According to Consumer Reports, 164 million Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week. As a yoga teacher, this subject repeatedly arises with my students. For me, the number one long-term help with sleepless nights is a steady commitment to the practice of yoga. Yoga relaxes your mind, releasing toxins and stress from the body. Savasana (final corpse pose), done for approximately 8 minutes at the end of every class, teaches you to let go completely through body and mind. What I find most amazing from my many years of daily yoga practice is that my sleep routine now mimicks savasana, beginning on my back, turning to each side, and then falling asleep. With a commitment to daily yoga, you too can begin to develop a pattern for relaxing the body and mind to easily fall asleep. Below I have listed other helpful ideas.
Help for Sleepless Nights
- No electronic devices or TV one to two hours before bed without fail!
- Like clockwork, go to bed and arise at the same time every day.
- Drink the supplement Calm (magnesium) before bed.
- Take a calming bath before sleep.
- Do a peaceful activity before bed like Yin Yoga or Yoga Nidra with the wonderful free App Insight Timer.
- Have a routine every time you get into bed, for example, practicing full-body breathing or counting your breath.
- Practice yoga 5 or 6 days a week, always taking time for the final pose, savasana, for 8 minutes.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, without fail, put a sleep meditation on such as the following from Insight Timer App.
- Go to sleep with gratitude (keep a gratitude journal) and think of two things that you will do the following day just for yourself.
- Wake up and manifest. Happily start your day with yoga. (Wake -Up and Manifest with me Monday through Friday from 7:15 to 8:00 am MST)
- Consider a retreat or intensive yoga training to give yourself the gift of a complete recharge.
A commitment to yoga practice is one of the best ways to improve your sleep. Most importantly, try some of the ideas above and practice yoga with an 8-minute savasana. Over time your body will be more relaxed, you will be more disciplined, and your sleep patterns will become more regimen. Making positive changes is about a daily commitment. Start tonight and make a commitment to practice some of the ideas above. Namaste to better sleep!
See you on the mat!