4 Yoga Moves for Better Sleep

4 Yoga Moves for Better Sleep

Use your time before bed to fully unwind, and wake up the next morning recharged.

At the end of the day, it can be hard to resist the urge to send one last email or take a peek at social network sites. But keeping your mind active right up until bedtime can make it difficult to wind down and fall asleep.

A better idea? Switch off electronic devices at least one hour before you turn in — and adopt a calming routine, such as yoga, to signal both the body and the brain that sleep is imminent. Happily, there’s no need to twist your body into a pretzel to reap yoga’s relaxing rewards, as many poses are extremely simple and suitable for just about everyone. To get started, dress comfortably, and sit on your bed, or spread a yoga mat or clean towel on the floor.

Focus on Your Breath
Sit cross-legged with a straight spine and place your hands on your knees, with your wrists turned up; gently press the tips of your first finger and thumb together to form an “O.” After closing your eyes and mouth, breathe in very slowly through your nose, counting from one to four. Exhale just as slowly to the same count. Repeat five times. (This pose can be done while sitting in a straight-backed chair too.)

Stretch Your Legs and Back
Sit upright with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you. As you inhale, straighten your arms and bring them above your head, stretching tall through the spine. As you exhale, bend forward from the hips and place your hands on your thighs, shins, or toes, making sure to keep your back straight and lengthened. Breathe slowly and deeply, holding the pose for as long as it feels good — anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes.


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Gently Massage Your Spine
Lie on your back with your legs out straight. As you inhale, bend your knees. Use your arms to pull them as close to your chest as you comfortably can. While still holding your knees, relax your body and exhale as you rock gently from front to back, then side to side, giving your back muscles and spine a gentle massage for about 30 seconds.

Relax Your Body
“Savasana,” one of yoga’s best known relaxation moves, is the final pose in many yoga practices. Lie flat with your arms and legs spread out slightly from your body, with palms facing up. (If you’re not totally comfortable, tuck a rolled-up towel or pillow under your knees.) Close your eyes, relax and focus awareness on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Continue with this pose for one to five minutes.

Surround Yourself with Sleep-Inducing Things
Once you’re relaxed and ready to hit the hay, make sure your bedroom is optimized for slumber. Keep the room cool and as dark as possible. You can even go a step further and have even your bed sheets invite sleep by washing them with infused detergents or fabric softeners that feature the soothing scents of herbal lavender and vanilla.

Sweet dreams!

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Great read! Going to try some of these ideas tonight. Thanks!

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