Insomnia is a growing health hazard and among the top reasons that people seek help from a primary care physician. If you’ve ever tossed and turned for more than a few nights in a row, you understand why people turn to professionals: lack of sleep makes it difficult to function.
- Makes it harder for your body to fight off cancer.
- Lowers your immunity.
- Causes estimated deadly car crashes in excess of 6,000 annually.
- Can make you pre-disposed to diabetes.
- Causes weight gain.
- Can damage your organs.
- Can alter your DNA.
A recent CDC report estimates that over one-third of the U.S. adult population sleeps less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours each night.
But there is good news for those who suffer and you don’t even need to make a doctor’s appointment. Just head to a yoga class. Over 55 percent of people who do yoga reported better sleep and 85 percent said they experienced a decrease in stress, according to a national survey.
When people who have insomnia do yoga daily, they report sleeping longer, falling asleep faster, and returning to sleep more quickly if they wake up in the middle of the night.
Here are three poses that are good for preparing your body for sleep.
- Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani: Lie on the ground on your back and put the back of your legs up a wall (keep your legs straight, knees soft), so your body is in an L-shaped pose. Relax into the position, hold it for about 30 seconds and focus on your breathing.
- Reclined Butterfly or Supta Baddha Konasana: Lie on the ground on your back. Press the bottoms of your feet against each other and let your knees fall out to the sides. You can put a pillow under your knees.
- Corpse Pose or Savasana: Lie on the ground on your back with legs straight, arms by sides, and palms facing up. Breathe slowly, focusing on your inhales and exhales.
For more information about how yoga can help you get a better night’s sleep, see this article in Harvard Health.
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