Yoga and Sleep

16 Holistic Practices to Get a Good Night's Sleep

  • Learn to relax - There's a big difference between collapsing and relaxing;

  • Moisturize before bed;

  • Avoid eating two hours prior to bed;

  • No screen 60 or even 120 minutes before bed;

  • Keep laptop and phone outside the bedroom;

  • Start dimming the lights a few hours before bed.

  • Massage your feet with cold press sesame oil and put socks on;

  • Use essential oil of lavender or bergamot in a diffuser or a few drops on the pillow;

  • Play calming music or enjoy silence a few hours before bed;

  • Get enough exercise in your day-to-day routine;

  • No caffeinated drinks past 2:00PM;

  • Reduce or even avoid alcohol;

  • Make space for regular laughter as sometimes sleep issues arise out of seriositosys – which is a result of taking ourselves too seriously :);

  • Practice *Viparita Karani;

  • Go to bed prior to 10:00PM - we get a second wind after 10 PM and for many of us our discipline goes to bed around 7PM - (not a good blend); and

  • Avoid being overwhelmed by this list. Use what works for you. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself reflecting/meditating on your worries try meditating/reflecting on your blessings instead. You may need to inform the aspect of the mind that is addicted to worrying that worries are not more real or more logical than blessings and worrying does not equal productivity, which means if our focus is on our blessings instead of our worries our world will not fall apart.

* Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) Asana's are for everybody but not every asana is for every body so ensure this asana is for you. You can practice a few minutes (5 to 15 depending on experience - (longer is not better if not use to it) of legs up the wall to help the body release before bed.

Practice Tips

- The height of the cushion is individual. Higher is not better if you are uncomfortable and if you prefe​​r you can practice with nothing under the hips;

- The distance between the wall is based on your height. If your short you need to be closer to the wall;

- To get into the posture position your cushion and then sit sideways before you swing your legs. The first few times you try, it may feel awkward but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy;

- Once you are in the asana, make space for a smooth breath - no need to try and control it. Feel your body release. You can use your mind and say things like: I relax my jaw, tongue and lips...You can count your blessings, remind yourself that the inhale is by nature nourishing and the exhale is by nature cleansing and let that energy permeate your body by giving it attention; and

- To get our of the pose, tuck the knees in towards the chest, take a moment here, then roll over to one side, take a moment here. Use your free hand and push up to a seated position.

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