Yoga can help to ease these problems
Whether you experience chronic or intermittent sleeplessness, a program of relaxing asana/postures and easy meditation performed at bedtime can help you slow down your mind and body and ease into the transition of slumber. Many beginner students have claimed that even after their first yoga class, their sleep improved.
The key to healing sleep disorders is to cultivate healthy habits.
“Regularity and rhythm are friends to sleepGoing to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, eating at the same time each day, doing yoga at the same time each day. The more rhythmic your life is, and the less scattershot it is, the easier it is to sleep well.” Dyer.
According to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, 10 to 15 percent of adults suffer from chronic insomnia, which is defined as sleeplessness lasting for more than a month.
Researchers have discovered that behavioral changes including relaxation techniques designed to increase body-mind awareness can be a balm for restless sleepers. Unfortunately, sleep medicine is not extensively in medical schools. Drugs may not treat the underlying problem—when people stop taking pills, often the insomnia returns. Pills have their place in certain situations, but behavioral treatment is often a permanent fix.
What’s Keeping You Up?
Many roads lead to insomnia. Often the cause is obvious, such as the stress brought on from relationship woes or the loss of a job. Stimulants like caffeine and some medications can also bring about sleeplessness. And other factors, such as lifestyle, diet, room temperature, even bedding, can contribute as well. But sometimes the causes of a person’s insomnia are unclear. And in those cases, researchers and doctors don’t fully understand why something as natural as sleeping becomes elusive.
To address this a well-designed program that uses yoga and behavioral changes can help to train your body to sleep.
If you are going to fall asleep, you have to set up good conditions for sleep. This means keeping your sleeping space adequately dark and comfortable, and your skin warm but your core cool. Also, you must feel calm. Anxiety activates the amygdala, a part of the brain involved with the regulation of emotions and that can signal other parts of the brain to trigger physical stress reactions, such as a racing heart, high blood pressure, and tense muscles. This activation keeps your internal systems buzzing and, literally, warm. For the body’s internal temperature to cool enough to encourage rest, brain activity has to slow down. That’s where behavioral training comes in.
Top Tip: Take a few minutes right before bed to do a gentle yoga sequence designed specifically for sleep and meditation to calm the mind and help ease the transition to slumber.
At the same time every night practice this yoga sequence designed to calm the nervous system. Some of this will it include simple poses such as Legs-up-the-Wall Pose and a series of gentle, supported forward bends.
Before lying down to sleep, sit cross-legged in Sukhasana (Easy Pose), with your pelvis elevated on one or more folded blankets and your back against a wall, spine long, and shoulders relaxed. Allow your thoughts to arise and just watch them float by. When you notice that you’ve begun to follow a thought, simply notice that this has happened. This thought-watching becomes your new thought to watch, without judgment. Start with five minutes and try sitting for longer periods over time.