planning for normal childbirth. 

 

Steps:

  • With your spine straight, sit on the floor and extend your legs. You can support your hip on a pillow for this pose. Now bend your knees.
  • Hold your feet or ankles and bring them close to the groin. Let your knee touch the floor. See whether the soles of your feet are touching.
  • Take deep breaths and maintain the yoga pose for five minutes. 
  • Release your feet, exhale, and let the legs relax.

 

  • Thread The Needle

A variation of the Balasana pose, Urdha Mukha Balasana, or Thread the Needle yoga poses are good for exercising and making the upper body flexible. 

  • With a straightened spine, kneel down to make your palms and knees touch the floor.
  • Raise your right arm and, with a deep breath, move the right arm below left.
  • Now, with your right arm under the left, slowly tilt your head on your right side and lower the right shoulder till your head and shoulder touch the ground.
  • Push the right hand into the ground for a further stretch.
  • Keep the feet straight and hold this position till you have inhaled and exhaled at least 6-7 times.
  • Release, get back on your knees, and repeat with the left side of your body.

 

  • Balasana

Balasana

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees wide apart.
  • Bring your big toe together and slowly bend so that your torso rests within the thighs.
  • Let your forehead touch the floor and spread your arms forward, with the fingers open.
  • Stay in this pose for a few minutes. 

 

  • Standing Forward Bending Pose

 

Yoga Exercise

Another name of this yoga pose is Uttanasana. Known to be therapeutic for patients with high blood pressure and insomnia, it keeps the knees and brain strong. If you have weak knees, this yoga pose balance is right for you.

    • Stand with your hands on your hips.
    • Take a deep breath and release it. While exhaling, bend your torso downwards till your hands touch the floor. If you find it difficult to reach the floor, let your arms wrap around the shins.
    • With your head hanging, remain in this pose for a minute.
    • Now put your hands back on your hips and stretch slowly before standing.
  • Savasana

Before you switch between yoga poses, you have to bring your body and breathe back to a normal state. Savasana or corpse pose helps you recharge the body for that intermediate period.

  • Release your body from the previous yoga poses and relax your feet, keeping them wide apart.
  • Let your hands fall back to your side and close your eyes. 
  • Free your mind and relax your mouth, keeping it slightly open.
  • Inhale and exhale slowly, keeping the entire body relaxed.

 

Pro tip: We have often been asked about which yoga poses should be done daily if practicing all of these poses regularly is not possible. Well, we advise you to practice Balasana and Uttanasana every day. Follow up with Savasana for complete relaxation of the body. 

Should You Follow A Diet When Practising Yoga For Better Sleep?

 

Diet Food

Studies have proven that undisturbed sleep is linked to healthy food habits. Processed sugars actually cause heartburn, increase weight, and block adenosine, which induces sleep in our body. Hence, dieticians advise reducing body weight for better sleep. And what can be better for losing weight than low-carb, high-protein keto diet? A keto diet with the help of the best MCT oil for ketosis promotes the secretion of adenosine, thus relaxing your overall nervous system and inducing consistent sleep. Coupled with yoga, which keeps your body and mind flexible and balanced, a keto diet can show remarkable results in body fat and stress reduction. 

For these restorative yoga poses to help sleep better, a calm environment is also necessary. While doing these yoga exercises, stay away from all noise and free your mind of all thoughts. Did you find our yoga poses guide helpful? Let us know in the comments!

If you are struggling with getting enough sleep, or would like some expert advice about the connection with exercise and sleep, connect with a professional sleep specialist at Alaska Sleep Clinic.

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Topics: exercises, yoga, get better sleep

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