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How yoga improves sleep

In today's world of go, go, go, of consistently being on the move and having our minds in more than one place at a time, our sleeping patterns have taken a drastic step backward. We are surviving on less, the quality of our sleep times has greatly diminished, and we are even beginning to view sleep as an inconvenience to our busy schedules. All this in place of using sleep as our way to thrive in our lives.

The benefits of good quality sleep are widely documented. The effects that sleep has on our moods, on our outlooks, on everything we encounter the next day - from our food choices to our attention span and everything in between. Which all then affects our sleep for the following night too. We know we are more productive, are better able to manage our temperaments and emotions and make all round better choices when we rest sufficiently.

We are also met with a multitude of outside sources that can have negative impacts on our sleeping patterns and the quality of shut-eye that we receive. Such as:

Work related stressors. More and more of us are taking our work home with us, whether physically or mentally. The pressures to perform are higher than ever before, meaning our brains are in heightened states of activity and stress for longer periods of time.
Technology. Now we can work from our phones and tablets from literally any location, even in bed! We are more and more spending those last minutes before sleep staring at our phones or scrolling through Facebook, which keeps our brains functioning at a less than ideal state for relaxation and sleep.
Personal well-being. With increased work hours, comes decreased time for everything else, including looking after ourselves. Quick meals, fast-paced lifestyles, less working out and focusing on heath – it all adds up to reduce our overall health and wellbeing.
Counteracting the negative impacts that these three factors have on our lives seems daunting in itself, right? What if you could add one small, time conscious activity to your daily routine, that not only counteracts the above but significantly improves them AND promotes high quality sleep?

Let's talk about yoga.

The ancient practice that has long been known for its positive physical effects on the body, yoga serves as an increasingly popular well-being practice. As well as toning and stretching the body, ideal in today's society of sitting at desks and staring at computers, yoga invites us to be present in the moment. Focusing on our breathing and how our bodies feel, the practice is incredibly beneficial for stress relief and relaxation. For stress, yoga:

  • Boosts oxygen levels to the brain, increasing happiness levels
  • Slows down the heart rate, lowering blood pressure
  • Calms the mind and relieves tension in the body
  • Turning inward of the senses, provides the nervous system with downtime, placing the body in a state of Complete relaxation

Engaging in a night time yoga routine that promotes all the calming effects mentioned above, and removing technology from stimulating our brains, is the ideal way to set ourselves up for a beneficial, deep night's sleep.

  • A daily, pre-sleep routine that focuses on yoga will drastically enhance the quality of sleep and relaxation, carrying over into the positive promotion of every aspect of our lives – health, moods, choices and productivity, to name a few.
  • Here are our suggestions for a beginner in introducing a daily yoga routine for sleep promotion.
  • Switch off all electronics 30 minutes before you plan to sleep to decrease both brain stimulation and emotional stimulation
  • Dim the lighting as much as possible to tell your senses that it’s time to get ready for sleep. Maybe light some candles or burn some essential oils. Lavender, Vanilla, and Jasmine are known to promote relaxation
Spend a few minutes in each of the following poses, ensuring they are comfortable and relaxing, not painful or strenuous.

  • Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
  • Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
  • Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose)
  • Balranald (child's pose)
  • Savannah (corpse pose)
The longer you can spend in each of these poses the more beneficial they will be. If you are a beginner, don't push yourself too hard. Remember the whole point is to relax!

These far-reaching consequences of a daily yoga practice promote overall health and well-being, reduced stress and increased happiness. Better your life today with yoga!


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