You may think that it’s best to practice yoga in the morning or during the day, but there are real health benefits to performing yoga poses just before bedtime. When done as part of your nighttime routine, yoga can help clear your mind and ease you into a sound sleep.
More than one-third of American adults get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re among them and have had little luck with other sleep remedies, you may want to give yoga a try.
Here are four benefits of practicing yoga before going to bed that you may have not been aware of.
The focused breathing and mindfulness that yoga requires helps empty our head of any negative thoughts and bad moments we experienced during the day. These thoughts can otherwise distract us and prevent us from falling asleep right away. Yoga can help create a clean slate in our mind so we can fall asleep more easily without any worrying thoughts.
Focusing on our breathing also de-stresses us and can lower blood pressure, which helps us fall asleep faster as well. Yoga can be particularly beneficial to those who suffer from anxiety, as the disorder can make falling asleep difficult.
Browsing your phone or laptop just before bedtime can make it more difficult to fall asleep, thanks to the stimulating blue light emitted from mobile device screens. That’s because this light emulates daylight and releases cortisol (a stress hormone) which keeps us awake longer.
Practicing yoga instead of watching TV or going online helps the body wind down and fall asleep quicker.
Research has shown that yoga can ease lower back pain which may otherwise prevent us from drifting off without painkillers. Yoga limbers up the muscles and increases circulation, lending to restful sleep. It also helps the body release toxins in the organs and tissues which further contributes to quality rest.
Going to bed with a clear head and being able to get enough hours of quality shuteye means we’re more likely to be ready to take on the next day with energy and a positive attitude. It can even be used as a secret weapon to help us combat negativity.
Yoga can definitely become an important part of your bedtime ritual. You can enhance the experience by playing soft music and scenting the air with essential oils such as lavender that can encourage better sleep. Here at Thrive Global we welcome content from millennials to help people live their best and healthiest lives. For more tips on sleeping better and staying healthy, check out our latest wellness posts.
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