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8 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

by Reyna Thomas

If sleep seems to evade you, you are not alone — many of us suffer from insufficient sleep. Fortunately, there are many tactics that could help you before bed, including reading, drinking a hot cup of herbal tea, or keeping a journal. But if those suggestions haven’t helped you and you're still having trouble sleeping, trying out a few yoga poses might be the solution!

These evening poses are suitable for everyone, mat or no mat. Remember to be aware of your breathing and the tightest areas of your body as you transition between these positions. Whenever you feel any discomfort, take a deep breath and attempt to relax. Spend 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime alternating between these stances or choosing a few you like best.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

How Yoga Helps Your Sleep

Yoga is an age-old discipline that combines controlled breathing with meditative movement. And by engaging your parasympathetic nervous system, the combo can reduce tension and anxiety. This relaxation response causes physical adjustments, such as slower breathing and relaxed muscles, to offset the stress reaction produced by the sympathetic nervous system.

With less stress and better relaxation comes better, more restful sleep. So, it should come as no surprise that relaxing mind-body techniques like yoga can enhance sleep quality in a variety of people. This includes older folks and those who have insomnia or other sleep issues. So, to help, we're sharing our favorite beginner yoga positions for sleep that can help you relax faster and enjoy a restful night.

1. Cat-Cow Pose

The first pose you should start with is the Cat-Cow pose. This involves starting on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. As you inhale, arch your back, tilt your head up, and let your belly sink toward the floor. On the exhale, reverse the movement by rounding your back, tucking your chin to your chest, and pulling your navel toward your spine. Continue moving slowly and rhythmically with your breath for 10 rounds.

woman doing cat and cow pose

2. Child's Pose

From the cat-cow pose, sit back on your heels with your big toes touching and knees shoulder-width apart. As you exhale, lay your torso down between your thighs and bring your forehead to the ground. Rest your arms alongside your body with your palms up, and let your shoulders relax away from your ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds or as long as you like.

Remember to concentrate on taking deep, slow breaths.

woman in child's pose

3. Seated Forward Bend

While you might remember a similar pose from school P.E., this yoga movement is incredibly helpful for your sleep. Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and your spine tall. As you exhale, hinge forward at your hips and lower your torso toward your legs. You can either keep your palms on the ground next to you or grab opposite elbows with your hands. If you can't reach your feet, don't worry –– just let your torso hang heavy over your legs. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

4. Cobbler's Pose

Another pose that might remind you of your school days is the Cobbler’s post, which opens up your breathing and helps with body kinks. To do this, you’ll need to start seated with the soles of your feet touching and your knees bent out to the sides. Use your hands to press down on your feet, bringing your heels closer to your pelvis. If this is enough of a stretch, stay here. Otherwise, lean forward from your hips and rest your torso on top of your thighs. You can also use props like yoga blocks to support your head and chest. Hold for one minute or longer.

woman in cobbler's pose

5. Thread the Needle Pose

For this pose, you’ll need to start on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. As you exhale, bring your right arm under your left and rest your right shoulder and cheek on the ground. Extend your left arm straight overhead. If this is enough of a stretch, stay here. Otherwise, begin to lower your left hip toward the ground and slide your left leg out to the side. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, then repeat on the other side.

woman doing thread the needle pose

6. Legs Up the Wall Pose

Another pose to try is having your legs against the wall. First, sit with your hips close to a wall, then roll over onto your back and swing your legs up against the wall. Scoot your hips closer to the wall until your legs are straight and your lower back is flat on the ground. You can place your palms on your belly or let your arms rest by your sides. Let your whole body relax and stay here for at least five minutes.

7. Corpse Pose

While the name might sound scary, this pose is excellent for your sleep because it focuses on relaxing your muscles. All you need to do is lie down on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your arms resting by your sides. Close your eyes and let your whole body relax, releasing any tension you may be holding in your muscles. Then stay in this position for as long as you like.

woman in corpse pose

Sleep Away

So, if you’re having trouble with your sleep (again) and counting sheep just won’t cut it, give one of these poses a try! Practicing these poses as you’re winding down for the night could be exactly what you need to start enjoying the full comfort of your mattress and reach the deep sleep you need.

But if you still need a comforting mattress, Crane's Mattress can help you find the right one! Once you've set yourself up for sleep success, you'll be ready to tackle your sleep issues! Make sleep a priority, and enjoy a relaxing night!

You know who to call if you need help finding the perfect sleep solutions! Got questions! Stop by our store today or give us a call; we'll be happy to help!