Yoga for sleep

If you’re tossing and turning and longing for a night of uninterrupted, blissful Sleep, there’s good news for you: yoga can help – and it doesn’t even require you to break a sweat. Sleeplessness is a situation many of us are all too familiar with. You’re lying in bed, staring at the clock and watching the minutes tick by. At the same time, you’re replaying your day in your head or thinking about what tomorrow will bring.

An endless stream of thoughts running through your mind combined with a tense and tight body leaves you feeling restless and far from the peaceful state you want to be in before going to bed. But help is at hand via a series of gentle stretches combined with breathing exercises that will do wonders for relaxing the body and mind and preparing for sleep.

When you use yoga to particularly address sleep problems, you need to bring your focus to the restorative poses and meditative practices that soothe the body and mind. The intention here is not so much to improve strength or flexibility, but rather to loosen the muscles and ease the mind to place you in the ideal state to be ready to sleep. But, before we get into the yoga practices, let’s look at why sleep is so important.

How much sleep do you need?

There are many different numbers thrown around when discussing how many hours we should sleep. The truth is the number differs from person to person and will also vary according to age. Babies, for instance require around 16 to 18 hours a day as they undergo greater levels of cellular growth. School-aged children and teenagers need about nine to 10 hours of good sleep. while adults generally need about seven to eight hours.

Why is sleep Important?

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do — and it’s terrible what a bad night’s sleep can do. It’s no secret that after a sound night’s sleep you typically feel energized and alert, while poor sleep leaves you feeling like you are running on empty and often irritable and disengaged.

Sleep, is so important because it offers the body a chance to rejuvenate. Sleep, in fact, has been called an anti-ageing mechanism as it allows the body’s cells to heal and replenish. It is a dynamic process, during which the brain is at work. Among the many functions the brain assists with during sleep are regenerating tissues, normalizing hormone levels, restoring depleted energy reserves and replenishing the areas of the brain responsible for emotional and social functioning, information retrieval and the preservation of emotional memories.

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