How many times a week do you hop into bed, exhausted from a busy day, ready to close your eyes and fall fast asleep—but instead just toss and turn for hours?
If you're like many Americans, then the answer is most nights. And if the same is true for your kids, this can lead to some very cranky mornings. When you are sleep deprived, your stress levels skyrocket, making it more difficult to fall asleep the next night.
It's a known fact that having an established nighttime routine, such as turning off electronics an hour before bed, can help you fall asleep faster. Another way to combat insomnia is yoga.
Yoga is a natural stress fighter. It calms your breathing, lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, reduces tension in the body and clears the mind. Certain postures can ready your body for bed by calming and relaxing the mind and releasing tension.
Ready to begin? Hold each pose below gently for 10 to 15 breaths. Feel free to do these poses anywhere, even in bed
Child's Pose1 of 6
The perfect pose for resting and relaxing as you rest your forehead on the ground.
To do this pose: Kneel on your mat with your knees hip-width apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs. Rest your arms beside your legs with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
Standing Forward Fold2 of 6
This pose is great for relieving headaches and tension in the shoulders and lower back.
To do this pose: Standing tall, fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine, straightening your legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground or grasp opposite elbows for a Rag Doll position.
Seated Twist3 of 6
Twists are great for twisting out the belly. The torso holds a lot of stress for most people.
To do this pose: Sit tall on a blanket and cross your ankles. Inhale and lift your spine, and exhale as you take your left hand to your outer right knee. Place your right hand on the floor behind you for support. Inhale and lengthen; exhale and twist deeper. Switch sides and repeat the sequence.
Legs Up the Wall4 of 6
Stay in this pose for three to five minutes to allow the blood to rush back to the heart rather than pool in your lower extremities.
To do this pose: Sit close to a wall, lie on your back and then scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up. Rest with your arms by your sides.
Corpse Pose5 of 6
What better way to ready yourself for sleep than lying on your back, letting the ground support you? Focus on slowing your breathing and clearing your mind.
To do this pose: Lie back, letting your legs and arms relax. Bring your attention to your breath.