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by Nicole Manteiga •

Health Goals Healthy Living Inspiration Meditation Tips Tips For Meditation Yoga

Yoga and Sleep: How Your Yoga Practice Can Improve Your Sleep Quality

If you struggle with sleep, you're not alone. In fact, around 35% of North American adults don't get enough sleep on a regular basis. But did you know that a regular yoga practice could be the key to improving your sleep quality? Let's explore how yoga can help you sleep better and offer some tips on how to incorporate it into your bedtime routine. But first, let's start with the 'Science Behind Yoga and Sleep': There's no denying the fact that stress and anxiety can take a major toll on our sleep. And while there are many different techniques and remedies out there to help us relax and unwind before bed, few have the same track record as yoga. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that participants who practiced yoga regularly reported significantly better sleep quality compared to those who didn't. Another study, published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, found that a consistent yoga practice was associated with decreased sleep disturbance and increased sleep duration. But why is yoga so effective at improving sleep? Physiologically all comes down to the way it helps us regulate our bodies and minds. When we practice yoga, we calm our nervous system through breath and body work. The physical movement helps to release tension and promote relaxation. In addition to this many yoga poses, such as forward folds and child's pose, encourage the release of "feel-good" hormones called endorphins. All of these factors combined can create the perfect environment for a good night's rest. Simple Way To Incorporate Yoga into Your Bedtime Routine: Keep it simple: You don't have to be a yoga expert to reap the benefits of a pre-sleep practice. Just a few simple stretches or even just a few minutes of deep breathing can help to relax your body and mind. Make it a routine: Like any healthy habit, the more consistent you are with your yoga practice, the more likely you are to see results. Try to make time for yoga before bed at least a few times a week. Choose calming poses: Look for yoga poses that are more restorative in nature, such as child's pose or legs up the wall. Avoid poses that are more energizing, like downward-facing dog or warrior II. Pay attention to your breath: The breath is a powerful tool when it comes to relaxation. Focus on deep, slow breaths and try to match the length of your inhales and exhales. Use props: If you have trouble getting comfortable in certain poses, consider using props like blankets or blocks to support your body. This can help you relax even more. If you're struggling with sleep, a regular yoga practice could be just what you need to improve your sleep quality. So why not give it a try? With just a few simple stretches or even just a few minutes of deep breathing before bed, you may be surprised at how much better you sleep.Let me know how it goes. xo, Mükta