yoga-moves-better-sleep
October 5, 2021

Yoga Moves That Will Help You Sleep More Soundly – 11

Yoga moves are something that can help us function better since to function well, we all need to sleep and unfortunately, not everyone gets it. Sometimes your mind won’t let go of the task at hand, no matter how tired you are. Yoga can help you get some sleep. It can calm your mind and body, relieve tension and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Here are 11 yoga moves that experts recommend to help you fall asleep better. Also, some helpful tips for incorporating yoga into your daily routine.

MEET THE EXPERT

  • Jeni DelPozo works as a trainer for Sweat Factor.
  • Valerie Ugrinow, a YogaSix Master Trainer.

Benefits of Yoga Moves in your lifestyle

Yoga has obvious benefits, including increased strength and mobility1, but it also has many mental benefits. Jeni DelPozo, a Sweat Factor trainer, likes to call yoga an Epsom salt bath to the brain because it creates calmness and stillness and helps you be more present.

Valerie Ugrinow is a YogaSix master instructor. Yoga is at its core a practice that promotes awareness and regulates the nervous system. She says that students will experience less stress, anxiety and depression, as well as a higher quality of life.

Can Yoga Moves Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep?

Yoga moves can improve your sleep quality in many ways. A National Health Interview Survey revealed that yoga is most popular for its wellness benefits. Over 55 percent of those who have tried yoga reported better sleep.

Ugrinow states that people who do moderate to vigorous exercise in their daily lives are more likely to have better sleep.2 But yoga has the added benefit of mindfulness and stress relief. Ugrinow says that you are less likely to wake up at night with racing thoughts if you take a step back from your thoughts and allow them to guide you. You will also find it easier to manage your nervous system and stress levels throughout the day.

DelPozo says that yoga keeps you focused on what is happening in front of your eyes and helps you get rid of anything that isn’t serving you. She says that yoga can help her calm down when she is feeling anxious or if my mind is racing.

What Type of Yoga Moves Are Best for Bed, and Why?

Ugrinow says that while the morning and afternoon are ideal for intense classes to recharge and energize, the evening hours offer the opportunity to slow down, let go of any lingering energy, and to calm the mind and body.

DelPozo says her favourite types of yoga for before bed are:

  • Yin Yoga is a slower-paced practice that includes asanas (poses), which are held for longer periods.
  • Restorative yoga: A more peaceful practice that can also be very healing
  • Yoga Nidra is also known as “yogic sleeping” This type of yoga focuses on deep relaxation, which can help you get a good night’s rest.

How to Incorporate Yoga Moves Into Your Bedtime Routine

It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor. Ugrinow says that yoga doesn’t have to be an extensive or lengthy practice. She suggests that you spend some time in your body, slow down and be more mindful of your breath. This will help you “energetically handle your day and tap into the parasympathetic nervous systems, which allows for rest and healing to take place.”

DelPozo suggests that you do your yoga practice at least two hours before bed to set the tone for your evening. DelPozo likes to keep a journal detailing her feelings after the practice. This allows her to be present throughout the night and helps her nighttime routine flow more smoothly.

11 Yoga Moves for Better Sleep

These yoga poses are great for those who find themselves tossing around at night.

Breathwork

JENI DELPOZO/SWEAT FACTOR

According to DelPozo, box breathing can help you center yourself. She says that she breathes out of her nose most often to get the best oxygen and calm her nervous system.

  • For four counts, inhale and hold the top for four.
  • For four counts, exhale and hold for four more.

Shoulder Bridge

JENI DELPOZO/SWEAT FACTOR

DelPozo says this pose is great for your backside, as well as to open up your heart.

  • Place your feet hip-width apart, and place them parallel.
  • Your feet should be right below your knees.
  • Your hips should be lifted towards the heavens. Clasp your hands underneath your seat. Your neck should be long.
  • Tips: Make sure your hips are in line with your knees. Reach your inner thighs towards your midline. Take time to stretch your chest.

Shoulder Stance

JENI DELPOZO/SWEAT FACTOR

DelPozo suggests that you do this pose to allow blood to flow from your feet.

  • Place your hands on your stomach and raise your knees to the sky.
  • Support your hips by placing your hands underneath them

Seated Forward Fold

JENI DELPOZO/SWEAT FACTOR

  • Extend your legs in front of yourself.
  • To really lengthen your low back, bend your knees behind your knees.
  • Now, lift your legs up and then fold them over.
  • To keep your legs long, bend your knees.

Supine Twist

JENI DELPOZO/SWEAT FACTOR

This pose can help you get rid of all the stress that has built up throughout the day, according to DelPozo.

  • Place your hands on your back.
  • Place one leg across your body, and then stack your hips on top.
  • Next, rotate your torso in the opposite direction to your leg.
  • Tip: To get the longest length from your lower back, move your hips away form your ribs.

Standing Forward Fold

VALERIE UGRINOW / YOGASIX

Ugrinow says that surrendering calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety and depression symptoms. Ugrinow says that the more engaged and active you are in your lower body, it will be easier to melt and release your upper bodies.

  • Stand upright.
  • Lift your arms high above your head, and then fold your upper body in half.
  • Keep your knees bent slightly and remember that it is okay to bend them as far as you need.
  • Take 5-10 deep, slow breaths.
  • Tip: To increase the stretch in your legs, lift your hips a bit higher.

Cat-Cow

According to Ugrinow, the cat-cow position helps to lubricate your spine and eliminate any kinks. Ugrinow says that combining movement and breath is a great way to slow down your racing thoughts and get into your body.

  • Begin by laying on your back. Spread your fingers out as far as you can and then grip the earth with your fingers. To support your wrists better, activate your arches by spreading your fingers wide.
  • To increase your chest lift, do a spinal extension (cow position) by pulling your hands and knees towards the center.
  • Press the earth away while in spinal flexion (cat position), and hug your inner thighs towards the midline.
  • Inhale with spinal extension, and exhale with spinal flexion. Slow down and extend your breaths to create a fluid transition pose.
  • Take 5-10 deep breaths.

Child’s Pose

VALERIE UGRINOW / YOGASIX

The child’s pose stimulates the parasympathetic nervous systems and deeply relaxes the body, mind and heart.

  • Place your knees on the ground, your feet together and your toes in front.
  • Your upper body should be lowered to the ground and your arms outstretch in front of your face.
  • Keep your breath for at least 5-10 seconds.
  • To find the best comfort, try different versions of this pose. You can make your knees wider or narrower, and your arms can extend forward or wrap around your legs. You can also use a pillow, bolster, or support under your chest, forehead and/or hips.

Half Pigeon Pose

VALERIE UGRINOW / YOGASIX

Ugrinow claims that this pose stimulates the digestive system and reduces anxiety.

  • Place your right knee between your right wrist and your right elbow, then extend your left leg back behind you.
  • To support your knee, you should press down on the pinky edge your right foot. The sensation should be felt more in your right outer hip than your knee. You can place a block or pillow underneath your right hip for support and comfort.
  • Consider lengthening your right leg and right hip back. Then, melt your upper body to the support provided by a pillow, blocks, or the earth.
  • This pose can be intense so focus on your breathing and relax your jaw.
  • You can do the same thing on the other side.
  • Keep your side open for at least 5-10 seconds.

Supported Bridge Pose

VALERIE UGRINOW / YOGASIX

Ugrinow says that the supported bridge pose can balance your hips and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous systems. It also aids in digestion.

  • Begin by lying down on your back, with your knees bent. Your feet should be about hip-width apart.
  • To float your hips, press down on your feet, shoulders and head. Then slide a block of thick pillow or a block underneath your sacrum’s bony ridges.
  • Let your body melt and let go of all effort.
  • To open your chest more, extend your arms wide. To protect your neck, be sure to not turn your head while in this position.
  • Keep your breath for at least 5-10 seconds.

Legs Up the Wall

VALERIE UGRINOW / YOGASIX

Ugrinow claims that this pose activates your parasympathetic nervous systems, relieves stress, tension, and soothes swollen feet and legs.

  • Set yourself up by moving sideways so that your hips touch the wall.
  • Your legs should be straightened and your upper body should rest on the ground. There may be some tingling sensations in your feet and legs. Just remember to breathe, and you are free to let go at any moment.
  • Keep going for at least 10-20 seconds.

Yoga has both mental and physical benefits. This makes it an excellent activity for helping you sleep better at night. Yoga isn’t about performing the movements and poses. Ugrinow says that yoga is about being present in your body and not judging it, being mindful of your breath and being intentional with it. And, at the end, literally! Being kind to yourself from moment to moment.

You might not be able slow down enough on all days. Ugrinow says that it’s OK to let go of expectations and to practice being present and honoring what is.

DelPozo also advises that you don’t let your mind wander from your practice if this happens. Remind yourself to be present now.