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How to Use Yoga to Improve Sleep

by BetterSleep
Jun 18 • 4 min read
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Getting too little or too little quality sleep can impact your mental and physical well-being. At BetterSleep, we love the power of meditation, but did you know that yoga can also improve your sleep? Read on to discover how you can use yoga to sleep better.

What is Yoga?

When many people think of yoga, they immediately think of someone peacefully standing in a Tree pose on the beach overlooking the sunset. But yoga is much more than just movement.

Yoga is a mind, body, and spirit practice originating from India. It involves physical poses — also called asanas — but requires concentration and mindful breathing.

Research shows that regular yogic practice has several benefits, including:

  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Improvement of the symptoms of depression
  • Enhanced muscular strength and body flexibility
  • Better management of chronic pain and addiction
  • Enhanced well-being and quality of life
  • Improved sleep patterns

As such, yoga can positively impact your sleep, even if you don’t practice it in the evening!

6 Yoga Poses To Try For Sleep

These 6 yoga poses are perfect to transition into bedtime during your evening routine.

1. Forward Fold

While standing with your feet hip-width apart, raise your arms upward as you inhale. Fold forward from your hips as you exhale. Bend your knees slightly and relax into the pose.

2. Bridge Pose

While on your back, place your feet hip-width apart. Lift your knees and walk your feet directly underneath your knees. Lift your pelvis as you inhale. Keep your arms along your sides.

3. Child Pose

Get on your knees and spread them wide enough to fit your belly between your thighs. Extend forward to rest your forehead on the floor while extending your arms forward, palms placed on the floor.

4. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose

Lie on your back with your hips close to the wall. Scootch up so that you can raise your legs against the wall. Your body should be in an L-shape with your legs perpendicular to your torso.

5. Lying Butterfly Pose

While on your back, bring the soles of your feet together and keep your knees to the side. Your legs should make a diamond shape. Relax your arms along your side.

6. Corpse Pose

For outsiders looking in, the corpse pose looks like you’re lying down or sleeping. But implementing corpse pose in every yoga practice is crucial to soak in the benefits of your practice and rest your body and mind.

Lie on your back with your arms and legs relaxed at your sides. You can use a pillow to lift your knees if that’s more comfortable for you. Pay attention to your breath and let your body relax.

Pairing Yoga and Meditation Before Sleep

Finally, you can try implementing a yoga practice with a sleep meditation to drift straight into sleep. Try this calming bedtime routine to relax your body, mind, and spirit the next time you get ready for bed:

  • Get cozy in your favorite pajamas.
  • Dim the lights in your bedroom.
  • Put on your favorite soothing music mix using the BetterSleep sound mixer.
  • Start with the standing forward fold for 1 minute.
  • On a hard surface, transition into bridge pose for 1 minute.
  • Transition into child’s pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch to your back and put your legs up for legs-up-the-wall-pose for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Try the lying butterfly pose while using pillows to support your knees as needed for 1 to 2 minutes — for this pose, you can transition into your bed.
  • Transition into corpse pose for as long as you need.
  • Finish your practice with a deep sleep meditation such as Deep Sleep Yoga Nidra, Guided Deep Breathing for Sleep, or another meditation of your choice.

For other meditation practices and guided movement sessions before bed, try the BetterSleep app for free today!

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BetterSleep helps you fall asleep easily with soothing sounds, sleep meditations, bedtime stories, breathing exercises and much more.

Combine the different features and mix them together to create your own perfect sleep sanctuary!

Download BetterSleep now and join a community of millions of people we help guide to sleep every night.

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