5 yoga poses for better quality sleep

Here are 5 yoga poses to help you get better quality sleep - By Emma Mills

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When we sleep we are healing, recuperating, repairing and helping our bodies and minds rest for a better day tomorrow, there is a reason we say ‘I’ll sleep on it’ to ensure we make the right decision come morning.

Getting enough sleep is good for us we all know that, even getting a few good quality hours of sleep can also have great benefits including:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Lower risks of serious health conditions
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves mood
  • Better decision making

There are times and always will be when we struggle to sleep, unfortunately that's life but we can help ourselves by having a proper bedtime routine and you guessed it! Add in some yoga before hitting the hay.

Here are 5 lovely bedtime poses you can do right in bed to add into your night-time routine -

  • Waterfall Pose or (legs up a wall) – This pose is beautiful for tired legs and stressed out heads!
    Lie with your back, head, shoulders and arms on the floor or bed, gently swing your legs round so they are quite literally up against a wall.
    Bring the arms into a T shape and relax into the pose, you’ll immediately feel the blood rush from your feet and legs reversing the effects of gravity and encouraging relief from tired leg muscles.
    This pose can also provide a reduction in stressful and anxiety based emotions.
  • Child’s Pose – After a good stretch in waterfall pose, your back will enjoy this next stretch.
    Gently bending the knees and bringing them down to one side come into a table top pose. Wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, touch the big toes together as the knees naturally widen, making way for you to rest your torso between your thighs, the forehead comes down to the mat, the eyes soften.
    Each time you breath out feel yourself becoming heavier and more relaxed, this pose is often refereed to as a ‘go-to’ for bedtime because of its soothing qualities.
  • Reclined Butterfly Pose – Hopefully we are starting to feel drowsy and the nervous system is calm and peaceful ready for a reclined pose.
    Come back onto all fours or table top and cross the ankles behind you, making your way onto your back.
    Lying here bring the big toes to touch and allow the knees to fall open, the soles of the feet will naturally find each other.
    If there are spare pillows or blankets, pop these underneath the knees for a more restorative feel, perhaps reaching for a blanket to pop over you, arms can be out wide or resting on the abdomen, feeling the breathe move slowly in and out.
    This pose is a hip and heart opener, its used to calm the nervous system, the hormonal system and aid digestion.
  • Happy Baby Pose – This pose is used to stretch the hamstrings, reduces back pain and lowers the heart rate putting us in a better mood.
    Gently lift the knees to centre then bringing the knees in towards your body, grab for the outer edges of your feet and open the feet.
    You may want to stay still in this pose or gently rock from side to side giving the spine a little massage.
  • Shavasana – Taking this pose is the perfect way to lead your body into a fully relaxed state where you’ll either drift off to sleep or feel completely relaxed and at peace.
    Bring the knees back together and in towards your chest, (give yourself a quick hug because you deserve it!) And bring the feet down towards the bottom of the bed, splaying the feet, letting the arms rest by your sides, palms facing up, preparing for a blissful nights rest.
    I would advise never forcing sleep, if its just not happening, get up, move around, read or look out of the window and up to the stars, whatever works, then come back to your sleepy nest again once your mind has settled.
    Just know that resting and finding a peaceful moment can be just as rewarding so thank yourself for that time.

Emma Mills

Emma is a 200hr qualified yoga teacher, specialising in Hatha Yoga and breathwork, aside from this she has completed many CPD yoga courses and recently completed a 'flexibility workshop'.

She is currently teaching voluntarily online and being inclusive to every student is always at the forefront of her mind when setting up a class.

Using social media and the discovery of Instagram she has been able to reach out and share the joys of practicing yoga with many other likeminded people.