It seems that yoga might not just be great for your body posture – it can also be super beneficial for your overall health and the quality of your sleep.
Studies have shown that insomnia sufferers who practiced yoga daily saw a significant decrease in wakefulness throughout the night, and often slept for longer and for more rested periods of time.
So, what’s the science?
Yoga can reduce stress
One of the largest contributing factors towards poor sleep can be high stress levels.
Stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol, which in turns can affect the hormones that are released for inducing sleep, like melatonin.
The breathing techniques and gentle stretches of yoga reduces stress levels, decreasing cortisol levels and in turn leading to a deeper sleep.
Yoga aids breathing
Yoga can be extremely calming, encouraging you to relax your mind, steady your breathing and ultimately focus on the present; factors which can all lead to a healthier and deeper sleep experience.
Yoga can also lower your breathing, decrease your heart rate and lower your blood pressure – all of which are systems which fall into place as we head to sleep.
Yoga aids circulation
Yoga really does get your blood flowing!
Yoga relaxation poses aid circulation in your hands and feet and allow your body to loosen up before heading to bed, promoting relaxation and great posture.
Yoga can boost your immune system massively! When you contract and stretch your body during yoga exercises and poses – you promote the drainage of lymph – a fluid rich in immunity boosting cells.
This influx helps your body to fight future infections and can help to keep you feeling healthy and energetic, especially in the winter months!
The boost in immunity combined with the restorative affect of sleep also means that you’re more likely to wake up feeling energised and ready for the day.
Yoga helps you focus
One of the main benefits of yoga is that it helps you to focus on the present.
Many studies show that regular yoga practice improves concentration, memory function, reaction time and even increases IQ level!
The ability to focus on the present and switch your mind off from any distractions can be a great tool to utilise when heading to bed, and can often result in falling asleep faster.
Yoga releases tension
Some people can struggle to fall asleep due to an increase in tension throughout their body, as our muscles refuse to relax and succumb to the restorative effects of a good night’s sleep.
Yoga teaches us to relieve this tension, meaning that a quick yoga session before bed can be a great way to promote a healthy, beneficial rest.
There are plenty of yoga videos online that you can try before heading to bed to promote good night’s sleep and a much more restorative rest, give them a try to see if your sleep improves.