YOGA FOR BETTER SLEEP
How to you can use yoga for better sleep according to the scientists
This study in the US found that 55% of yoga participants used yoga for better sleep and 85% reported reduced stress levels.
Sleep is one of the most basic human needs, and if you’re anything like me the quality of your day is highly affected by the quantity and quality of your sleep.
“Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep.”Mesut Barazany.
Everything from how you feel mentally and physically, down to your focus at work and decision making. Your previous nights sleep can even affect the decisions you make about your health and nutrition, from what you eat to how much you eat.
After a poor night’s sleep I’m certainly one to make the more unhealthy food choice. Or flop on the sofa instead of doing the intended run. Also following a poor night’s sleep, I’m the one to procrastinate, choosing to lie on the bed avoiding my admin. How about you?
Yoga has changed this for me.
A regular yoga practice helps to me fall asleep quicker. It also helps to sustain and balance my quality of sleep. leaving me energized and refreshed ready to rock life the way I was made to.
Here’s how to use yoga for better sleep :
1. Yoga balances your nervous system
Chances are if you are living on this fast paced planet as a human being you’ll be experiencing hyperarousal.
Your senses are overstimulated from being continuously connected to phones, wifi, computers, transport, constant chit chat, and the list goes on. This creates an imbalance in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system leading to an inability to get proper sleep.
Yoga boosts the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for our rest and digest) and helps to stabilize our overactive brain. It does this by moving mindfully through therapeutic movement techniques, meditation and breath.
Try this: Yoga for beginners
2. Yoga for sleep and anxiety
One of the most obvious and instant benefits of doing yoga for better sleep is that it quickly calms a stressed and anxious mind whilst lowering cortisol levels (our stress response hormone).
Stress affects almost every part of our life.
Imagine what it is doing in the brain and body when our head hits the pillow and you have a minute with your thoughts. You guessed it, it stops you from sleeping.
Meditation, being present and still and living in the moment allows your mind to process. Rushing around and being busy encourages your mind to store and dwell keeping you awake.
Adding a little yoga routine or meditation to your evening routine can have profound effects on the way you will sleep.
3. Yoga for pain relief
If you suffer from muscular aches and pains or back pain or any other body pains including disease and discomfort, yoga can be an extremely beneficial way to ease this discomfort.
Yoga stretches and strengthens the muscles and nervous system, it also supports the immune system and bones.
Sometimes pain can be one of the leading factors for a disrupted night’s sleep because it’s harder to get comfortable and relaxed.
Honestly, when I say this, I really mean yoga can help dramatically.
4. Yoga is exercise and exercise helps you sleep better
Physical activity improves sleep quality and helps to increase your duration of sleep.
Firstly it decreases over stimulation of the brain by giving you time for yourself, also it helps decrease anxiety and depression.
Because, during sleep you release neurochemicals called endorphins which naturally reduce pain and encourage pleasure, thus allowing your mind some freedom. Some relief from the mental chit chat keeping you awake at night.
Also, when you feel low in mood you tend to have more regular naps in the daytime, because low mood causes low energy and then it becomes a catch 22. These little daytime naps decrease your ability to sleep at night.
Exercise also tires your body out so by the end of the day you are ready for bed.
If you have been sedentary and sitting down all day, driving or office work, your body simply has more energy that needs to be used so you can sleep better.
5. Yoga and meditation balance your pineal gland
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your pineal gland deep in the middle of the brain.
When the sunshine is out in the day the pineal gland is inactive and at night when it is dark the pineal gland is turned on and aids in helping you sleep. It begins to actively release melatonin into the blood which regulates sleep pattern.
Overstimulation from fast paced modern life disrupts the job of the pineal gland and thus disrupts your sleep patterns.
Here is my favorite yoga bedtime meditation to help balance this area of the brain: (3rd eye meditation)
So, there you have it 5 ways to use yoga for better sleep and gain a better quality of life.