Yoga RX: Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep. This sleep disorder not only affects your sleep cycle but it also affects you while you’re awake. By not getting enough sleep your functionality during the day will be diminished. Sleeplessness can be short term (up to 3 weeks) or long term (longer than 3 weeks). Long-term insomnia can lead to memory problems, depression, irritability and an increased risk of heart disease.

If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, these yoga poses will help you calm your brain and relax your body.

Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)

Yoga RX: Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend) is known to calm the brain and stretch the back legs and spine. You can also do this pose supported on blankets or bolsters. As your forehead gently presses into the bolster or blankets, ensure that your skin moves toward your eyeballs, as opposed to your hairline. This promotes relaxation, calming the nervous system and quieting the brain.

Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)

Yoga Rx: Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

The most important yoga pose to alleviate insomnia is Sarvangasana. When practiced right before bedtime, it prepares the body for sleep. Sarvangasana enhances digestion, stretches the shoulder and neck, and helps diminish fatigue and alleviate insomnia by promoting relaxation.

Other Beneficial Yoga Poses for Insomnia

  • Forward Bends and All Inversions: If the cause of your insomnia is hormonal, these poses and forward bends are effective.
  • Supported Supine Poses: Relieve anxiety and agitation.