Yoga can ease insomnia and help you sleep more deeply.

Sleep Better with Yoga

According to the National Sleep Foundation, yoga not only benefits your core strength and flexibility, but may also improve sleep. Research shows that when people who suffer from insomnia do yoga on a daily basis, they fall asleep faster and sleep for longer. They also fall back asleep faster when they wake up in the middle of the night.

Older adults, who typically suffer more sleep problems with age, benefit even more. Studies show that adults over age 60 sleep longer and more deeply and feel better during the day when they perform regular yoga.

But some poses are better for sleep than others. When using yoga to relax, skip the poses (asanas) that get your heart pounding or that require you to twist into unfamiliar positions.

Instead, stick with these soothing basic poses:

  • Child’s Pose (Balsana) – this pose mimics a child’s sleep and soothes the central nervous system.
  • Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) – known informally as legs-up-the-wall pose, this pose is the single most sleep-inducing for most people.
  • Most yoga routines end with Corpse Pose (Savasana) because it’s so deeply relaxing.
  • Last, but not least when it comes to getting ready for bed: Supine spinal twist.

If you struggle with sleep issues, try an evening yoga session with a few of the above relaxing poses. Yoga just might become part of your evening routine.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.