Establishing a yoga practice is a powerful way to reduce sleep issues, manage stress and incorporate self-care into your plan for health. Yoga helps to soothe the parasympathetic nervous system through a combination of relaxation, breathing, physical postures, and meditation. When our parasympathetic nervous system is calm we are able to relax and avoid the ‘flight or fight’ response that haunts many of us at bedtime.
Yoga also assists our bodies’ digestion of, not only the foods we eat, but also our thoughts, emotions, and traumas- which all play a role in how well we sleep at night. When we still need to digest our day, we may start to obsess or ruminate over things at bedtime. Yoga also increases circulation within us so we may find we have more energy during the day and upon waking. Lastly, yoga helps us connect to the still, quiet, peaceful place within us which can be called upon when we are having a hard time falling asleep or struggling with waking at night. If you practice yoga consistently for an extended period of time you will likely notice that your sleep issues naturally diminish.