If you’re looking for an effective way to relax before sleep, try practicing nighttime yoga. Yoga can help you wind down mentally and physically and get ready for a good night’s sleep. This is especially helpful if you have trouble sleeping or tend to wake up feeling stressed out.
Everyone has their own ideal style and sequence of yoga to prepare for sleep. The key is to approach yoga with a slow, steady breathing pattern, gentle stretches, and a measured pace.
What Is Bedtime Yoga Called?
Bedtime or 'Nighttime' yoga can help you fall asleep by focusing on movement and breathing in the moment. It helps you relax both physically and psychologically, which is exactly what research shows to facilitate falling asleep. Studies also indicate that practicing yoga for sleep can not only help you fall asleep, but can also improve the quality of your sleep.
The poses in the following sequence can be practiced one after another or separately. If you do them separately, a full practice session will take about 30 minutes. If you do only one or two poses, Savasana is still an important pose to practice. It is the culmination of previous poses and serves as your true precursor to sleep.
What Is the Best Yoga before Bed?
1) Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)
How to do it?
- From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, bring your left foot forward between your hands and place it on the floor in front of you.
- Then lower your right knee to the floor.
- Step your left foot to the outside edge of your mat and rest your arms on your block or the floor.
- Hold this pose for 1 minute or 10-15 breaths. Repeat on the second side.
2) Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
How to do it?
- Lie on your belly with your arms stretched back and your hands clasped behind you.
- Push the tops of your feet into the floor, lift your chest and arms into Locust Pose, and look forward.
- Stay here for 1 minute or 10-15 breaths.
- Release your hands beneath you, inhale, and push yourself up to Hands and Knees.
- Then exhale as you push back to Downward-Facing Dog.
3) Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
How to do it?
- Stand with your feet about twice as wide apart as your hips.
- Bend your knees and hinge at your hips to fold forward, keeping your spine long.
- Your arms can hang alongside your legs or loosely hold opposite elbows, allowing your neck and shoulders to relax as you bring your head lower toward the ground.
- Repeat this sequence up to 10 times to warm up your body before an exercise routine.
Is It Good to Do Yoga before Bed?
While lots of people think of yoga as a workout, it is also excellent for unwinding and reducing stress after a long day. A bedtime yoga routine not only relaxes your body but also helps to calm your mind.
1) Reduces anxiety and stress
Yoga can help you relax and fall asleep. Some calming breathing exercises are deep breathing and meditation. Pranayamas can be practiced before bedtime if you wake up because of racing thoughts or anxiety.
2) Improves Circulation
Before bed, slowly stretch every muscle in your body and take deep breaths. This will improve circulation, lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, balance energy levels, strengthen the immune system and detoxify the body. Good circulation of prana, blood, and body fluids leads to better health. This in turn improves sleep.
3) Soothes sore muscles
Stretching before bed is one way to ease muscle tension and joint pain caused by hard work. If you feel achy and uncomfortable, it will be hard to fall asleep. Gentle yoga poses can help relax your body so you can rest well. If you wake up with pain, you can stretch in bed to relieve the discomfort.
4) Reduces Insomnia
A regular yoga routine helps you develop restful habits that allow you to sleep and stay asleep on a regular basis. Deep, restful sleep, thanks to the good circulation and good sleep habits of a regular routine, will improve your health and overall quality of life. A yogic lifestyle, meditation and a healthy diet can help you sleep better.
How to Feel Less Stressed at Bedtime?
- To promote healthy sleep, make your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible.
- Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. Both can cause restless sleep, and excessive alcohol can worsen the effects of stress.
- If you're having trouble falling asleep, take a warm shower or bath. Not only will it help you relax and de-stress, but it could also help you sleep faster.
- To help you sleep, experts recommend putting your phone away for an hour before bed. This can limit the amount of time you spend doing other activities on your phone, such as browsing social media or checking email.
- Keeping a journal near your bed can help you write down your thoughts and worries, so they don't keep you awake. If you write down a list of the things you need to do the following day, chances are you'll get to bed earlier.
How Does Doing Yoga before Bed Help You Sleep?
Yoga poses with deep breathing and meditation help us practice mindfulness instead of late-night habits like snacking or phone usage. When you breathe in for two counts, hold your breath for one count, then exhale for two counts, your heart rate slows and it becomes easier to fall asleep.