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Yoga for Sleep: How Yoga Helps You Get Your Zzzzz’s

Bodhi

Posted on Jun 24, 2022 #restorative

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There is a lot of controversy on how much sleep the human body needs to survive and thrive. Short 4-hour bursts or a full 8 hours? Are cat naps ok? What about sleeping 10 or even 12 hours?

We’re not here to tell you how much sleep you should get, but we are here to provide you with natural solutions for insomnia and to tell you how to obtain a truly restful, restorative sleep.

Studies show that yoga improves sleep in several ways, which we’ll talk about shortly. But first…

Hi, I’m Bodhi! One of the yoga instructors here at MyYogaTeacher. Not only do I have over 500 hours of teacher training, I also have a Masters of Science in yoga and consciousness. And I truly believe in the power of yoga to improve sleep quality and the amount of sleep you get. 

Sleep is therapeutic and helps the body heal in so many ways! That’s why I love teaching yoga classes and workshops that help you get your zzzzz’s!

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How does yoga impact your sleep?

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Do you snore?

Many people struggle with snoring and sleep apnea, which interferes with sound sleep. When you snore, your body is not receiving the same amount of oxygen it does when you are breathing normally, sometimes because the airway is obstructed by the relaxation of the tongue but there are other reasons too. 

Snoring is often attributed to weak respiratory muscles and narrowed airway passages. It can also be caused by too much pressure being placed on the vagus nerve if you are overweight or have a larger than average neck circumference. 

Yogic breathing exercises improve sleep by strengthening the muscles used to breathe. Yoga classes for sleep are often focused on breathwork, stretching and lengthening the muscles of the neck and chest, and opening up the airway passages.

In return you may not only snore less (or not snore at all), but your body is receiving more oxygen, increasing your oxygen saturation, and improving sleep quality two fold!

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Do you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep?

The two main reasons people struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep are:

  • Lack of movement or exercise throughout their day

  • Mental, emotional, physical stress or anxiety 

Frequent movement and regular exercise are an important part of healthy sleep patterns. If you are sedentary a large portion of the day and do not take the time to move your body, you may struggle with falling and staying asleep.

When this happens, many people seek out natural and prescribed remedies for their sleep disturbances.

However, a regular yoga practice improves sleep quality more holistically and naturally than any supplements or prescribed medications! Not only are you able to get your daily dose of exercise during a yoga session, your muscles are stretched and tension is released physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Here are just some of the ways yoga helps to release tension so you can get the sleep you need:

  • Reduces pain in back, shoulders, and joints

  • Releases negative thoughts and emotions

  • Calms mind 

  • Relaxes muscles 

  • Releases hormones that calm body physiologically

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Does your body release enough melatonin?

Taking a melatonin supplement is a common way people combat insomnia. But did you know that one melatonin supplement contains more melatonin than your body makes naturally? Even the lowest dose.

Yoga improves sleep health through the cultivation of mindfulness. Whether you’re practicing mindfulness meditation or are developing mindfulness through the physical practice of yoga, more mindfulness means more melatonin!

With the release of more melatonin, you can fall asleep more easily and naturally.

Tips on how to use yoga to sleep better

Knowing, now, that yoga improves sleep quality and quantity, you might be wondering where to start and what types of yoga to try for optimal sleep! I’ve got you!

Follow these tips for the best results:

  1. Don’t practice yoga in your bedroom. Your brain should always associate your bedroom with sleep, not exercise or electronic devices.

  2. Have a designated, quiet space for your evening yoga practice.

  3. Keep all props you need for your practice close by, within arm’s reach.

  4. Wear comfortable clothing.

  5. Make yoga for sleep the last thing you do before going to bed.

  6. Try these best types of yoga for sleep: Yoga nidra, yin yoga, hatha yoga, or restorative yoga

Need more guidance? Many of our yoga teachers here at MyYogaTeacher are experts in teaching yoga for better sleep! We can definitely help you get your zzzzz’s!

At MyYogaTeacher, we have members from all walks of life, religions, and all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities! MyYogaTeacher offers 1:1 classes with authentic yoga instructors from the birthplace of yoga, India! And if you haven’t experienced virtual private yoga classes yet, MyYogaTeacher makes 1:1 classes affordable and accessible! PLUS, with your membership, you get:

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