Hatha Yoga – The Solution for Insomnia

solution for insomniaBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Does Yoga have a solution for insomnia? At one time or another, all of us have experienced insomnia for any type of reason. There are times when lack of sleep just cannot be helped, such as the loss of a loved one, going through a divorce, and losing your job. These are some of life’s serious crisis situations, where we have to let time heal and try not to fall apart in the process. Some of the solutions below will help insomnia, but they will not heal grief. However, if you are continually staying awake over trivial matters, these solutions will aid you to get a good night’s rest. Remember – not every solution will work for everyone, so try the easiest ideas and make them fit into your lifestyle.

 

Journaling

Here’s one solution for insomnia: Do you have one or more problems, on your mind, that is troubling you at bedtime? If so, write it down and leave it on the kitchen table where you sit in the morning. This is a form of compartmentalization, where your subconscious mind works on a solution, and you and your conscious mind get some needed rest. You are literally leaving your problems on the table, rather than losing sleep over them.

 

Creating Solutions

You will be surprised what happens the following morning. The problem is much less important, you find a solution the next morning or your subconscious found the solution while you slept. This technique is so powerful that many successful people use it, even when they do not really have a problem. This keeps you organized, on a daily basis, and you will get more accomplished in life. Additionally, solutions that decrease worries are the ultimate reason to practice Yoga for sleep. Waking up with solutions is a priceless reward.

 

Natural Cycle

That leads to the next idea, which is establishing a daily routine. Your body has a natural cycle, and most of us ignore it. Modern humans are more out of tune with their bodies than ever before, so we have to get back to basics and design a schedule for all tasks – including sleep. Granted, we are not all on the same schedule However, people who work the night shifts also develop natural cycles based upon their schedules.

 

Yoga Training for Sleep

You should practice Yoga every day, but a vigorous Hatha Yoga routine should end two hours before bedtime, at the latest. This allows your body and mind some cool downtime. If you can practice Hatha Yoga earlier in the day, feel free to do so. Physical forms of Yoga training will give you extra energy during the day, and help you get a good night’s sleep when you need it. If you do not exercise, have no worries, but do take action. Gentle and relaxing Yoga postures are a great way to start.

 

Options to Relax

If you find the right Yoga teacher, you will learn controlled breathing (pranayama), stage-by-stage relaxation, and meditation. Each is a solution for insomnia and a powerful technique for winding down before bedtime. You always practice controlled breathing with either, stage-by-stage relaxation, or meditation.  Some people practice stage-by-stage relaxation in bed and fall asleep in the process. This is not a bad thing if your ultimate goal is to fall asleep.

 

Night Time Drinks

Now let’s look at a few other ideas, such as avoiding alcohol and hidden caffeine. Alcohol has a way of getting you to sleep, but sleep is often interrupted during the night. One suggestion, if you enjoy drinking: Have just one small drink; preferably wine, with your meal.  Caffeine is in coffee, many teas, many sodas, and a variety of other drinks. Drink water later in the day, and give your body a rest from caffeine. Therefore, responsible drinking is a solution for insomnia.

 

Bedtime Rituals

Here are a few actions to take before bedtime: Eat very light, read a book about something peaceful, practice gentle Yoga on your back, and take a shower or a bath. Of course, absorbing bad news and working on the Internet before bedtime will contribute to restlessness. You don’t have to do everything, but one of the above-mentioned ideas will work for you toward your best personal solution for insomnia.

 

Yoga for Healthy Sleep

With the right habits and guidance, it is possible to create a better sleep routine – one that not only includes time for Yoga but also a gracious period beforehand. Yoga Nidra practitioners are also aware that practice brings the mind into a deep state of calm. Yogic sleep helps rejuvenate the body during the night, so getting a good amount of rest is vital to maintaining good health. If you seek to wind down from your day, it’s important that you finish the day with restorative and calming techniques.

 

Heart Rate

One key is to bring the heart rate down at bedtime. Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep requires you to be in a relaxed state when it comes to your body. However, many people are not aware of the details that go into creating such a situation. Yoga naturally combats insomnia and provides actionable techniques before bedtime.

 

The Benefits of Yoga Before Bedtime

After a long day at work, sometimes you’ll have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. This is because of stress, anxiety, or an over-worked central nervous system. But that doesn’t mean you should suddenly quit yoga to combat these feelings because it will simply increase anxiety by removing one of the few things that are giving your body peace. Maintaining regular yoga practice is just what your body needs for a sound sleep with many other benefits as well and here’s how to go about planning for it near bedtime (or before bed).

 

How To Implement Yoga at Night

A good night’s sleep is a key component to a happy and healthy life. Average adults don’t get the optimal amount of sleep (7-12 hours) and can suffer the consequences, like impaired concentration, suppressed immune system, sluggishness, weight gain, and more. Yoga is an excellent practice to help promote a blissful night’s sleep while also giving your body the exercises that it needs.

 

About Evening Yoga Practices

Many people have problems with insomnia. Sometimes, the best thing to help us sleep better is a little quiet time in a Yoga for sleep sequence. Research has shown that doing regular, gentle Yoga at night can be an effective treatment for insomnia, even on its own. Many people report a sense of “deep relaxation” while practicing Yoga for sleep.

 

Bedtime Routine for Quality Sleep

When participants continue their evening Yoga routine they improve their sleep quality and reduce daytime fatigue significantly. That said, some people end up abandoning practice because they complain it can be difficult to continue practice again the next day. However, minimum intermittent stretching is helpful for many sufferers of insomnia. It’s important to understand that Yoga for sleep needs to be practiced daily.  No one ever questions the idea of sleep medication being taken nightly.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

 

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Related Resources:

Yoga With Adriene: Wind Down Bedtime Yoga

Yoga For Restful Sleep with Dr. Daniel Nightingale

YOGA Anatomy Second Edition

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The YOGA MIND:

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by Rina Jakubowicz.

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE:

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by Gail Boorstein Grossman.

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

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