Over the past 40 years within Western culture, Yoga has become an increasingly popular activity for people who are looking to improve their physical and mental well-being. One area where yoga may have particular benefits is in helping people to get a good night’s sleep. So let’s explore the question of whether yoga can help you sleep better.
Insomnia is a common problem that affects many people. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, and physical discomfort. One of the benefits of yoga is that it can help alleviate these factors by promoting relaxation, reducing stress levels, and improving physical comfort.
It’s not just heresay
Several studies have shown that yoga can be an effective way to improve sleep quality. A 2013 study published in the journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback found that participants who practiced yoga for eight weeks reported significant improvements in sleep quality and duration, as well as a reduction in the amount of time it took them to fall asleep.
Another study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009, found that participants who practiced yoga for six months experienced significant improvements in sleep quality, as well as a reduction in the severity of insomnia symptoms.
So, how exactly does yoga help you sleep better?
One of the main ways in which yoga can improve sleep quality is by reducing stress levels. Yoga has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” response. This can help to counteract the effects of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” response.
In addition to reducing stress levels, yoga can also help to improve physical comfort, which can be a significant factor in sleep quality. Many yoga poses focus on stretching and relaxing the muscles, which can help to relieve tension and reduce physical discomfort. This can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from conditions such as chronic pain, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
There are specific yoga poses that can be particularly effective for improving sleep quality.
One such pose is the forward bend, which involves bending forward from the hips while keeping the spine straight. This pose can help to calm the mind and relieve tension in the muscles, making it easier to relax and fall asleep.
Another pose that can be helpful for improving sleep quality is the legs-up-the-wall pose, which involves lying on the floor with the legs propped up against a wall. This pose can help to reduce swelling in the legs and improve circulation, which can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from conditions such as varicose veins.
Overall, there is strong evidence to suggest that yoga can be an effective way to improve sleep quality. By promoting relaxation, reducing stress levels, and improving physical comfort, yoga can help to alleviate the factors that can contribute to insomnia and other sleep disorders. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or a beginner, incorporating yoga into your daily routine could be a beneficial way to improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.
Looking for a class to support you in getting a better night’s sleep? Check out Wonder Yoga’s timetable here
While yoga is not a magic cure for insomnia, it can certainly help to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, incorporating yoga into your daily routine could be an effective way to alleviate the factors that are preventing you from getting the rest you need. So, grab your mat, find a quiet space, and start practicing today – your body and mind will thank you for it!