Anyone who has had difficulty sleeping knows that lack of sleep can effect everything about you, from your mood, to your intelligence and even to physical wellness. A good night’s sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle; lack of sleep can lead to health problems, such as anxiety, depression, diabetes and even heart failure.
The most common causes of insomnia are stress, emotional imbalance and physical discomfort. Establishing a bedtime routine to relax the body and the mind is one way to help you get the good night’s sleep you crave. Yoga puts you in touch with your breathing and the state of your body. This combination of breath and movement activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts stress.
The following 7 poses can be done in your pajamas in bed. Gently hold each pose for one minute (10 – 15 breaths). Remember to always listen to your body and never push yourself past your comfort zone.
Help your mind relax as your stretch your body by diffusing one of the top 5 essential oils for stress.
Siddhasana (Adept’s pose)
Start in Adept’s pose, a popular meditation pose. Allow your time in this position to clear your mind of the day’s stresses, concentrating on your breathing and body.
Watch this tutorial by HowCast.com.
Balasana (Child’s pose)
A resting pose, this stretches your lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles.
Watch this tutorial by My Yoga on Gaiam TV on YouTube.
Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
Though it does feel like you’re trying to fold yourself in half (which you are), this stretch calms the mind, relieves stress and mild depression, stretches the spine, shoulders and hamstrings, and even improves digestion.
Watch this tutorial by KinoYoga on YouTube.
Janu Sirsasana (Head to knee pose)
Another calming pose, Janu Sirsanana stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings and groins as well as relieving anxiety, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia and sinusitis.
Watch this tutorial by Gold Coast Yoga Centre Channel on YouTube.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated spinal twist)
Tension can build up in the lower back and all along the spine, which is when a good twist comes in handy. This post allows the spine to be twisted all the way from the base to the very top, which stretches the muscles and helps improve digestion.
Watch this tutorial by Christian Breitschmid on YouTube.
Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero pose)
With this pose, we get closer to laying down and sleep – it stretches the abdomen, thighs, deep hip flexors, knees and ankles while improving digestion and relieving tired legs.
Watch this tutorial by Darren Rhodes on YogaGlo.
Savasana (Corpse pose)
The final pose is simple – lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms by your sides. Relax every muscle, close your eyes and just breathe. And breathe. Until you fall asleep.