Many people practice yoga daily – some of them do it to get a great stretch, others enjoy the energy it gives. Whatever joy you find in practicing yoga, you will be benefiting from its exceptional health effects. It helps improving core strength, flexibility and it reduces stress level. But it not only improves your daily performance, but it also helps to improve your sleep to enjoy a calming night and wake up refreshed.
It’s recommended for people who have insomnia to perform yoga daily. They can sleep for longer, fall asleep faster, and return to sleep more quickly if they wake up in the middle of the night. We’ve compounded the brilliant benefits of working yoga into your bedtime routine. In this article, we’ll explain the following benefits in details:
- Reducing stress and calming the mind
- Easing pain and discomfort
- Releasing tension and gripping
- Strengthening your lungs
- Helping to create a regular sleeping routine
- Renewing your body
- Finishing your day with good energies and gratitude
Moreover, we will explore five yoga poses you can easily learn and implement in your bedtime routine to have a relaxing sleep.
Keep reading to learn how yoga can help improve your sleep!
Benefits of Practicing Yoga Before Going to Bed
1. Yoga reduces stress and calms the mind
If you tend to feel stressed and anxious before falling asleep, you should consider doing yoga just before going to bed. Finishing your day with a few yoga poses can help you reduce stress in the long term. As you enter a mindful state when doing yoga, you will slow down your brain. It also reduces the level of stress hormone in your brain, also called cortisol.
On the other hand, it will provide you with a sense of calmness. Often people find it hard and challenging to fall asleep because they have many things in their minds. Financial, work, or family-related problems, conflicts, or a list of tasks for tomorrow. Doing yoga before bedtime will help relax your body and stop your mind.
For your body to relax to a sleeping level, you need to shift your mind to a state of calm. As you focus on movements, holding poses, and breathing, your body, and mind will be connected. You will feel calm and your brain will get empty and settled. Even after one time, you will be more relaxed and if you practice it frequently, it will definitely help you have calm quality sleep.
2. Yoga eases pain and discomfort
Back pain, joint pain, muscle stiffness, or any kind of physical discomfort can mess up your sleep. Yoga movements can increase mobility and strength and help you stretch your body. It’s so gentle that you don’t have to worry about causing more pain in your joints or swollen body parts. Yoga is not only relaxing your brain but also easing your body into a deep and refreshing sleep.
3. Releases tension in your limbs
Do you ever notice yourself scrunching your face or fisting your hands when trying to fall asleep? These unconscious habits are caused by stress and tension and they have terrible effects on your health. Besides that, it increases the length of the period you can actually fall asleep. As you practice yoga, you’ll be more conscious to explore your muscles and you will begin to notice where you hold tension. If you focus on those and practice relaxation, you’ll be able to release tension in your limbs. It may take some time to learn, but once you’re able to let your muscles be calm and relaxed, it will provide better sleep at night.
4. Yoga improves breathing
Snoring and sleep apnea can be caused by incorrect breathing. These diseases can be caused by many things, such as stress, sinus problems, obesity, or circulation problems. Sleep apnea is a common symptom of people that are tense, nervous, or have a lung disorder. Yoga techniques are excellent to help with both of these problems. It strengths your lungs and helps you learn how to breathe correctly. If you practice it enough, the result will be a better night’s sleep.
5. Doing yoga every evening helps you create a regular routine
If you have any struggles with falling asleep and waking up in the morning, or you simply aim to create a regular sleeping routine, bedtime yoga will help you. Besides creating a comforting atmosphere and ignoring your phone and watching TV at night, you should try closing the day with a few gentle yoga poses. Since yoga encourages your body and mind to get calm, it will help you relieve stress and get into a better sleeping routine. It’s guaranteed that you will fall asleep at a good time and wake up energized and fresh.
6. Your body will be renewed
Breathing exercises help to increase the circulation of oxygen in your body and release toxins stored in organs and tissue. As you move and breathe consciously, your body will be renewed and you will get into a good flow. Yoga is an excellent way to refresh your body, boost it with energy, and release all the toxins just before placing your head on the pillow.
7. Yoga helps to learn to appreciate the smallest things
Practicing meditation as the last part of your yoga practice, you can take a few moments to stop and think about your day. You can think about all the positive happenings and fill your heart with gratitude. It contributes to a more positive mindset and the habit of appreciating every moment in life. It’s such a brilliant way to close out your day.
Yoga Poses to Try to Improve Your Sleep
If you would like to practice yoga before falling asleep to enjoy the extreme benefits of this bedtime routine, you should start by exploring the different yoga poses. Some types are energizing and awakening, so it’s essential to choose and learn the poses that help you relax and prepare your body for a good sleep. We’ve compounded the most ideal poses you should try and implement in your bedtime routine. Here are our top picks:
- Wide Knee Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor and bring your big toes together. Separate your knees hips-width apart or as wide as the edges of your mat and sink your torso onto your tights. Let your arms relax alongside your torse. Keep the pose for a minute.
- Standing Forward Bend: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. When you exhale, extend your torso forward and over your legs to elongate your spine. Hold onto your elbows or let your hands rest on your shins or the floor.
- Legs up the Wall: Lie on the ground on your back, perpendicular to the wall. Bring your left or right side to the wall as close as possible, so your side body meets the wall. Gently place your legs up the wall and relax your arms by your sides. Keep the pose for at least 30 seconds and focus on your breathing.
- Lying Butterfly: Lie on the ground on your back. Press the bottoms of your feet against each other and let your knees fall out to the sides. Do not press down on knees to create additional tension, just let gravity do the work. Relax your arms on the floor about 45 degrees away from your torso, palms facing the ceiling. Feel the stretch and breathe consciously.
- Corpse Pose: Lie on the ground on your back with legs straight, arms by sides, and palms facing up. Your feet should be hip-width apart and relaxed away from each other, toward the edges of the mat. Let your arms, shoulder, legs, and back to be relaxed. Close your eyes, breathe slowly, and focus on your inhales and exhales.
Try these poses and focus on relaxed, long inhales, and exhales to fully relax your body and mind.
Creating the Right Atmosphere for Bedtime Yoga Practices
On the other hand, you should not only focus on yoga poses. Creating a calming atmosphere is also essential in order to relax your mind. Try these tricks to prepare yourself and your environment for a calming yoga session:
- Open the window for a few minutes before starting yoga: The fresh air is great when breathing and it helps to clear your mind.
- Avoid bright lighting: Only use mood lighting, so your eyes and mind don’t get distracted.
- Light a candle: Use aromatic candles to relax your mind.
- Have a shower: Take a shower before your practice, so you can stay in a calming mood after finishing your bedtime yoga routine.
- Put your phone on silent mood: Use this time to relax and don’t let any notification distract you.
- Turn on meditative music: Create silence or turn on some calm, meditative music in the background that helps you feel more grounded.
Besides trying these small tricks, experiment what works for you. Yoga helps you connect the mind and body, so listen to your feelings and create a routine that works best for you.