Whether a lifelong condition or an occasional annoyance, few things can be as de-energizing as the inability to fall asleep. Insomnia is affecting a growing number of adults and teens due to higher stress levels and disquieted minds. Thankfully, there are simple, natural remedies that can help ease your body to sleep at night, and yoga is one of the most effective.
What Causes Insomnia?
Bouts of insomnia often come when a person has trouble quieting their mind, they feel anxious or stressed, or when their energy is off balance. Grounding yoga poses can help alleviate all of these triggers, realigning the body, quieting the mind, and stimulating blood flow. Some of the most helpful yoga poses for insomnia involve inversion. For example:
Plow Pose. Lie on your back, lift your feet over your head and then carefully bring them down towards or to the ground above your head. This pose reverses blood flow and improves circulation, helping your body relax. If you’re new to yoga and the idea of getting into (or out of) plow pose sounds daunting, try laying on the ground and resting your legs upright against a wall for one to five minutes.
Child’s Pose. Come to your shins, sit onto your heels and then fold forward, bringing your forehead to the floor or a block. Few poses are as relaxing and rejuvenating as child’s pose. This fundamental yoga position stretches the back, relaxes the arms and improves circulation. Rest in this pose for several minutes for the best effects.
Standing Forward Bend. With legs straight or bent as needed, hinge at the hips to let your torso and head hang toward the floor. As simple as it sounds, this pose lets blood flow to your head while stretching your back and alleviating stress.
Making Yoga for Insomnia Work for You
Yoga for insomnia can be made even more effective in a few ways. First, make your evening yoga part of a calming night-time routine can help prepare your body for sleep. Turn off any electronic screens (laptops, televisions, phones) at least an hour before bed and whenever possible, store electronic devices in another room. Make your bedroom a haven for sleep and your body will respond.
Wearing comfortable, non-restrictive clothing when you practice evening yoga (and/or when you sleep) can also help fight insomnia. Our favorite yoga apparel for evening practice includes the loose and relaxing ryder pant, the jojo short, and the not-too-tight jenjen tank. The divine drawstring pant is always a great choice for full coverage that feels supportive without being constraining and the trieger tank is the epitome of soft, nourishing comfort.
With the right clothes, the right routine, and the right poses, you could be sleeping like a baby in no time.