The sleeping process of a person can have a positive or negative impact on their day to day life. If a person is not able to get enough sleep, it can leave them with unnecessary levels of stress and can have a negative effect on relationships with the people around them. Insomnia is one of the leading causes for sleep deprivation, and can signal that an individual needs support in certain areas of their life. There are two ways to approach insomnia: by taking medication or by making small changes within day to day activities that could potentially improve the inability to sleep.
Can yoga help? Of course it can! However, there is something that you should consider…how helpful can this really be to someone who is suffering from lack of sleep? Maybe smaller steps should be taken first, such as small doses of exercise on a regular basis.
Even something as simple as a glass of milk before bed or a pleasant walk in the evening could help to relax the individual enough for them to find sleeping easier. Another recommendation would be to stop watching the television at night time. Watching the television can cause an emotional imbalance, which can create restlessness within a person, making it difficult for them to settle at night. Simple relaxation activities can be a great help when an individual is attempting sleep. It is recommended that for between two and three hours before bed time, an individual should take part in an activity that completely relaxes them, from reading to knitting.
The relationships that individuals form with those closest to them can also have an impact on their sleeping patterns. When experiencing negative relationships, a person is subject to stress and anxiety about the bond between themselves and the people around them, which can impact the sleep that an individual is able to get on a nightly basis. If these relationship issues are resolved, the reduced stress levels can allow an individual to have a smoother night’s sleep.
If these lifestyle changes do not positive impact on a person’s sleeping pattern, it is recommended to seek advice from a medical professional. Insomnia, and other issues with sleep, can sometimes be caused by a hormonal imbalance or change, and these can only be diagnosed by a doctor. Once these issues have been resolved, the individual should be able to get a better night’s sleep.
Pranayama is a type of yoga that focuses on the breathing of an individual. Learning to control bouts of anxiety through breath control can be useful to an individual who is aiming to improve their sleeping pattern. After using the basic form of pranayama for a while, people tend to advance their sessions and will start to include different types of thought control. This expansion can reduce stress levels even further, thus improving sleep.
It is recommended that the breathing exercises are carried out on a nightly basis, before an individual plans to sleep. The process should start with sitting on the bed, with your legs crossed, closing your eyes and emptying your mind of all of the activities of the day. It is important not to think about anything during these exercises. Slowly begin to inhale air through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril, then reverse the nostrils used. Continuing this activity for ten minutes before you are due to sleep should help to balance the hemispheres of the brain and allow the thoughts of the day to disappear. This will leave an individual calm enough to attempt to get a good night’s sleep.
Yoga Nidra is another form of yoga that could help to improve a person’s sleeping habits. It is a form of meditative yoga that allows the body to relax and rest enough to mimic the benefits of sleep. It is believed that just one hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to four hours of sleep. This exercise is carried out in shavasana, also known as ‘the dead body pose’. Meditation music should be used with this type of exercise, in order to completely relax the body. Whilst the music is playing, you should lie completely flat in the middle of the bed and use the music to relax you completely. This should result in falling asleep.
Alongside these two types of yoga, it is also recommended that a person sits in complete silence for a short time in order to reflect on the negative aspects of their life, and rid themselves of the negative thoughts that accompany them. This allows both the body and the mind to rest completely, which will improve stress levels and allow an individual to relax enough to find sleeping easier.
Treat Insomnia with Yoga
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