HOW YOGA CAN BEAT INSOMNIA AND IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF SLEEP?

Jul 22nd, 2018
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Whether you are a night owl looking to be a morning person, a troubled sleeper, or merely someone who is in need of a little help relaxing prior to bedtime, you can definitely benefit from some light yoga before hitting bed.

Yoga is not just beneficial for enhancing flexibility, core strength and stress levels, but also helps beat insomnia. When insomniacs perform yoga on a regular basis, they fall asleep faster, sleep for longer and have less trouble falling asleep again if they wake up in the middle of the night. Researchers at Harvard Medical School researched how a daily yoga practice may impact sleep for people with insomnia and found broad improvements in terms of sleep quantity and quality. The improvements were found in various sleep aspects, including:

• Total sleep time
• Sleep efficiency
• Total wake time
• The time required to fall asleep (also referred to a sleep onset latency)
• Wake time followed by sleep onset

How Exactly Does Yoga Beat Insomnia?

When you practice yoga, you are basically getting in touch with your breathing pattern and every single area of your body. You retain each pose and feel the pressure build in certain parts. Stretching in yoga brings a deeply relaxing effect, thereby enabling you to get rid of your abnormal sleeping habits or sleeplessness. Plus, it allows you to unwind and de-stress – ensuring that you get a deep and good quality slumber during the night. Let’s take a look at the top 3 ways that yoga can beat insomnia.

1. Fights Stress

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder-affecting around 40% of adults in America. The condition has been found to be linked to stress, depression and anxiety. And if there is one thing that yoga can do for you, it’s minimize stress. It is a mindbody practice that brings together mental and physical disciplines that may help you accomplish peace of mind and body.

Whether you are holding postures, seated in a meditation position or practicing proper breathing, everything starts to fall into place when you bring your awareness to the breath.

2. Stabilizes the Nervous System

In addition to reducing stress, yoga also helps regulate your nervous system. A lot of insomniacs suffer from hyperarousal, where your fight or flight response is still elevated. This could include stressing over a work deadline or replaying an argument with a loved one in your head. Even if you feel tired, your nervous system might still be completely awake.

Yoga can help people come back to homeostasis faster than people who do not practice yoga. Prompting your parasympathetic nervous system will help you go to sleep and stay asleep. Yoga helps shift the balance by activating the sympathetic nervous system to relax the parasympathetic nervous system.

3. Helps Create a Routine

Yoga enables you to create a routine and learn sleep practices that are actually effective. That’s because yoga encourages you to listen to your body, thereby helping you land on something that actually works for it.

Conclusion

It is no surprise that feeling and being exhausted all the time is no way to live a life. With so much to lose, finding an effective treatment for insomnia has become critical. Sometimes, medication can be an necessary solution, but lifestyle changes are more effective long term rudimentary. Yoga, along with other types of exercise can help form the basis of a long-term and sustainable lifestyle that not only enables you to feel good but also to sleep more (and better)!

Asana Journal

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Asana International Yoga Journal

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