If you struggle with sleep, you are probably intimately familiar with those sleepless nights of lying in bed and blinking up at the ceiling. Intermittently, you look at the clock. As the minutes and hours tick by, you wonder if you should just get up. After a while, you figure: “What’s the use?” Let’s check out here can yoga help you sleep better.
Maybe you end up getting one or two hours of light sleep toward dawn. And then it’s time to start a new day.
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The Effects of Poor Sleep
Living with minimal sleep for too long can have serious ramifications on your physical and mental health. Sleep is a time when you should be resting your body and mind. It’s when the knowledge you’ve learned throughout the day becomes solidified. It’s when your joints and muscles get a chance to rest — and your organs too.
Those who don’t sleep enough tend to be sluggish, irritable, and slow throughout the day. They’re less likely to accomplish the things they want to accomplish. They have trouble interacting with others. They may even fall asleep at inopportune or dangerous times — like while caring for children or driving.
Fortunately, there are things you can do if you struggle to sleep. One of them is yoga.
How Yoga Helps You Sleep Better
The practice of yoga is thousands of years old, and it was cultivated to benefit nearly all areas of your life. There are several specific reasons that yoga can help you sleep better, but basically, it’s the perfect practice for a calming mind-body connection.
Yoga is meant to be a relaxing practice. When you take part in it, you move your body slowly and purposefully. The physical exertion helps to stretch and relax your muscles and joints and even makes you a bit tired. The deep breathing and focused mental state helps to relax your mind and focus your emotions. Both of these aspects of yoga cultivate an overall calmer demeanor and promote less anxiety and tension, which can help with sleep.
How to Use Yoga for Better Sleep
If you struggle with sleep, try integrating a yoga practice into your daily routine. If you’ve never done it before, join a beginner’s class to learn the basics, or check out some beginner YouTube videos.
Many people do yoga in the evening as a start to their bedtime routine. Having a routine before sleep helps to bring focus to your sleep time. After all, just jumping into bed and expecting your body to fall asleep isn’t very realistic.
If you’d like to try yoga before sleeping, find a quiet place in your bedroom, dim the lights, and put on some relaxing music. Set a timer for just five or 10 minutes, and then, do some basic yoga poses on a mat on your floor.
Other Tips for Getting Better Sleep
Here are some other tips to help you sleep better at night:
1. Reduce blue light exposure before bedtime.
Blue light is the light that emanates from the screens on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. This light mimics daytime light, so when you stare at the screen of your computer, your brain thinks you’re looking into the light that’s emanating around you from the sun during the day.
As you may know, your body operates on a light-dark cycle. When it starts to get dark outside, your mind recognizes this and begins to shut down operations for the day and put you to sleep. But if you’re staring at blue light all day, your brain and body won’t begin these sleep-time operations, which can make it markedly more difficult to fall asleep at night.
To help yourself get into your nighttime rhythm earlier rather than later, turn off your screens at least an hour or two before bedtime.
2. Try CBD oil.
CBD oil is an excellent sleep aid for many people, and unlike dangerous sleep drugs, CBD oil is all natural. Taking just 300 to 600 mg of CBD oil at night can help calm a “monkey mind” (when your mind is racing with anxiety and rapid thoughts), which, in turn, can help calm yourself for a more restful sleep period.Talk to someone at your local Denver dispensary to find the perfect CBD oil for aiding your sleep.
3. Avoid daytime naps.
While it may be tempting to catch up on the sleep you missed at night by taking a nap during the day, try to avoid this when possible.
You want to be tired when it’s time for bed at night. But those who tend to nap during the day probably won’t feel tired around a reasonable bedtime of 9 or 10PM.
If you didn’t sleep well the night before, try to stay awake during the day and avoid taking a nap. Even if this means going to bed a little earlier at, say 8PM, that’s okay.
In the end, what will best help your sleep is a focus on slow progress with natural remedies. Just being aware that you’re a poor sleeper to begin with is a good place to start. From there, you can use the tips above and perform some of your own trial and error experiments to find what works best for you.