The benefits of Yoga and how it can help with better sleep.

The benefits of Yoga and how it can help with better sleep.

This week is Sleep Health Awareness Week, and we thought we would share some stretches that you can perform before bed to help you relax, wind down and get a restful sleep. The pleasures and benefits of yoga are widely understood; yoga can improve physical strength and flexibility, improve breathing, reduce stress and enhance mental focus. As well as all these amazing benefits it can help you have a great sleep.

A new study indicates that yoga can help to improve sleep among people suffering from chronic insomnia. Researchers at Harvard Medical School investigated how a daily yoga practice might affect sleep for people with insomnia and found broad improvements to measurements of sleep quality and quantity. Below are some stretches that you can perform at nighttime for as little, or as long as you please, for better sleep.  

Supported Inversion

Lie down so that you’re perpendicular to an empty wall. Place your legs on the wall and scoot your hips up towards where the wall and carpet meet, walking your legs up the wall as far as they will comfortably go. Place your arms by your sides with your palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and relax for 2-5 minutes.

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Childs Pose

Start on all fours, with your toes tucked under. Then slowly sit back on your heels. Reach your arms all the way out in front of you, and place your palms down.  You can lie in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable, relaxing deeper into the stretch as your body relaxes.

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Reclining Butterfly

Lying on your back on bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your feet on the floor. Let your knees to open up and rotate outward as you touch the soles of your feet together. Relax your legs and allow them to fall open as far as they will naturally go. Let gravity slowly pull your knees downward toward the floor. Breathe deeply and hold the position for as long as you comfortably can, working your way up to four to five minutes.

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Lunge

With your legs in a wide stance, step your right foot out, bend your knee at a 90 degree angle, lean into your right leg and bring your left knee to the floor. Use your hands for balance and keep our hips parallel. Hold for 5 breaths slowly ease out of the position and repeat on the left side. Repeat with the left leg lunging forward.

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Incorporate these stretches into your night time routine, even if it means turning the TV off 10 minutes earlier than usual, and reap the benefits of wonderful, relaxing sleep 🙂