Unfortunately, insomnia is a common sleep problem for adults. The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30% of the population experiences sleep disruption. Insomnia not only affects how you look, feel, and perform on a daily basis but over time chronic insomnia can lead to serious medical conditions.
Insomnia can be categorized as any or all of the following a couple times per week:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Trouble staying asleep
- Waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep
- Waking up multiple times during the night
- Waking up not feeling rested and restored
There are multiple lifestyle behaviors that can help with insomnia, one of them being yoga.
Even 1-3 yoga poses during the day and/or before bed can help support you in getting restful sleep. A consistent regular yoga practice 2-3 times per week is even better!
You can pick one of the postures below to do before bed for 5-10 minutes or you could do all four before bed creating a 30 minute relaxation and yoga practice.
Another option is to do each of these postures throughout the day.
Ready to start? Here are 4 great yoga poses for insomnia:
Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This posture has so many benefits because our feet are above our hearts allowing blood flow to move back towards our hearts. It is also a way to receive the benefits of an inversion in a supported position. This is one of my FAVORITE postures!
- Find an empty space on a wall and place your mat perpendicular to the wall.
- Sit down on your mat and bring your left or right side to the wall as close as possible, so your side body is right up against the wall.
- Now lie back onto your mat, and gently place your legs up the wall.
- Relax your arms down alongside your body.
- If you feel like you want support under your hips you can add a blanket underneath your tailbone.
- Stay in this posture for up to 10 minutes.
Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
This posture releases tension through your inner thighs and hips while supporting the entire length of your spine. Be cautious if you have knee, hip, or groin injuries.
- Lie down on your mat.
- Bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor, close to your glutes.
- Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to relax away from each other opening to the sides. The closer your heels are to your body the more sensation you will create, the further away the less sensation.
- You can also place yoga blocks or blankets under the outsides of your legs for support.
- Hands can rest on your abdomen or hip bones, arms can be down alongside of your body as shown below, or arms can be overhead in cactus/goal post arms, backs of the hands and backs of the forearms resting on your mat or the floor.
- Allow gravity to do the work creating a gentle release in the inner thighs and hips.
- Stay in this posture for 1-5 minutes.
This is a resting pose that provides a sense of calm and stability. Child’s pose will gently open the hips and inner thighs while lengthening the spine. Use support or be cautious if you have knee or hip injuries.
- Kneel on the floor and bring your big toes together to touch.
- Separate your knees mat width distance apart.
- Exhale and sink your hips back to your heels and your torso onto your thighs.
- You can extend your arms out as you see below or bring your arms down alongside your body, palms facing up.
- Rest your forehead on the mat or on a yoga block or blanket for extra support.
- Take slow and steady breaths in and out through your nose.
- Hold this posture for 1-5 minutes.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
This is the traditional final resting pose of any yoga practice. It allows you to come into complete relaxation. Savasana can be used as a relaxation pose at any time not just after a yoga practice. At first, this posture may be agitating or you may find it difficult. It can be difficult at first because as our body comes to stillness, our minds can become more active and we begin to actually notice all of the chatter and thoughts we have going on at any given moment.
If you can stick with this pose and practice calming and quieting the mind while the body is still your sleep will improve so much!
- Lie back on your mat.
- Stretch your legs long on your mat separating your feet about hip-width apart.
- Let your lower back soften and relax into the support beneath you. If you have any pain or discomfort in your lower back, you may want to place a yoga bolster, pillow, or rolled-up blanket underneath your knees.
- Relax your arms down alongside your body, palms facing upward.
- Relax your shoulders away from your ears.
- You may want to place a folded blanket underneath your head as shown below. It is optional to place an eye pillow or a small towel over your eyes to block out any light.
- Lay in savasana for up to 20 minutes.
In Health & Happiness,