Let’s face it, falling asleep can be hard, even if you’re exhausted. The stress from the day can leave your mind spinning and keep you staring at the ceiling for hours which makes the next day even harder.
Science has proven over and over again that adults need on average at least seven hours of sleep each night. Without it, this can lead to depression, diabetes, and general health challenges.
So what’s the solution? Yoga won’t solve everything but it might help improve shut-eye and keep your mind at ease. We’ve broken down four poses to add to your bedtime routine.
Legs Up The Wall
This is by far one of my favorite ways to relax. It’s known to help those who struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, and can help calm your nervous system which is so important before going to sleep. I also find it helps drain any inflammation from my legs and feet.
How it’s done:Simply lie down on your back with your bottom near a wall and slide your legs up the wall so your legs are resting against the wall. Now relax and stay in the pose for as long as your heart desires – I try to spend at least 10 minutes in the pose.
You’re probably used to getting into a forward fold during a sun salutation series but this can be great to help promote sleep as well. Forward fold helps stimulate the kidneys and liver, while also relieving tension throughout your body and headaches.
How it’s done: Stand with your feet hip-width apart – pro-tip if you put your hands into fists in between your feet, that will measure hip-width distance. Lower your upper body towards the ground so you come to rest on top of your legs. Hold opposite elbows to create a frame around your head or simply rest your hands on the grown.
This pose tends to make you feel very safe and relaxed. It helps promote tranquility and rest at the end of your yoga practice, and can do the same as you’re getting ready for bed.
How it’s done: Start on your hands and knees, with your knees planted out wider than your hips. Sit back on your heels so your stomach lowers between your thighs, and reach your upper body forward. Keep your torso long as you continue to press your hips back and your arms forward.
This might seem like a given since you’re trying to go to sleep but corpse pose should be the final pose you do before getting into bed. It helps promote stillness and a meditative state, which is perfect to help you shift your mental state to get ready for sleep.
How it’s done:Simply lie flat on your back, allow your feet to fall open with your toes pointing out, and allow your arms to rest at your side. Close your eyes or cover them with an eye cover and begin to focus on your breathing.