Promote Sleep With Yoga At Bedtime
By Samantha Kent
People who practice yoga know that it offers many benefits, including the ability to help you feel calm, centered, and relaxed. Although yoga offers benefits at any time of day, practicing yoga at night can be particularly beneficial when practiced just before bed. In fact, you can even practice yoga in bed as you're drifting off to sleep.
Yoga's Sleep Benefits
Research indicates yoga is effective for improving sleep. It's known to be effective in reducing arousal from sleep at night. In a recent study, people who suffered from chronic insomnia and practiced a simple daily yoga treatment showed improvement in every sleep measure, including sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency, and wake time after sleep onset.
In a National Institutes of Health Survey, more than 55 percent of people who practice yoga report better sleep at night. In fact, yoga is effective for improving overall wellness, including motivating more than 60 percent of yoga users to exercise more regularly, and 40 percent to eat healthier. Perhaps most significantly, yoga reduces stress for over 85 percent of yoga users -- and reduced stress can lead to better sleep.
Enjoying Yoga in Your Bedtime Routine
Practicing yoga at night as part of your bedtime routine can be a calming, centering ritual to close out your day. It can help you clear your mind and prepare to rest, so you can get the good, quality sleep you need to face a new day.
With these tips, you can effectively make yoga a part of your bedtime routine.
Adjust your schedule. Your bedtime yoga routine doesn't have to be extensive. It can be just a few simple poses and take 10 minutes or less. But it does take time, and you may want to spend more time doing yoga at night as you settle down for bed. Plan ahead and make sure you have room in your schedule for bedtime yoga. Consider what time you need to wake up, giving yourself at least seven hours to sleep, and figure out what time you need to start doing yoga to get to bed on time.
Prepare early. Bedtime yoga can be extremely simple. It can be done in your pajamas in bed without a yoga mat. But if you prefer a yoga ritual with particular clothing, your mat, a video, app, or other necessities, get them ready ahead of time so it will be easy to get started and then head off to bed.
Focus on calming, relaxing yoga poses. Bedtime is not the time to try a new yoga pose or any that are especially challenging. A bedtime yoga routine is best when you go through restful yoga poses that can help you take a load off, such as legs up the wall pose.
Choose your mattress carefully. It's important to sleep on the right mattress for comfort, but mattress choice matters if you want to do yoga in bed, too. Some mattresses are more difficult than others to do yoga poses on. If you sink too much into foam or bounce too much on innersprings, you'll have a hard time. A hybrid mattress is likely to be a good fit if you want to do yoga in bed. A hybrid mattress is not likely to be too bouncy, and you should be able to move within sinking uncomfortably far down into the foam.
Practicing healthy sleep habits and incorporating yoga into your bedtime routine can improve your quality of sleep, which can make you feel better during the day too.