In case you often struggle to fall asleep, you are not the only one. There are many people who toss and turn for many hours in bed before they finally drift off and get some actual rest.
When this happens more frequently during the day you might end up feeling constantly tired, possibly overusing coffee and sugar to stay awake, and even to become depressed and gaining weight because of it.
That’s a serious issue! Doing the following yoga poses before going to bed could help you fall asleep (and to stay asleep). They are all very simple, so even if you have never done any yoga and you don’t think of yourself as a “flexible” person, you will be able to master these without a problem. Numerous scientific studies have shown the health benefits of yoga so there is no reason for you to take advantage of it. Remember that you have nothing to lose…
The first time you do these yoga poses, it’s good to not remain in them for too long. One minute will be enough. Later, you can extend the poses to 5 minutes or even longer.
Balasana – Child’s Pose
If you have knee issues, this one probably is not a good idea. But for everyone else, this pose is going to relax your nervous system, shoulders, back, belly, and your mind as well. In case your rear end doesn’t reach your heels, you can fold a blanket several times over and tuck it under the bum so that you are able to really let go. You can stretch the arms out in front of you or you can let them relax at your sides. Set an alarm in order to know when to come out of the pose. While you are in this pose you need to be sure to breathe deeply, particularly into your back.
Supta Baddha Konasana — Bound Angle Reclining Pose
There are some people who call this the butterfly pose: lying on the back, prop up the knees, place the soles of the feet together and gently let the knees fall away to your sides. Most of the people can’t lie flat in this pose. The knees are going to be at least a few inches away from the ground. So, in order to relax, you should put a stack of books or a rolled up pillow or blanket under each knee. Let your arms splay out at the sides, totally relaxed. Breathe all the way in to your lower belly.
Lying on the back, you need to take hold of your knees (or if you could reach, all the way around your shins as pictured there). Rock gently from one side to another. It’s a great way to stretch and massage the lower back after a long day. Let the legs and feet completely relax. At the same time, you need to let your shoulders melt toward the ground — you need to be sure not to tense them while holding the knees. And of course, don’t forget to breathe deeply.
Supta Matsyendrasana – Reclining Spinal Twist
Lying on the back, you need to prop up your knees and then let them fall over to the right side. You could stabilize your legs by holding the left thigh with the right hand. However, at the same time, stretch the left arm out to the left and then gently roll your head to the left. Here as well, you want both shoulders to relax into the ground as much as you can. And again, don’t forget to breathe! Then repeat the pose on the other side as well.
Matsyasana – Fish Pose
Lying on the back with your arms at your sides on the ground, slide the hands — palms down — under your rear end. While you slide them, start to press the lower arms into the ground and bend your elbows. The effect is to lift the upper body gently upward and open your chest. You could hold your head up, in case your throat and neck are uncomfortable, or gently let the head fall backward toward the ground. Take 5-10 deep breaths and then very carefully remove your hands from under your body. You should lie flat and enjoy the open sensation in the chest.