Yoga is an incredible treatment for many disorders, including sleep disorders. It is known for its relaxing effects, which makes it easier for sleep to ensue. The following are five ways that yoga helps to improve sleep.
1. Yoga relaxes you
A major barrier to sleep for most people is stress and anxiety. The body poses and movements performed in yoga are known to deal with these, relaxing the muscles of the body, while causing the body to release chemicals to relax your mind. This relaxation hence makes it easier for you to fall asleep. In fact, sleeping is a deeper form of relaxation.
2. Yoga works on the nervous system
An active nervous system impedes the onset of sleep. Yoga helps to decrease nervous system activity by pumping more blood to the brain’s sleep center. This in turn increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for rest, digestion, and sleep. Increased activity here means that you rest more and have a better digestive system, reducing the pain from complications that may arise from indigestion. Indigestion in turn makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
3. Yoga reduces body temperature
Some yoga poses like Standing Heart-Opening Pose (Anahatasana) and Standing Lunar Forward Bend (Uttanasana), are able to reduce body temperature. This is essential, as body temperature needs to fall if sleep is to occur.
4. Meditation practices
The meditation involved in yoga helps clear your mind of distracting thoughts and worries, stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of sleep disorders. This helps you to fall asleep more easily and quickly.
5. Yoga improves blood circulation
Poor blood circulation causes the body to be under stress, forcing it to release the stress hormone, cortisol. When you are under stress, it becomes harder to fall asleep. Yoga helps to improve blood circulation to different areas of the body, thus reducing the stress that it may be feeling, hence relaxing it, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
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