Updated: Sep 10, 2019
I think we can all agree that a bad night’s sleep is something we all want to avoid.
However, it's reported that 16 million UK adults are suffering from sleepless nights. So, if you are struggling, you're not alone.
Now there could be various reasons for a bad night’s sleep. Some of which are easier to control than others. For example, you can't do much about your neighbour’s dog having a barking session.
But some factors that keep us tossing and turning at night can be addressed. Many insomniacs and those struggling to get to sleep suffer from hyperarousal.
This basically means your ‘fight or flight’ response is still affecting you. It could have been prompted by something that happened to you earlier in the day. Like trying to meet a work deadline or fighting with a partner so is still elevated.
How can yoga help?
By lowering stress levels, calming the mind and relieving tension in the body. Yoga can be used as an affective natural sleeping remedy.
There are certain resting and inversion poses that are particularly helpful for combatting restlessness and insomnia. Even more so when practiced in the evening or in bed before hitting the hay.
At Firefly Yoga we offer evening classes 6 days of the week (not Saturdays) which would be perfect in aiding a restful night.
However, if you can't make these classes there are some simple yoga poses you can do at home. These are all focused on reliving stress and tension from the body.
1. Legs Up the Wall Pose
A classic restorative pose that can be practised with a variety of props and leg variations. It's also a great gentle hamstring stretch.
If you spend a lot of time on your feet this pose will help. With our legs elevated lymph and lactic acid drain from the legs. This helps prevent injury and decrease the symptoms of fatigue and soreness.
Stay in this position for 3-5 minutes then move onto the next one.
How to do the legs up the wall pose
2. Childs Pose
The quintessential resting pose in many yoga classes. Child's pose is great at calming the mind and relieving tension in the body.
This pose will help stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue.
It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso.
3. Happy Baby
This pose will have you sleeping like a baby!
The pose helps to relieves stress whilst zapping anxiety and reinvigorating your mind.
Physically, this posture is one of the best hip openers. Stretching the inner thighs and groin as well as the hamstrings. It also releases the spine and sacrum.
Spiritually and mentally, this pose awakens your inner child and is an instant mood booster! It's also a fairly funny position to be in!
You may have heard your teacher say that stress, or emotions, are stored deep in the tissues of your hips. As this pose opens your hips, it helps release deeply stored emotions and memories.
4. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The final pose is the corpse pose; this one will definitely get your body into sleep mode. Focus your mind on your body and your breath, releasing all negative thoughts and worries from the day.
Keep your focus on your exhales and releasing your thoughts. Stay here for 5-10 minutes then off to bed - If you're still awake.
Hopefully, these poses will aid you in achieving a peaceful and restful night sleep.
Try and find time to do the whole routine, making it a habit will also increase the benefits and effectiveness. Your mind will begin to know when it's time to shut down if you are consistent with doing the poses.