Trouble falling asleep? Five relaxing yoga exercises for better sleep
Humans need between six and eight hours of sleep to "function" at their best during the day. But often, despite being very tired, we lie in bed after a stressful day and just can't fall asleep. Even if we are really tired – if our mind keeps spinning, we won't be able to fall asleep. To help you find your peace at night, we would like to show you a little yoga sleep sequence today that will help you to calm your mind, silence your thoughts and fall asleep more easily.
What keeps us awake at night
Stress at work or in our private lives, burdens and fears can keep us from sleeping at night. When our mind should actually be at rest, thoughts start to race. After all, there is nothing to distract us from our thoughts when everything is calm at night. No emails, colleagues or social media catching our attention and keeping us from thinking. Now it's just us, and we finally have enough time to think about our lives. At night, nothing can be suppressed or overplayed anymore.
Checking emails or social media just before bed doesn’t help either if you have trouble falling asleep. Studies have shown that surfing with a laptop, tablet or mobile phone before going to bed can disturb the process of falling asleep. It is most probably because of the blue light wavelengths, that make our nervous system react particularly sensitively.
Discover the right accessories for your relaxation:
Falling asleep easily again - finally
A first step in the right direction to finally falling asleep easily again is to put your mobile phone or laptop and tablet away one hour before going to bed. No more surfing, social media updates or checking emails! It's also a good idea to get under the sheets before 11pm, because according to Ayurveda, between 10pm and 2am your body is busy with digestion – not just of food, but also of information and emotions. A short yoga sequence before going to bed can also help you to switch off your thoughts and calm down. So here are the five best exercises for a better sleep.
01 Supine Spinal Pose (Supta Jathara Parivartanasana)
Lie on your back flat with your arms stretched out like a T. Bring your knees to your chest and let them fall to the right side, so that your upper and lower legs form a 90 degree angle. Keep your knees together and turn your head left, if it feels good to you.
This asana relieves tension in your spine. It is also good for digestion and releases tensions of the day.
02 Reclining Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Lie on your back flat and bring the soles of your feet together. Let your knees fall to either side. Bring your feet closer to you, so the stretch becomes more intense. You can rest your hands on your chest and belly or stretch your arms out to the side. If this pose feels too intense for you, you can place a block or bolster under your knees.
Emotional tension often manifests in the hips. Light stretching can help. It releases the day’s tensions and calms your mind.
03 Easy Forward Bend
Sit with your legs crossed. Bring your arms up and bend your upper body forward. If you can, rest your forehead on the floor, this will calm your mind. Stretch your arms out to the front.
This asana calms your mind and stops the carousel of thoughts that keeps you awake at night.
04 Rocking Knees to chest pose (Apana Pose)
Lie on your back flat and with both hands, pull your knees towards your chest. Lift your head off the mat and bring your forehead to your knees. Now you can slightly sway back and forth or to either side.
This asana gives your body a feeling of security. It symbolizes self-love, calms your mind and releases tension in your lower back.
05 Child's Pose (Balasana)
Kneel on your mat and place your heels under your buttocks. Open your knees slightly; your toes should touch each other. Now bend forward until your forehead touches the mat. Keep your buttocks on your heels if possible. You can either stretch your hands to the back with your palms facing upwards or stretch your upper body forward with your palms facing downwards for an additional stretch.
In the child's pose, you can forget about the worries of the day. We feel like we are in our mother's womb, safe and protected, and are able to relax.