Yoga for Sleep, How to Cure Insomnia with Yoga Techniques

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga cure

Yoga for sleep:

Today, a big percentage of population spends their night tossing in the bed, unable to release themselves into the lap of sleep.

The mind is exposed to so much – stimulating information & experiences – during the day time, that reclining it back to rest in sleep becomes a challenge for most of us. Yoga for sleep makes it a effortless process which eventually impact the overall health of the practitioner.

The problem can take serious turn when one is unable to have a good night sleep for days, weeks or even months in continuation.  Almost each one of us occasionally experience “transient insomnia”, or sleeplessness due to a single distressing experience like a momentary tiff with a colleague or a boss or someone whom we hold in high esteem.

 Incase this stretched to weeks and months one must immediately look for the root cause and the possible solutions for the same  before it begins to derail one’s day to day activities and life in general.  Sleep requirement is very individual specific, there is no one  standard duration of sleep which can be applied across individuals. 

New borns generally sleep for 14 to 18hours a day which slips to 9 -10 hours by  age 10.   Adults do well with a 7 – 8 hours of sleep which reduces to around 6 hours for the elderly.  Sleep becomes a real problem when it starts to affect the efficiency and behavior of the person suffering from any degree of insomnia. A report from a recent study on sleep shares similar findings related to human sleep patterns.

Insomnia, causes for Sleep Problems

Majority of the times insomnia causes are a result of a web of  multiple problems instead of some single cause.  Insomnia can result from the cumulative effect of Stress added to some form of persistent physical pain plus a new born in the house.  

Call center employees suffer from insomnia due to erratic work hours and stress related to the job content. The complexity of factors as insomnia causes have multiplied to an extent that the physicians have started calling  sleep disorders and sleep problems as “ Disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep”.

  • Its believed that the insomnia causes are tetrahedral in nature.  First of them is the biological disposition. Two of the bogy’s systems, arousal systems and hypnogogic system, are respectively responsible for the wakeful and sleep states of the human body.  Presence of mental tension, stress keeps the system responsible for wakeful state overactive preventing the body from slipping into the hypnogogic system.  Sensations of pain from arthritis, migraines or ulcers; breathing disorders like asthma, bronchitis; kidney , and thyroid issues; and irregular heart  beat can cause sleeplessness.

Consumption of alcohol, or drugs like stimulants, sedatives, anti-depressants,  use of contraceptives, and drugs related to thyroid issues have been known to hinder the sleep cycle.  Sleep inducing pills can cause sleep disorders by precipitating sleep and frequent intermittent awakening.   

A sleeping area that is too noisy or damp or dry can keep one up the entire night.  Eating too little or excessively can also lead to sleep problems.  Consuming food items rich in tyrosine, an amino acid responsible for alertness , like chocolates , and cheese can diffuse the sleep for good.  Even exercising too much or just  before the  bed time can keep the nerves away from slipping into a trance for sleep.

Late sleeping, and awakening hours are also responsible for disturbing the circadian (body’s natural clock) cycle.  People having long periods of disturbed sleep patterns even develop fear of insomnia which keeps them tense preventing the shut eye.

Yoga for curing insomnia

How to cure Insomnia?  Yoga for Sleep

Yoga for sound sleep incorporates relaxation techniques which relax the mind and the body the natural way facilitating an easy sleep.  For insomnia treatment with yoga follow these tips for inducing sleep, as well as for rectifying the disturbed sleep cycle the natural way.

  • Drink one to two glasses of warm water first thing on waking up in the morning, after which do brisk walking for at least 10 minutes. This practice will aid an easy evacuation
  • In case of severe constipation place a hot water bag on the stomach,  drink a glass full of lukewarm water  with lemon,  maintain this routine till the congestion is eased out
  • Practice the technique of auto lavage at least once in a month
  • Always bathe in hot water where the temperature of the water must be slightly more than the body temperature
  • Yoga poses for insomnia include intense forward bends and inversion yoga asanas, these help  generate  adequate  intra-abdominal pressure for normal evacuation of the faeces
  • Avoid lying down immediately after having large meals like the lunch or the dinner, walk for at least 10 to 15 minutes before retiring for rest after having the meals
  • Pranayamas for insomnia must be practiced two times every day, get into the habit of using  hot water bag on the stomach before retiring to the bed each day
  • Yoga for sleep  recommend eating  sattvic food for keeping the mind calm and at peace throughout the day, rajasic and tamasic food  will keep the mind agitated enough for keeping one awake,  eat the last meal of the day at least two hours before the sleeping time
  • Eat only when hungry, incase not hungry at night, skip dinner or just have a glass of milk and go to bed
  • Fight insomnia with yoga in bed, most of the relaxation techniques which form the part of yoga for sound sleep can be easily done on bed, one must also practice some innovative ways to relax on daily basis inorder to keep the mind tuned for sleep.
  • Practicing Nishpanda bhava on bed before sleep time will help gather the mind from all around and focus it on lesser thoughts  which will aid in falling asleep.
  • Instead of rolling in the bed when feeling insomniac try to practice alternate breathing, or anuloma viloma breathing for at least 10 minutes, this will clarify the prana channels in the body leading to a peaceful state of mind.
  • Leave your burdens to the higher authority ( God)  in faith and just switch off the mind for sleep.

Yoga  Asanas for good sleep

Uttanasana/Hastpad Asana

Adhomukhasvan Asana

Candle Gazing 

Ujjayi Pranayama

Jnana Mudra

Bhoochari Mudra

Shambhavi Mudra

Nasikagra Drishti Mudra

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