There are 50-70 million people in the U.S. alone that experience some form of sleep disorder, from snoring to waking up during the night.
Disruption during sleep that causes deprivation leads to chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. It also impairs your judgment, makes you depressed, and depletes your energy levels.
If you are suffering from a condition that has you missing sleep or you just have trouble falling asleep, there are natural solutions. Yoga for sleep is one of them.
Read on to discover the 10 best bedtime yoga poses to get you relaxed and help you “sleep a better sleep”
1. Lotus Pose
Your busy day may have you full of anxiety. It is hard to calm the mind and body, let alone the spirit when your thoughts continue to race and your body is still tense and vibrating from the day.
The lotus pose grounds you to the earth, making you present in the moment. It eliminates the worries of the past and removes the need to consider the future.
Combine slow breathing exercises with this pose to deepen its meditative effects.
Physically, the lotus pose opens the pelvis, hips, and groan. It also straightens the spine and lifts the heart in appreciation.
Begin by finding a comfortable spot on your bed or yoga mat. Place your legs across one another. You can overlap your feet on the opposite calf or just put your feet under the opposite knee. Do whatever feels comfortable.
Turn your palms upward and rest your hands on your thighs just near the knee. Choose a mudra (hand posture) to elevate your concentration.
Close your eyes and take deep breaths for as long as desired.
2. Child’s Pose
Some yoga for sleep poses are so stress-relieving that you might fall asleep while during them. Child’s pose is one of those asanas that puts you in a state of complete rest.
The child’s pose elongates your torso, opens your hips, and releases tension from the shoulders. Mentally, it places you in a mode of recharge that may even restore your energy without sleep.
Use a flat surface like a yoga mat on the floor to begin. Sit with your legs underneath of you as you sit on your calves.
Slowly bend forward as you extend your arms out above your head. Place your forehead near your third eye on the mat and stretch your arms straight or place them beside you.
3. Reclined Goddess Pose
Use a yoga for sleep video to assist in this pose to deepen its effects. A mantra or sounds of nature will help you fall into this stretch that opens your chakras from your heart to your pelvis.
You might notice that this pose is common for babies as they stay asleep for longer. Their legs naturally fall apart and their breathing slows down.
Start by lying on your back and focusing on keeping your lower back and tail bone on the floor. You can use yoga accessories like a pillow or towel to support your neck or head.
Keep your legs bent as you separate them at the knees. Let them fall to the floor as you put the soles of your feet together, resting on the floor in line with your spine. Place your hands palm up by your side or on your heart and stomach.
Don’t force your knees toward the ground, rather allow them to float naturally. Keep your back to the ground in this stretch.
4. Legs up the Wall
Promote circulation and calmness by using this inversion method with the support of the wall. You can also place your legs bent on a chair or couch if keeping them straight is too much pressure.
Use this yoga for sleep apnea as it brings oxygenated blood toward the heart and lungs. It can also remove the restlessness out of your legs to prepare them for sleep.
Find enough space near a wall or chair. Give yourself about 6 inches between your hips and the wall, then lie on your back. Place your legs straight against the wall or bent at the knees for a chair.
Keep your arms beside you and your palms facing up in a loose position. Close your eyes and take long deep breaths for several minutes.
5. Spinal Twist
Chronic pain in the spine is a cause for back and neck discomfort that can cause you to lose sleep. This yoga pose strengthens the spine while detoxing the body and replenishing the organs.
It prepares you for a restful night’s sleep by easing back and neck pain that could keep you up at night.
Lie on your back with your knees to your chest. Straighten one leg and grab the bent leg at the knee with the opposite arm. Slowly pull the bent leg across your torso and bring the knee toward the ground.
Turn your head away from the bent knee and straighten the free arm, keeping it in line with your shoulder. Hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds.
6. Sleeping Swan
Also called the pigeon pose, this asana aids in flexing the hip and lower back near the spine. It also improves the function of the liver, kidneys, stomach, and bladder.
You will see this pose in a yoga for sleep book as it detoxes the organs and relaxes the torso to help you fall and stay asleep.
Use a folded mat to rest your arms and a blanket or block under your hip, if there is extra space, for support. Place one leg straight behind you as you sit on the other leg.
Slide your bent leg so that your feet are located in front of your abdomen. You can move it as far from your body as is comfortable.
Lower your chest to the ground as you stretch your arms out and bring your forehead to the ground.
Place your weight into your hips as you rock back and forth, using your hands as support.
7. Standing Forward Bend
This pose can be used throughout the day to loosen the lower back and relax the shoulders, but it is especially good for preparing for sleep.
It also relieves tension in the calves, hamstrings, and hips while decreasing depression by bringing blood to the brain. Use it to lower blood pressure and relieve sinus issues or to ease headaches and symptoms of menopause.
This pose is simple to perform. You can begin in a prayer pose with your palms together at your heart. Raise your arms in the air as you take in an inhalation. As you come down and exhale, bend your back and reach your fingers to the floor.
Bring your head toward your shins as you deepen the stretch. Hold the pose for 10-20 seconds.
This pose takes stress off of the shoulders while opening up the hips. It can also alleviate depression and stress while stretching the back, chest, and spine.
Lifting your torso to the sky stimulates the abdomen, thyroid, and lungs to promote a healthy immune system and assist with digestion. This is perfect for removing waste from the body before bed.
Lie on your back with your arms at your side. Bend your knees so that your heels are about 6 inches from your buttocks.
As you lift your hips, adjust your footing to gain support. Keep both your shoulders and feet on the floor as you engage your abdomen. Your hips and shoulders should come into a straight line at an angle.
9. Happy Baby
Another yoga pose that is natural to our youth is happy baby. Babies do this pose while playing and as they settle in for a peaceful night of sleep.
It releases lower back tension, opens the hips and groan, and elongates the spine. The name is accurate as it can make you giggle with joy as your rock back and forth in this position.
Simple lie on your back. Grab the soles of your feet with both hands. Let your hips fall to each side and keep your legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
You can rock to deepen the stretch and have a little fun before you are off to bed.
10. Corpse Pose
Before you curl up into a ball or lie on your stomach to try to fall asleep, try this easy pose.
This position eases stress, fatigue, and insomnia while lowering blood pressure. It can also reduce anxiety and mild depression, which can assist with slowing the mind and thoughts built-up throughout the day.
Do this pose in bed since it will put you to sleep almost immediately. Lie on your back with your legs spread at hips-width apart. Keep your arms by your side with your palms up.
Focus on your breath as you close your eyes and drift into a restful sleep.
Yoga for Sleep and Beyond
These simple yoga for sleep poses are handy remedies to ease your body, mind, and spirit and help you sleep better. Continue using the benefits of a solid yoga practice throughout the day for a better sleep at night.
Begin your practice as the sun rises. Visit our blog post about the benefits of yoga in the morning.