At some point in time, we have all experienced insomnia for one reason or another. There are times when lack of sleep just can’t be helped, such as when you’re having a baby, going through a divorce or even losing your job (to name a few).
Tips To Deal With Insomnia
Below are some suggestions that will help with your insomnia and hopefully provide a good night’s rest:
1. Write It Down
Do you have one or more problems on your mind, that are troubling you at bedtime? Write it down and leave it on the kitchen table where you sit in the morning. This is a form of compartmentalization!
Your subconscious mind works on a solution, while you and your conscious mind get some rest. You will be surprised by what happens the following morning. You’ll either find that the problem is much less important or your subconscious has found the solution. This technique is so powerful that many successful people use it.
2. Design a Sleep Schedule
Establish a daily routine. Your body has a natural cycle and most of us ignore it. We are generally out of tune with our bodies, so it may be essential to get back to basics and design a schedule for all tasks, including sleep.
3. Practice Yoga Every Day
This may not always be possible, but if you can try to spend at least fifteen minutes a day doing your practice, you’ll find that you have a lot more energy during the day. Daily practice will also help you get a good night’s sleep when you need it.
Yoga Poses for Insomnia
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
This asana eases the mind and helps you relax.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straightened out.
- Now, raise your arms over your head and slowly bend forward.
- Try touching your toes with your fingertips and your head to your knee.
- The point of this asana is to relax, not to stress you out, so take it easy. You may not be able to touch your toes right away, but know that you will improve over time.
- Breathe out when you bend forward, breathe normally while holding the pose and then inhale on your way up.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Stand straight, raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly, then bend forward completely while pushing your buttocks back; your palms should touch the floor and your forehead should touch your knees. If you cannot bend forward completely, or you are uncomfortable with the stretch on your hamstrings, bend your knees a little.
- Stay in this pose until you are comfortable. This pose helps the blood rush to your head, which helps your body to switch from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system. This will help you to relax.
- To return back to the standing position, slowly bring your arms above your head as you inhale, raising your upper body. As you exhale, bring your arms down from the front of your face. Do not jerk up. Remember to rise up from the hips without straining your muscles.
Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)
This a great pose for relaxing the back and any tense muscles in your neck and thighs.
- All you need to do is lie on your back, and place your palms on your knees.
- As you exhale, gently pull your legs to your chest. Allow your legs to move with the strength of your thighs rather than using your arms to pull them in too much.
- When you inhale, loosen your grip and allow your legs to move completely away from your tummy.
- Do this for a few breaths at your own pace. Let your breath guide your movement. Hold this position for some time. Close your eyes.
- If your mind is not at rest, try counting your breaths. This helps reign in and calm the mind. Once you feel calm, slowly lower your legs to the floor and relax.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
This asana helps your mind and body to relax. It also stretches out the muscles in the legs and back.
- Lie down flat on the floor.
- Next, slowly fold your knees and bring your heels towards your buttocks.
- As you slowly inhale, open up your knees and move them towards the floor. Raise your arms above your head and rest them on the floor. You can take a few long breaths in this position.
- To come back to the starting position, bring your hands back to the normal position and slowly pull your knees together. Extend your legs out. To stand up, roll over to your left side and use your hands to get up.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
- Start with lying flat on your back.
- Place your palms next to your body, with the palms facing upwards, and lie completely still.
- Keep breathing.
By finding a good yoga teacher, you will learn controlled breathing (pranayama), stage-by-stage relaxation and meditation. Each is a powerful technique for relaxing prior to bedtime. You should always practice controlled breathing with either stage-by-stage relaxation or meditation. Some people practice stage-by-stage relaxation in bed and fall asleep in the process. This, of course, is not a bad thing if your ultimate goal is to fall asleep.