Yoga and Sleep

Yoga and Sleep



An area that a regular yoga practice can help alleviate depression with is sleep. It is important to go to bed early and rise early as most depression deepens in the late night. Whether you practice yoga in the morning or in the evening, your sleep can improve. A common challenge for women is to have broken up patterns of sleep. They are tired going to bed, restless through the night and waking in the morning even more tired. This can contribute to an increase in a depressed state.


Pay attention to the food you consume and the time you consume it in the evening. The time for our liver to function, breaking down sugars, is around 3:00 a.m., the time you may notice you wake every night. This complaint is common and can be alleviated by changing a few food related habits.


To support the liver and not tax and work it so hard during your sleep, eat your dinner between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., also, decide if that glass of wine is worth an interrupted night sleep. Eating early allows your food to digest during waking hours and lets sleep remain for resting and healing.


We are encouraged to drink 8 glasses of water a day to rehydrate our system. Some people work diligently to consume “enough” water as directed and continue to drink up until their bedtime. This will have an obvious effect in the night; you will need to wake in the night to release the fluids. Consider stopping all fluids, at least an hour before bed to see if you sleep more soundly.


There are two distinct ways in which yoga can help with this challenge as well. Firstly, by detoxifying, cleansing, relaxing and toning the body this operates to alleviate joint pains and to generally relax your body for sleep. The other way yoga can assist with broken up sleep patterns is that if you do wake up before your alarm, you can use breathing techniques to calm your state and quiet your mind. You have a choice here to breathe yourself to sleep again, or to get up and meditate.


Choosing to meditate is quite a powerful option and can become a regular part of your health program. It is important to find a way to settle the mind into inactivity at this time of night. It may help by writing thoughts down in a journal, as often once written down, the mind can finally “let go”.


To aid sleep before you go to bed, it is useful to take fifteen minutes to practice restorative poses on a bolster. Breathe deeply and settle your body. When we sleep, there is much less oxygen exchange happening within the body, resulting in your body feeling more tired in the morning. If you have gone to bed after a deep breathing practice, you may find you wake more refreshed.


The freedom to move one’s body helps keep a healthy mental disposition, and taking care of your body is like taking care of your home. Any home needs a good roof, strong walls, clean windows and regular cleaning. It also needs an intelligent homeowner.