Whether you sit at a desk all day or are up on your feet, everyday physical and mental stressors can make it hard to sleep at night. If you suffer from insomnia, mind chatter, or aches and pains, bedtime yoga may be just the remedy you need. Helping you relax and unwind, it’s the perfect substitute for watching TV or obsessively checking your phone before bed. It’s part of a healthy bedtime routine that will help you sleep better and feel your best throughout the day!
What is Bedtime Yoga?
Bedtime yoga consists of yoga poses you add to your bedtime routine to help you sleep more deeply. It helps you release stress and let go of anything you’ve been hanging on to throughout the day. Instead of watching TV or scrolling on your phone, which can lead to unhealthy and interrupted sleep, doing yoga before bed places you in a relaxed state and helps you get a better, deeper rest.
What Are the Benefits of Bedtime Yoga?
1. Helps Alleviate Insomnia
Bedtime yoga can help you manage insomnia. You may be able to fall asleep quicker, sleep for longer, and go back to sleep more easily after waking at night.
2. Increases Relaxation and Reduces Stress
Yoga helps put your body in a calm state, urging you to relax both physically and mentally. This can lead to lower blood pressure and lower amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Yoga before bed is a peaceful way to release the worries of your day and focus on yourself.
3. Eases Aches and Pains
Pains such as lower back pain and neck pain can prevent us from falling asleep and getting a restful sleep. Yoga limbers up the muscles and increases circulation, which reduces pain and leads to a better sleep. It also helps the body release toxins, which further contributes to quality sleep.
4. Improves Circulation
Slow deep stretching and mindful breathing before bed helps improve circulation, which can lower blood pressure, help prevent blood clots and even out your energy levels. Healthy circulation also strengthens your immune system, detoxes the body and encourages cell regeneration.
3 Bedtime Yoga Essentials to Invest In
1. Yoga Mat
If you’re going to be doing bedtime yoga regularly, invest in a yoga mat. A comfortable yoga mat with professional alignment lines will help you focus and adjust your positions, keeping your body in the proper alignment. Doing yoga poses on the hard floor isn’t comfortable, so a yoga mat is a must!
2. Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks offer stability and support for your yoga practice. They allow you to deepen your practice, maintain proper alignment and increase safety by reducing injury and muscle strain. They’re great for bedtime yoga, helping you get as deep a stretch as possible.
3. Yoga Straps
Yoga straps help you deepen stretches, assist with hard-to-reach poses, improve flexibility and strengthen and tone your muscles. If you have tight hamstrings or shoulders, a strap can help you safely achieve poses that were previously unattainable.
How to Create a Bedtime Yoga Routine
1. Make Sure to Add Poses with Stretch
Yoga poses that incorporate stretching are key for bedtime yoga. Stretching not only relaxes you, but keeps your muscles flexible, and prepares your mind and body for a good night’s sleep. Stretching helps relieve muscle tension and prevents sleep-disrupting cramps, so incorporate poses like the standing forward fold, seated side bend, lizard pose and sleeping swan.
2. Incorporate Legs Up The Wall Pose
Viparita Karani, or legs up the wall pose, is an ideal exercise to incorporate into bedtime yoga, especially for those who spend a lot of time on their feet. It’s the ultimate restorative pose that is considered calming and nourishing for the mind.
To do it, lie down on your side with your legs and butt touching the wall where the floor and wall meet. Turn onto your back and as you do, bring your legs up the wall. Place your arms at the side of your body or above your head, close your eyes and relax. Stay here for 1 to 10 minutes, or longer if you please.
3. Bridge It
Bridge pose can help you sleep better and it’s the perfect blend of activity and relaxation. It’s a gentle full body pose that opens your chest, strengthens your glutes, and stretches the back. Chest openers like this alleviate stress and provide a counterbalance to everyday desk and device postures. It will also help your breathing become more balanced.
To do it, lie face up with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Keep your shoulders down, engage your abs, press into your heels and lift your hips and back. You should form a diagonal line from shoulders to knees. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths, lower and repeat 5 to 10 times.
4. End Your Practice with Shavasana
Shavasana is often used for relaxation at the end of a yoga session, and you should definitely make sure to add it in for bedtime yoga. It brings images of calmness, rest and relaxation and helps your mind and body to settle into the mat at the end of your practice. It offers the body rest after your yoga exercises and is the perfect way to finish your bedtime routine, plus you can do it right in your bed in case you end up dozing off!
3 Bedtime Yoga Routines To Try
7 Minute Bedtime Yoga | Yoga with Adriene
This 7 minute bedtime yoga routine was designed to help you wind down, stretch out and feel good. It’s a short but mindful practice that will help calm the nervous system and get your body ready for a deep sleep. Enjoy relaxing poses that help you feel perfectly at ease.
10 Min Evening Yoga Stretch- Bedtime Yoga for Beginners | Yoga with Kassandra
This 10 minute bedtime yoga flow is great to do at the end of a long day. It focuses on stretching your body from head to toe in a very relaxing way. There are no standing poses, only seated and reclined ones to help you unwind before bed. You’ll do poses like butterfly pose, figure four and child’s pose for the ultimate full body stretch.
5 Minute Yoga for Sleep (Bedtime Yoga for Insomnia) | Yoga with Bird
If you’re looking for a super quick but still effective yoga for sleep routine, this one is for you. It’s ideal if you suffer from insomnia or mental chatter late at night, as it will help you feel relaxed and ready for a deep sleep.
Incorporating yoga into your bedtime routine is a great way to relax and unwind and get a better sleep. Try these tips and routines and see how your sleep transforms.