Yoga For Better Sleep:

Many individuals have suffered from at least one bout of insomnia or other sleep disorder/disturbance at some point or another in their lives. According to Sleep Foundation, these types of sleep disorders can affect quality, as well as timing or duration of your much needed “beauty sleep”.  So, how can we use yoga for better sleep? However, let’s talk sleep disturbances a little further.

Cleveland Clinic discusses the most common disorders being insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. Clearly, all of which can impact your life in a not so great way. From school/work performance, mental health issues and even issues with weight control.

It’s estimated that more then 100 million, do not get adequate sleep. Specifically, 70 million suffering from a sleep disorder. 



There are few things worse than lying down and trying to get a peaceful night’s sleep, only to find yourself, wide awake. Likewise, the night is ticking by, you’re tossing and turning, watching the hours until your day begins, go by so quickly. 


Related Article: What Are Some Of The Best Times To Do Yoga?


What Can You Do?

Truth is, nothing beats talking to a medical professional about your issues first. However, there are self help ways you can deal with sleep issues. So if you’re someone who suffers from trouble falling asleep, remaining asleep, or difficulty staying awake during the day, we want share a potential, natural way, to try and combat this.

Yoga has been touted, researched, and connected to many issues within our daily lives. It has and is used for many individuals as a form of stress relief, bettering the mind-body connection, to even helping relieve minor aches and pains in different areas of your body. 

Now let’s not get carried away either, styles of yoga like vinyasa or hot yoga are probably not the most notable to wind down with. These styles tend to get your body pumping and sweat ensuing. However, styles of yoga that focus on restorative aspects, like hatha, may be somewhat more reasonable. 


yoga for better sleep


What Does The Research Say About Yoga For Better Sleep:

Incorporating bedtime yoga as part of your nightly routine may make falling into a deep, restful state, easier. 

In fact a study conducted of routine yoga in an elderly population found it to be beneficial to achieving good quality sleep as well as improving quality of life. 

systematic review and meta analysis totaling 1832 participants showed positive effects of yoga using PSQI (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) scores in 16 randomized control trials on improving sleep quality. 

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has even published results of yoga and sleep. According to there data, 55% of individuals who perform yoga found that it helped them get better sleep or “improved” sleep. 

Keep in mind, this is just some of the research out there. So how does yoga potentially help with sleep?


yoga helps with sleep


I. Empty Your Mind

A common problem that keeps many people awake at night is a brain that has not adequately wound down from the day before. One of the great aspects of yoga is the focus on mental clarity and peace of mind.

Bedtime yoga will allow you to soothe your mind and set aside time for reflection on the issues that may still be churning through your brain. This nightly routine and enhanced clarity could be just the thing you need to shut down for the day.

An article posted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discussed yoga for sleep. Furthermore, that there may even be certain postures beneficial for sleep. Evidence does however, suggests that some of the yoga executed for sleep, believe it to have more to do with yoga’s meditative properties. 

Which takes us to our next point, and that is decreased anxiety or stress. 


Related Article: Stressed at Work? Perform these Easy Yoga Moves at Work to Clear your Mind!


II. Helps Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety

Who hasn’t experienced some form of stress in their lives. Personally, we can’t say we know anyone. Much of how we deal with and cope with stress determines our outcomes and how we will manage our next anxious moment.

Surely, anyone can recall a time where they were lying in bed, and all of a sudden, their mind starts racing. Racing with crazy thoughts and worries that can leave us red-eyed, the following morning.

One of the great things about yoga that makes it the perfect activity before going to bed is, its ability to lower cortisol levels within the body. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is well known to be elevated in depression, according to one study. This same study concluded that yoga may actual act at the level of the hypothalamus by it’s “anti-stress” effects and reduction of serum cortisol levels. 

This may help ensure that you won’t be plagued by anxiety when you lye down at night.



III. Removes Tension

As we use our bodies throughout the day, we create tension in our various muscle groups, not just our minds. When we lay down at night and try to go to bed, this tension may create discomfort that makes it hard for us to relax and sleep.

This is where utilizing yoga for better sleep is critical. Performing poses that target and release specific areas of tension can lead to a state of better relaxation. This is essential when trying to have a restful night’s sleep.

According to yoga does just the opposite of stress, it promotes relaxation. Yoga itself can affect different “aspects of ourselves affected by stress: our body, our mind, and breathing”. One of the great aspects of yoga is it’s ability to be individualized. You don’t have to be a contortionist here. A complete beginner yogi can still find a niche within this practice and then build upon their foundation. 


yoga for better sleep


Improve Your Breathing

One problem that can leave you feeling exhausted in the morning is problems breathing while you sleep. Sleep apnea and other breathing-related issues are all a result of breathing incorrectly. One of the fundamental elements of yoga is practicing mindful breathing.

Now this is not to say, yoga is a cure for your sleep apnea!

However, focused breathing on a nightly basis before bed may make for a more restful and relaxing sleep. One of the more common forms of breathing patterns known for it’s gentle nature, is Ujjayi Breath, also called Ocean Breath. 


Related Article: What is the Meaning of Pranayama: Pranayama Breathing Techniques & Tips


Final Thoughts!

This is just a sample of the ways that performing yoga for better sleep can provide a more relaxing and enjoyable night of rest. Taking just a few moments each night to perform yoga at bedtime may allow your mind and body to wind down. Thus, preparing for a better rest cycle, naturally.

By using the power of yoga, you can make sure that your mind is recharged and ready when you wake.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave comments on how yoga has helped you get a better night of rest! Also, share our post on social media to spread the word!