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How Yoga Improves Sleep?
Running between appointments, meetings and checking as much as possible off the to do list has left sleep in the backseat for many of us. Lack of sleep, tragically, has become the standard. No ifs ands or buts, not getting enough rest every night makes for an unpleasant day and can spell calamity over the long haul if it becomes the norm. To get back on a natural sleep cycle consider transitioning to a more balanced diet, incorporating routine exercise and reducing use of electronics. These changes should bring your body closer to those of your ancestors, and with it more satiating sleep. Yoga is the ideal form of exercise as it challenges you physically, bringing physical fatigue that makes our sleep more restful. The meditative side also allows us to relax and de-stress, making it easier for our minds to wander to sleep at night.
Yoga reduces Stress and Anxiety
Although anxiety and stress are mental states of unease they lead to several physical issues from your immune system, to digestion to sleep. People take it as simply a part of life now, but it should be considered much more seriously. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), 70% of interviewed people who experience anxiety and stress also had trouble sleeping. Yoga is perfect to release this stress and unease as meditation clears the mind. Each night before bed try a few poses on your bed or on a mat and take the time to meditate and clear your mind. With a more peaceful mind your sleep will be much more satisfying.
Yoga unwinds the Nervous System
An active nervous system can impede sleep. To increase bloodflow to the brain’s sleep center, and so decrease activity in the nervous system add some poses such as uttanasana, halasana, and savasana to your nightly pre sleep ritual. By relaxing your nervous system and minimizing stress and anxiety you’ll be getting those extra hours of blissful zzz’s.
Yoga revives the body
Going through your asana your body will eliminate toxins, and through the breathing exercises you’ll increase oxygen levels, all contributing to a rejuvenating body. By focusing on breathing activities we can distract ourselves from our daily worries and reduce stress and anxiety. Toronto-based yoga instructor Darcie Clark says, "When you slow down and stay in a pose, you can feel different areas of the body that are tense and holding on from your day and gradually let that go as you sit and breathe through the pose." A general, day by day yoga practice will affect how we feel throughout the day, as well as how our bodies wind down during the evening. Some other recommended yoga poses in the evening before sleeping include balasana or child’s pose, janu sirsasana or head-to-knee pose, and baddha konosana or bound angle pose.
Yoga as a Nightly Ritual
Getting quality rest can be difficult when we have so many things on our mind. It’s been heavily researched how using electronics before bed negatively affects sleep. So try going through some poses tonight instead of scrolling through feeds indefinitely. Replacing bright headache inducing screens for peaceful poses will ease your mind into a better sleep each night. So yoga improves sleep, it can also result in many other positive benefits. Try some poses to improve your digestion, and you'll reach even more blissful sleep. Or try some amazing yoga snacks! Don't fear if you are just beginning, you can check out some useful tips here.