Sleep disorders are on the rise in this country as a result of our environment. We are surrounded by more stressors than ever before. Mobile phones, internet, social media, televisions, bright lights and emails are affecting our sleep patterns and our circadian rhythm.
The blue light emitted from screens is disrupting our natural melatonin release (our sleepy hormone), whilst the adrenaline-inducing action films displayed on TV past 10 o’clock combined with constant notifications on our mobile phones is reversing our cortisol hormone (our stress hormone) production. When we should be calming down and switching off, we are forced into a state of fight-or-flight. This
When we should be calming down and switching off, we are forced into a state of fight-or-flight.
If you find yourself in this daily grind to get to sleep, but also sleep deeply, then you need should try performing the 10 yoga poses below to help chill you out and sleep deeper.
So why yoga before bed?
Well firstly, by performing the yoga poses below, you won’t be on your mobile phone which is a positive. Make sure your phone is on silent when performing the below poses so that you are not interupted.
Secondly, yoga is a fantastic way to release tension built up during the day and focus on your breathing. Just by taking 6 deep, diaphragmatic breaths you will switch from the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) to the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Your SNS is your fight-or-flight nervous system which promotes cortisol and adrenaline, whereas you PNS promotes relaxation and encourages the release of your recovery hormones.
A symptom of the PNS being activated is a decrease in muscular tone. Especially if you’ve been sitting at a desk most of the day and had a stressful day, then it’s so important that you release this tension by breathing deeply first, then working on your flexibility via the poses below.
This will help to restore your posture and allow your body to relax easier. Research has shown that poor posture actually promotes the release of more stress hormone compared to someone with good posture.
And lastly, by performing these yoga poses before bed it will help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. It’s not uncommon for some of my clients to actually fall asleep whilst performing the yoga poses below because they are so relaxed!
So before we show you the poses, make sure you prepare your space. Turn off any distractions (TV, laptop, mobile phones), dim the lights, put some comfy clothes on, brush your teeth, set alarms and have some soothing music playing in the background (classical, mellow pop, yoga music from Spotify). This should be the last thing you do before bed.By getting the environment around you relaxing you will be able to stretch further,
By getting the environment around you relaxing you will be able to stretch further, breath deeper and allow your body to switch off even more.
The 5 Most Relaxing Yoga Poses To Help You Fall Asleep Faster
- Knee on a yoga mat with legs together, sitting back on heels.
- Hinge forward until chest rests on your thighs and forehead is on the floor
- Allow your shoulders to roll forwards and let hands rest on the floor, palms up to ceiling, next to your feet.
- Hold for 10 breaths
This pose is great for releasing the tension in your lower back and helps to promote blood flow to your head.
2. Bridge Pose
- Lie on back, bend knees and place feet flat on the floor hip width apart.
- Place arms alongside body on the floor, palms up to ceiling.
- Press heels into the floor, inhale, lift hips, rolling the spine off the floor and keeping the knees hip width and toes straight.
- Hold pose for 10 breaths and gently lower hips to mat one veterbrae at a time.
Provides gentle stretching to the hip flexors and quadriceps, helps strengthen your lower back and may be therapeutic for high blood pressure.
3. Standing Forward Bend
- Starting in a standing position, exhale and hinge forwards from the hips whilst keeping the knees 98% straight.
- Try and bring your hands to the floor and nose to your knees.
- Press the hips up to the ceiling.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
- On the inhale, bend your knees and slowly stand back up to an upright position.
This pose is fantastic for stretchig the hamstrings, calves and lower back and is thought to relieve stress,fatigue and mild depression.
4. Extended Triangle Pose
- Perform pose for 5 breaths each side.
The Extended Triangle should be performed on both sides and is excellent at relieving stress, improving digestion and is know to help with symptoms of anxiety, osteoporosis and sciatica.
5. Corpse Pose
- Lie flat on your back with your legs together but not touching.
- Place your arms at your sides with palms up.
- Keep eyes closed and face relaxed.
- Breathe deeply.
- Work your way up the body from your toes all the way up to your face gradually releasing the tension in all the muscle as you go up.
- Give the muscle group you’re focusing on a little squeeze then relax and feel the weight of your body.
- Stay in position for 3-5 minutes.
Corpse pose is the best pose for total relaxation. Allows the body to ease into a parasympathetic state, slows breathing and lowers blood pressure.
Not only will performing these 5 Yoga poses help you fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully, but when combined with our sleep remedy Zonk creates the optimal conditions for a perfect nights sleep.
Zonk has been designed to help you sleep deeper by allowing your body to spend more time in the deepest state of sleep, known as REM, so that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. Zonk won’t make you drowzy like most sleep remedies, but instead does the complete opposite.
If you would like to try a FREE sample of Zonk and understand what it feels like to wake up with more energy, focus and drive each day click here.