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5 bedtime yoga poses to get better sleep


Are you having trouble falling asleep? Are you feeling stressed when going to bed? These can be signs of sleep insomnia or difficulty with sleep onset, maintenance, consolidation, or quality. Explore a way to relieve the tension and increase dopamine levels while providing relief to your body with yoga nidra.

What is yoga nidra?

With all of the evening distractions and technological changes that have come up in the past decade, sleep can be a hard thing to come by. Yoga nidra means “yoga sleep” and is described as a deeply restful place between states of wakefulness and sleep. This meditative practice promotes deep relaxation and strengthens the mind-body connection. Getting adequate sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; it takes more than eating a good diet and exercising regularly.

One way to help get your mind and body into a deeper sleep is practicing yoga nidra. You can start off small and do the poses for a few minutes each while you work your way up to longer periods of time. Get into the right frame of mind for yoga nidra by slowing your breathing with this exercise before moving into these relaxing nighttime poses. 

5 yoga poses to practice before bedtime.

These poses move from most active to least active, stretching out your muscles and relieving tension from your body. They can all be done right on your bed, so you can easily transition from yoga nidra to a stress-free, deep sleep state.

Infographic showing 5 yoga nidra poses, like Waterfall and Child’s Pose, to improve sleep.

What are the benefits of practicing yoga before going to sleep?

Benefits of yoga nidra include: 

Better sleep. Yoga nidra is meant to be done right before going to bed to calm your mind and body and get you into a state in between sleep and consciousness. Research shows that this practice helps with the treatment of chronic insomnia.

Stress reduction. Like most yoga practices, yoga nidra is meant to move your focus away from all the negative stressors in your life and help you be mindful of your mental and physical well-being.

Increase in dopamine levels. Dopamine is the feel-good hormone that your body releases. This study shows that practicing yoga nidra increases these hormone levels. Dopamine relates to feelings of bliss and motivation, along with functions like movement, sleep, and learning.

Increase in creativity and intuition. Practicing yoga before bed increases the alpha and beta brainwave activity, leading to easier access to dreamlike theta states associated with openness, creativity, and self-connection. 

Helps with a variety of physical ailments. Any yoga practice is beneficial to improve strength, balance, and flexibility. Yoga nidra is most effective in alleviating symptoms of chronic conditions like back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. 

Yoga nidra is a great practice for anyone—young or old, beginner or expert—to partake in. If you have more questions about healthy sleep practices or you have a hard time sleeping, schedule a visit with a St. Luke’s Health sleep medicine practitioner or a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician. 

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