Can’t Sleep? Try Yoga!

lincoln nh yogaIf you are among the 40 million Americans who are not getting enough sleep (a necessary and basic need), you are not alone. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and trouble staying asleep are all too common for adults. You may worry about the side effects of sleep aids or health issues associated with not getting enough shuteye, and rightly so. Not only do we feel grumpy when we do not get the rest we need, but sleeplessness can lead to heart issues, stroke, increased anxiety, and even diabetes.

Suffering from a lack of sleep can be frustrating and can cause problems to arise in other areas of life. Work can become less productive, we have little energy to give to others, and our focus seems lost. In a fast-paced world overrun by technology and the demands of life, it’s no wonder we are not getting enough rest.

But , why yoga for sleepless nights? More than just a way to stretch, yoga can improve your breathing, posture, and overall health. Other benefits include:

  • Yoga’s deep breathing method can create a sense of calm
  • Stress levels can be lowered with certain poses
  • The quality of your sleep can improve

In a Harvard study of adults with various types of sleep issues, researchers found that sleep efficiency, sleep and awake time, and the amount of time it takes to fall asleep all improved after subjects practiced a daily yoga routine for 8 weeks.

For those nights when sleep just is not coming, Yoga Journal recommends some poses which can help with a bedtime routine, including:

  • Cat-cow series
  • Dynamic forward-fold sequence
  • Ragdoll
  • Downward dog
  • Pigeon pose

Sleepless nights may be stealing your energy and your focus, but it doesnot have to stay that way. For many Americans, our daily schedules can get a little crazy and a bit too busy, and it does not take long for us to feel out-of-sorts. Sleep seems to come less and less. If everything else has not worked so far to fix your sleep issues, maybe it’s time to implement a natural solution. You do not have to be an expert yogi in order to find better rest. Learn some basic beginner poses, and then:

  1. Turn off all electronics and leave them outside of the bedroom. This includes TVs and phones.
  2. Stop caffeine intake several hours before hitting your pillow (or better yet, altogether).
  3. Make sure your room is completely darkened.
  4. Try a yoga pre-bedtime routine for just 5 minutes, and see if it doesn’t work wonders for your sleep routine.

With a focus on deep breathing, relaxation, and gentle stretches, yoga could be your answer to the question: why can’t I get more sleep? As with any new routine, check with your doctor first and follow his or her guidance when it comes to a better night’s sleep. And then, dig out that yoga mat for a few pre-nighty night stretches and poses. Namaste and goodnight.

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