Some people find that as they age, sleep comes less easily to them than it used to. If this is something that’s happened to you, don’t worry – it’s relatively normal; the aging process is often associated with physical changes that can impact your sleep.
However, just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Untreated insomnia and other sleep disturbances can seriously impact your quality of life and reduce your ability to function on a daily basis, especially as you get older. Lack of sleep is also a major factor in car crashes and occupational accidents, making it not only inconvenient, but potentially deadly.
Fortunately, there’s recent evidence that you don’t have to rely on medication alone to get a good night’s sleep. Several new studies have found that yoga can significantly improve your sleep quality, mood, and overall quality of life.
“Compared with controls, the (yoga) group showed significant improvements in a range of subjective factors, including overall sleep quality; sleep efficacy; sleep latency and duration; self-assessed sleep quality; fatigue; general well-being; depression; anxiety; stress; tension; anger; vitality; and function in physical, emotional, and social roles,” one study concludes(1).
Another study found that “Yoga intervention appears to improve the qualify of life and sleep quality of elderly living in old age homes.”(2)
An earlier study looking at simple daily yoga routines as a daily treatment for insomnia also had promising results(3).
Whether it’s the impact of physical activity, the meditative aspect of yoga practice, or some other factor at play, it’s clear that yoga can help with insomnia.
With that in mind, here are seven yoga exercises designed to help improve sleep quality.
1. Upavistha Konsana
2. The Locust Pose
3. The Half-Locust Pose
4. The Viparita Karani
5. The Supta Baddha Konsana
6. The Reclined Spinal Twist
Try these yoga poses the next time you’re having difficulty getting to sleep. There are many reasons for insomnia, and some might require a different intervention, but for a lot of people, yoga can do wonders in terms of a restful night.
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