How To Sleep Better

From Bad Yogi, Erin Motz

We’ve all seen articles about how certain yoga poses will help you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer. I think there’s some truth to this, but to be honest with you? It’s more about HOW you incorporate these things in to your life than it is about striking a pose once in a while when you can’t catch any Z’s.

Here’s a few ways to use yoga as a tool for regular, awesome sleep.

1) Make a habit of it.

Instead of trying to Downward dog at 11PM tonight, schedule a 20-30 minute window of wind-down time tomorrow night and every night after that. Choose 3-5 of your favorite relaxing yoga poses to do during that window, and then let yourself lie in bed without any distractions. Using yoga as a part of your relaxation time will yield much better results than trying to squeeze in something random whenever the mood strikes. This way, you’ll train your brain and body to prepare for sleep as soon as you unroll your mat.

2) Try posing from bed instead.

How many of your favorite poses involve lying on your back, side, or tummy? I’d bet at least a couple! Take the convention out of your practice, move off your mat and on to your mattress instead. Love Happy Baby? How about Child’s Pose? Put on your most comfy PJ’s and try this in bed before settling in for the night.

3) Go blindly.

Guilty of checking yourself out in the mirror while you practice? Even if it’s not a mirror you’re distracted by, I bet I know the personalities of a lot of you reading: you’re an over-achiever, you strive to be great at whatever you do, and you take pride in your yoga. I totally get it! But when it comes to getting better sleep, you want to take the pressure off. Take your foot off the gas. Close your eyes and move based on what feels good instead of what looks “right” to your eyes. Practice entirely with your eyes closed. It adds a totally new dimension to your practice, and you’ll be much closer to sleepy-territory afterwards.

Try these out and let me know how they worked! How do you use your yoga practice to guarantee a good night’s sleep?

Want to know how yoga can promote happiness, see this post by Mandy Ingber. Or tone up quickly with these 9 great yoga poses