Sleep is essential, just like water and food. But when you’re stressed or have had a busy week (more like month), it can be hard to get the rest you need at night. Have you tried incorporating yoga into your daily routine? Yoga has a lot of benefits, many of which may help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can help improve your core strength, increase your flexibility, teach you breathing techniques and increase your concentration and energy. Plus, you don’t have to be a total yogi to enjoy its benefits. Even just a little yoga on your own can be beneficial.
Yoga also doesn’t have to be really hard. Yes, it can be a great workout with various levels of intensity and classes for all skill levels, but yoga and meditation can but can also just be a good way to relax and wind down at the end of the day.
Why is Yoga Good Before Bed?
When you’ve had a stressful day or have a lot on your mind, it can be hard to wind down for bed. We’ve all been there: your body is tired, but your mind is racing, keeping you awake. If other sleep remedies haven’t worked for you—sleepy tea, lavender candles, essential oils, soft music—maybe it’s time to try a little yoga. Even just five minutes of yoga poses before you go to bed could help you fall asleep and get the rest you need.
Yoga is all about concentration and finding balance, so it makes sense that yoga before bed can help reduce stress and clear your mind. Yoga before bed can help with:
- Chronic muscle and joint pain
- Aching or sore muscles
- Circulatory (blood) flow
- High stress
- Trouble falling and staying asleep
An important aspect of yoga is meditation. When you combine the two, it can create a soothing and relaxing experience that gets you in the right mindset for sleep. And no, meditation is not all chanting and “namaste.” It can be as simple as focusing on deep breaths or being aware of different parts of your body. Meditation helps you focus on simple things instead of all the thoughts floating around in your head and is great to practice with yoga.
Yoga Poses that May Help you Sleep Better
Now, we aren’t claiming to be yoga experts, so feel free to try your own poses or consult a professional. But, here are some poses we like that you can try before bed. These can be done on the floor (you probably want to be on carpet or a yoga mat) or on your bed. Remember, you should feel a stretch, but not pain. Hold each position as long as you want or as long as it’s comfortable.
- Vajrasana is a seated pose. Sit back so your tailbone rests on your heels. Close your eyes and bring your hands to your chest of rest them on your thighs.
- From Vajrasana, find Child’s Pose. Stretch your arms forward and relax your head, resting your forehead on your mat or mattress if it’s comfortable.
- Find the Cow and Cat poses by coming up on all fours. For the Cow, arch your back, looking forward. Move into the Cat pose by hollowing your back and dropping your head. You can move between these two poses as many times as you want.
- For the Butterfly pose, sit with your legs in front of you, bottoms of your feet touching (creating a “butterfly”). Fold forward toward your feet with your hands resting on your feet or ankles for a deeper stretch.
Add Yoga to Your Morning Routine
Doing some yoga in the morning is also a great habit to get into. It gives you energy to start your day, gets your blood flowing, wakes up your muscles and can help you focus. Just five minutes of yoga in the morning can help you concentrate all day and better accomplish your goals, plus it can help you channel positivity before you get going. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true—yoga releases endorphins in your brain. Endorphins make you happy.
Again, we’re not yoga experts, but we like some of the same bedtime poses with a few additional poses: Chair Pose, Downward Facing Dog and Sun Salutations. You can look up quick morning (and bedtime) yoga routines on YouTube, from 5-minute breathing exercise to 30-minute and 60-minute yoga routines.
Of course, a good night’s sleep starts with the right mattress. The Leesa mattress is the perfect balance of comfort and support—it’ll have you saying “namaste in bed.” Our mattress is the perfect base for all things yoga, meditation and most importantly, better rest.
Ready to upgrade your bed and start sleeping better? Let Leesa help you get Zen.