A good sleep is a universal constant. Everyone wants it, but for many of us sleep can seem like an elusive beast, just out of our grasp after another night of tossing and turning. The most frustrating part can be that there doesn’t seem to be one sort of cure-all that works for every body. You’ve tried warm milk, you’ve even tried sleeping pills, but those things can affect your body in ways that leave you feeling even worse.
We’ve covered in past blog posts the idea that yoga can be a natural, great way to start the sleep process. There are studies to prove that it helps circulation, respiration, and even stress relief — all areas that are vital to good sleep health. There are all kinds of studies to suggest that yoga is a real benefit to your sleep life. Here are just a few benefits of starting a yoga practice before bed.
Yoga Benefits the Nervous System
The central nervous system is made up of your brain, the spinal cord, and all the microscopic pathways that connect those controls to the rest of your body. It’s an infinitely complex system that has to be working at top capacity for your body to perform at its peak. Sleep is no exception to that idea.
Yoga aids the central nervous system by increasing blood flow to the brain’s central sleep center. This stimulates glands to release hormones that are vital to the sleep process, including melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate good sleep. It’s been proven to be an important component of REM sleep, the rejuvenating, restful deep sleep that leads to maximum benefits for your body and mind.
Yoga Improves the Overall Quality of Your Sleep
This can sound like an empty promise, but new studies show that yoga is a proven way to improve sleep duration, quality, and even fight chronic insomnia. In this experiment, patients who suffered from insomnia were given a basic yoga routine, then asked to practice it every day for eight weeks. The scientists found a drastic improvement to many aspects of their sleep, including a reduced length in the time it took them to fall asleep, a reduction in the amount of times they woke up in the middle of the night and the duration of time between waking; and finally the total amount of time they slept each night.
Yoga is a great way to start a sustainable, healthy lifestyle change. It’s low impact on your body, while providing great mental and physical benefits. And the fact that it doesn’t take much time, and can be done from home mean that you won’t have to dedicate a ton of time or money to getting the sleep you want.
Yoga Leads to Serenity
It’s almost become a cliche at this point, but people who practice yoga do feel better about themselves, and the world as a whole. This improved outlook can lead to a clear and relaxed mind, which in turn can lead to less anxiety while drifting off to sleep. It’s an important component that can’t be overlooked when we’re dealing with a full picture of your sleep health. So if you’re having a rough night, or just want to improve the quality of the sleep you’re already getting, then try adding yoga to the mix. You’re going to love the way it makes you feel, guaranteed.