Yoga Poses For Insomnia

Instead of floating into dreamland and chasing rats in fantasy, if you sit up wide awake counting stars and sheep with the hope of falling asleep, you probably need some help. Insomnia or sleeplessness reduces energy levels, causes fatigue, and lack of concentration.

It is believed that half of the American adult population suffers from insomnia.

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Some of the symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Repeated breaks in sleep
  • Lack of concentration and focus
  • Irritability
  • Impaired memory

Yoga for Insomnia

Yoga is a multifaceted science that works at both physical and mental levels. Several medical studies have stated the positive effects of yoga on people suffering with insomnia. A regular yoga routine regulates the mind and body arrangement and cultivates a healthy sleep pattern.

Yoga Breathing Technique for Insomnia

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma)

Steps:

  1. Close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale with the left nostril
  2. Exhale with the right nostril
  3. Close the left nostril with your middle and ring fingers and inhale with the right
  4. Exhale with the left nostril
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 times

The reinvigorates and refreshes the nervous system.

Victory Breath (Ujjai Pranayama)

Steps:

  1. Sit comfortably on a mat and close your eyes
  2. Inhale while making a bumbling sound in your throat
  3. Exhale with both nostrils
  4. Carry on with the same steps till the process falls into a natural rhythm

The ujjai breathing technique corrects the breath and conserves internal equilibrium

Yoga Poses for a Good Night Sleep

The yoga poses that can help enhance sleep quality and cure insomnia include the following.

  • Forward Bend (Uttanasana): The standing pose involves a smooth forward bend with head brushing the knees. The pose relaxes the back, legs and shoulders.
  • Child Pose (Balasana): The seated pose requires bending forward with hands outstretched in the front and feet lodged under the buttocks. The pose engages the thighs, hips and ankles and reduces fatigue and irritability.
  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): The seated version of forward bend stretches the spine, hamstring and shoulder muscles and helps reduce insomnia.
  • Plough Pose (Halasana):  The intricate pose requires bending the body out of hips while lying down and bringing the legs over the head and touching the ground at the back of head.
  • Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): The reclining twist pose involves lying on the ground twisting the upper part of the body. The pose relaxes the spine and helps curb sleep breaks.
  • Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana): The slightly difficult pose requires balancing the body on shoulders with the legs up in the air. The powerful asana relaxes the shoulders and neck, improves circulation, de-stresses the nervous system and reduces insomnia.
  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana): The inverted V-pose helps cure breathing disorders and reduces congestion. The pose stretches the leg and back muscles and reduces fatigue.

Meditation

Meditation at bedtime is a powerful technique to soothe the stressed nerves.

The powerful technique improves focus, balance and helps discard all the negative thoughts from the mind. The simple exercise can be performed at any time of the day to promote wellbeing and calm.

Tips to Get Good Sleep

  • Prepare a sleep schedule. Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at a fixed time every morning.
  • Indulge in a physical activity. Exercise tires the muscles and promotes sleep. However, exercise several hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine, tea, tobacco, and sugar before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol, over-the-counter sleeping aids, and antidepressants. These temporary solutions worsen the condition and increase dependency.
  • Create a sleep environment in the room. Avoid too much light and noise, and light some aromatherapy candles to relieve anxiety.
  • Take a warm shower before bedtime.
  • Drinking herbal teas such as lavender and chamomile induce healthy sleep.
  • Try to leave the stress out of the bedroom. Sleep over your worries and start the next day with fresh energy and new ideas.

Insomnia is a medical condition that can be treated with yoga and a healthy diet to a certain extent. However, all persistent ailments require medical attention by a qualified medical specialist.

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