If you habitually do not get a good night's sleep, chances are that you may be aging faster than you should be, in addition to not feeling well and confused thinking. When we sleep, our body repairs on a cellular level and removes toxins. It is therefore necessary to get at least six to eight hours of sleep daily.
If you can't seem to sleep enough, yoga can help. Regular yoga practice is known to cure several ailments, including insomnia or abnormal sleeping habits. Yoga helps unwind stress at the end of the day and get better sleep at night.
A good night's sleep really is within reach and the often-recommended treatment is to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. The following yoga stretches can help you to relax and enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Forward Bend (Hastapadasana): Helps stretch the back muscles, invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood supply, and makes the spine supple.
Cat Stretch (Marjariasana): Excellent stretch for spine flexibility. Also helps massage the digestive organs and improve digestion, thereby helping you to sleep well. Also improves blood circulation and relaxes the mind.
Child Pose(Shishuasana): A deeply relaxing stretch for the back which also helps calm the nervous system so that you can sleep at peace.
Butterfly Pose (BaddhaKonasana): This pose can help remove fatigue from long hours of standing or walking. Also a good stretch for inner thighs, groin and knees.
Legs-up-the-wall Pose (ViparitaKarani)
- Lie down straight on your back. Now lift one leg up, followed by the next, and let your feet rest on the wall.
- Extend the arms along the sides, palms facing up.
- Now close your eyes and keep taking deep breaths as you relax into the pose. You may use an eye cushion over your eyes to block the light and completely relax. Stay in the pose for as long as you comfortably can and then slowly come out, bringing the legs down.
An excellent pose to relieve tired legs and feet, helps increase blood supply to the brain and relieve mild headache, and calms the mind.
Besides the above, lying down in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) and Yoga Nidra after meals helps relax the entire system .
Sleep experts often point to the efficacy of creating a standard nighttime routine in order to signal your body that it's time to prepare for sleep. You may choose to include NadiShodhan pranayama in your ritual to relieve tension and relax into a peaceful sleep.
Other Tips to Help You Sleep Better
- Avoid doing Bhastrika Pranayama and SudarshanKriya in late evenings. They will fill you with a lot of energy and prevent you from falling asleep.
- Avoid watching a horror movie late night as the thought of it will keep lingering in your mind all through the night. It's a good idea to listen to soft instrumental music, such as that of veena, chant or listen to chants or knowledge before getting ready to sleep.
- Make your own sleep pattern. Sleeping any time during the day is not advisable. It disrupts the biological clock. Ideally, sleeping in the afternoon for about half an hour and at night for a minimum eight hours is good practice.
- Introspect on what you did during the day. Feel content, pray and go to sleep with a happy, relaxed mind. keep your bed clean before going to sleep.
- Finish your dinner maximum by 8.30 p.m. Keep a gap of at least two hours between your last meal and sleep.
- If you have had a quarrel with your partner or loved one, make sure you sort it out before you go to sleep. Carrying it on may not just give you a disturbed sleep but may also spoil the following day.
- Avoid taking stimulants at night especially if you are suffering from insomnia.