In a society where we are operating under high levels of stress and with the constant stimuli of tech and social media getting consistently good sleep can be a challenge.
When you’re trying to create a demarcation between your busy day and your time of rest, yoga for sleep can Relieve insomnia, be a great tool to wind down.
In this article we will discuss:
Let’s dive in together!
4 Benefits of yoga in bed for sleep
Evening yoga is a great way to unwind from your day, and choosing to practice in bed before sleep offers many benefits that extend beyond physical relaxation.
Here are a few key advantages that make bedtime yoga a supportive practice if you want to get better sleep:
- Stress relief: The gentle movements and mindful breathing techniques employed during in-bed yoga activate the parasympathetic nervous system, commonly known as the “rest and digest” mode. This shift counters the effects of the day’s stressors, helping to alleviate tension and promote a sense of calm, which helps unwind before sleep.
- Enhanced flexibility and muscle relaxation: The soothing stretches and poses gently release built-up tension in the muscles and joints, promoting physical relaxation. This, in turn, can alleviate discomfort or stiffness that might hinder a good night’s sleep, contributing to a more comfortable and refreshing experience.
- Cultivate more mindfulness and presence: The focus on the breath and the intentional, slow movements foster a deep mind-body connection. This heightened awareness helps to break the cycle of racing thoughts and mental chatter that often accompanies bedtime, creating mental clarity and a sense of inner peace conducive to sleep.
- Insomnia relief: In-bed yoga can be a natural remedy for those with punctual or recurrent insomnia. The meditative aspect of the practice, coupled with relaxation techniques, encourages a state of tranquility that supports the body’s natural progression into sleep. The rhythmic flow of the practice acts as a bridge, guiding practitioners from the busyness of the day to a state of calm conducive to a more seamless transition into slumber.
By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of relaxation, bedtime yoga becomes a ritual that prepares the body and mind for a rejuvenating night’s sleep, unlocking deeper sleep and helping you wake up more refreshed and energized.
How to make a dreamy setup
Practicing yoga in bed for sleep will be a lot easier if you take some time to set yourself up for success.
Getting good sleep doesn’t only depend on the mattress and pillow you use, and it is important to know that there are steps you can take to make your space more relaxing and sleep-inducing even before you start practicing yoga in your bed.
Here are a few considerations:
- If possible at least 30 -minutes before your desired bedtime, dim the lights and opt for warm, soft lighting to create a calming ambiance in your bedroom. Consider using candles, Himalayan salt lamps, or dimmable bedside lamps to set a tranquil mood.
- Ensure your bedroom is tidy and clutter-free. A neat space promotes a sense of calm and reduces distractions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your bedtime yoga practice and ultimately get better rest.
- Use incense or essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or cedarwood to create a soothing atmosphere. Place a diffuser in your bedroom or use a few drops on your pillow to promote relaxation and ease tension.
- Play soft, instrumental music or nature sounds to create a calming auditory backdrop. Choose music with a slow tempo to match the pace of your bedtime yoga practice.
Best types of yoga in bed for sleep
As you may already know, there are many different yoga styles, all with different benefits for those who practice them.
When you want to practice yoga in bed for sleep, it is beneficial to choose relaxing yoga styles that are more grounding and designed to help you let go of the day and tap into rest.
Here are some of the best types of yoga that you can do at bedtime to help you induce good sleep:
- Restorative Yoga: this style is an accessible choice when practicing yoga in bed for sleep. Centered around long-held, passive poses supported by props, it encourages deep relaxation and releases tension. This style facilitates a profound sense of calm, making it an ideal choice for unwinding before bedtime.
- Yin Yoga: when holding poses for an extended duration, you’ll target the connective tissues and promote flexibility. In bed, the slow and gentle nature of Yin yoga can help release tension in the muscles and improve joint mobility, paving the way for a more relaxed state conducive to sleep.
- Gentle Hatha Yoga: this style of yoga invites gentle movement and breath awareness, and is well-suited for a bedtime practice. The combination of postures and controlled breathing helps calm the nervous system, making it easier to transition from the day’s activities to a state of tranquility.
- Mindful Body Awareness Practice: This yoga technique involves systematically focusing on each part of the body, bringing awareness and relaxation to different areas. When done in bed, this practice can help release tension and promote a sense of calm throughout the entire body, setting the stage for restful sleep.
- Meditation and Breathing Techniques: While not a traditional yoga style per se, integrating simple meditation and breathing techniques can be highly effective when getting ready for sleep. Mindful breathing and meditation help quiet the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote a peaceful mental state for sleep.
8 yoga poses in bed for sleep
Here are some simple and accessible postures you can do in bed that help induce good, restful sleep:
1# Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose is a full body stretch which eases the lower body: hips, thighs, and ankles, while also soothing the mind. This forward fold pose can release tension in the back, shoulders, and neck.The forward-bending nature encourages introspection, calming the nervous system and promoting relaxation—an excellent way to unwind and let go of the day’s stress, encouraging deeper, more tranquil sleep.
2# Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
Sphinx Pose is a gentle yoga backbend that opens the chest and stretches the spine. This pose can help alleviate lower back tension and improve posture.
As it engages the upper back, it can release stored tension, creating a sense of spaciousness.
Sphinx Pose encourages deep breathing, enhancing respiratory function and promoting a sense of calm conducive to better sleep.
This 90 degree angle hip-opening pose is particularly effective for releasing tension in the lower back and hips.
Supine Figure Four stretches the piriformis and outer hips, which can be areas of accumulated stress.
By promoting flexibility in these regions, the pose contributes to physical relaxation and comfort, supporting the body’s readiness for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose opens the hips and groins, promoting a sense of vulnerability and surrender.
This gentle hip opener releases tension in the groin and pelvic area.
This asana prepares your body and mind for restful sleep by easing physical discomfort and allowing the breath to flow more freely.
Use a large pillow under your torso to explore a different variation.
5# Wind relieving pose (Apanasana)
Apanasana releases tension in the lower back and abdomen.
By hugging the knees toward the chest, you gently compress and then release the digestive organs, promoting healthy digestion and alleviating bloating or discomfort.
This pose encourages a sense of security and relaxation, setting the stage for peaceful sleep.
6# Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
Known for its restorative properties, this pose is a gentle inversion that promotes relaxation and soothes the nervous system.
It encourages blood circulation and helps reduce swelling in the legs and feet.
By facilitating a mild inversion, it creates a calming effect, preparing the body for a serene night’s rest.
7# Reclined twist pose (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Supine Twist is excellent for releasing tension in the spine and stretching the muscles along the back and hips. This twist can help improve spinal mobility and alleviate stiffness and back pain.
By gently wringing out tension from the spine, this pose promotes a sense of ease and relaxation, making it easier to transition into a peaceful sleep state.
8# Corpse pose (Savasana)
Savasana promotes conscious relaxation, reducing muscle tension and quieting the mind.
This grounding posture is calming to the nervous system, fostering tranquility, and preparing the body for restorative sleep.
If you’re ready, here is a class for you to try with some of the yoga poses we’ve explored in this article that will help you get good sleep (suitable for beginners):
Establishing a bedtime yoga routine for sleep can be a lovely way to develop better evening habits, and help you wake up more energized and clear.
If you enjoyed this article about yoga in bed for sleep and want to learn a few more poses for some much needed shut eye yoga flow, read this next: