No matter how much exercise you do, you’re bound to get tired sometimes and be too tired to move in bed. That’s where these yoga poses step in. This is a great way to get some warm-up before you slip into the sheets, and is a great way to make your body more flexible before you sleep.
Yoga is a great way to unwind but you don’t have to leave your bed to meditate. Try these yoga poses to help you sleep and get a good night’s rest.
Do you have trouble sleeping? You are not alone! According to the National Institutes of Health, about 30% of the population suffers from sleep disorders or insomnia. The most common causes of insomnia are anxiety, stress and depression. While yoga is far from a panacea for all of these problems, it can certainly help you relieve stress, calm you down and improve your mood so you can sleep better.
Instead of letting your mind wander at night while you try to fall asleep, you can do this slow yoga sequence in bed. Tip: Put on a relaxing song or Indian mantra, rub your palms with lavender oil and do these poses while taking long, deep breaths, and you’ll fall asleep even faster.
1 : Legs against the wall
Bring your hips closer to the wall (or headboard, as in the photo above); the closer the better. Lift your feet against the wall and extend your knees. Spread your arms to form the letter T.
- Relax your whole body, loosen your facial muscles and gently close your eyes. To relax, you can listen to calm, soothing music or pay attention to your breathing and make sure it is deep and even.
- Stay in this position for at least 2 to 5 minutes.
This yoga pose releases the tension built up in the spine while standing or sitting, allowing the curvature of the spine to be exaggerated. It also works wonders for tired legs as it reduces blood pressure on varicose veins and improves blood circulation in the legs.
2 and 3: Needle cap
- From the leg position on the wall, bend both knees. Press the sole of your left foot against the wall.
- Cross the right leg over the left thigh; the right ankle can be placed slightly on top of the left so that the ankle bone does not press on the thigh. Make sure your right knee is secure by keeping your right leg bent.
- Pull your tailbone toward the bed and maintain the natural curve of your spine to stretch your lower back.
- Lightly press your right hand on your right thigh towards the wall. Keep your left knee pointed toward the ceiling as you lean to the side. You should feel a nice stretch and opening of the right hip.
- Switch to the left leg and stay even on each side for 2-5 minutes.
This pose is known to reduce lower back pain and open the hips.
4 : Frog perspective
- From a lying position on the table, lower your elbows to the bench and spread your knees as far apart as is comfortable for you.
- Bend your knees and feet at a 90-degree angle, as shown above. Keep your knees and hips in line. If you have a mirror next to you, you should be able to see that your knees and hips form a straight line.
- Lower your upper body onto the bed, chest down, and extend your arms forward to lengthen your spine and shoulders. You can put a pillow or bolster under your chest to support and soothe him.
- Pull your tailbone toward the bed to feel the benefits of this hip-opening position.
- Close your eyes, look at your hips and focus on deep breathing. This is an advanced hip opening pose, so stay comfortable and find what works for you.
The frog pose or Mandukasana opens the hips and stretches the inner thighs, hips and groin. It also lengthens the spine, spreads the shoulders and opens the heart. Like other hip-opening postures, Mandukasana is ideal for relieving stress, anxiety and mild depression, and helping you become calm in preparation for sleep.
5 : rabbit pose
- Start with your knees on the bed, buttocks resting on your heels.
- Bring the top of your head to the front of your knees; the closer you are to your knees, the better. If possible, you can let your forehead touch your knees.
- Grasp your heels firmly with your hands, palms inward.
- Gently lift the hips away from the heels, around the back as in cat pose and straighten the elbows.
- You should feel a stretch in your neck and spine. With each exhale, activate your torso and around your back a little more.
This is an inverted position that allows more blood and oxygen to reach the brain and face. It helps relieve stress and gives your face a healthy glow. The crunchy pose works and strengthens the core of the body and corrects spinal alignment by creating space along the vertebrae. Finally, the rabbit pose opens the back of the heart chakra, which promotes self-love and reduces stress and anxiety.
6 and 7: Rotation of vertebral column in an oblique position
- Begin the body position by lying on your back and stretching your legs.
- Press the right knee against the chest, spread the right arm.
- As you inhale, open your right shoulder to the side so that it touches the bed.
- As you exhale, bring your right knee to your left side. Look at your right hand.
- For a deeper turn, bring your hip all the way to the right, then turn by bringing your right knee to your left side.
- To avoid lower back pain, retract your abdomen and keep your right shoulder retracted instead of leaning your right knee against the bed. You can also place a pillow under your right knee to elevate and support it.
- Continue to breathe in deeply, pressing your left hand lightly on your right thigh with each exhalation.
- Change sides and keep 2-5 minutes on each side.
This yoga posture increases the flexibility of the spine and at the same time stimulates the digestion. It opens and stretches your shoulders and helps correct the position of the spine, making you more comfortable in bed and while sleeping.
8 : Limited angle
*You can use 2 to 4 pillows for extra support and comfort. Place one pillow under your spine and the other under your head (as shown). If the stretch in the groin and hips seems too intense, you can also place a pillow under each knee.
- Lie comfortably on your back, legs extended, arms at your sides, palms up.
- Bend your knees and bring your feet as close to your hips as your body will allow. If you feel uncomfortable, move your legs lower until you find a comfortable stretch in your hips and inner thighs.
- Lift the chest and create space between the shoulders to encourage deep breathing.
- Your hips, knees and shoulders should naturally sink. Stay in this position for 5 to 15 minutes.
- When you come out of the pose, bring your knees to your chest to take the pressure off your lower back. Then lay your legs down, stretch them out and get ready for bed.
This restorative pose lets you relax mentally and physically and helps relieve stress while stretching the hips, groin and shoulders. Try this short and simple sequence, which you can do right on your bed, to feel relaxed, happy and fall into a deep sleep.
Do you know that?
When you adopt good sleep habits, you are taking the first step to becoming the healthiest person you can be – one full night of good sleep at a time. Check out our comprehensive guide to sleep disorders, a resource to help you get a good night’s sleep again. Learn more about sleep disorders, their causes, symptoms and how to overcome them.