Try These Yoga Poses for a Good Night's Sleep

October 06, 2020

Are you having trouble sleeping? A national survey reports that over 55% of people who did yoga before bed found that it helped them get better sleep. Below are five yoga poses to try for a better night’s sleep.

Child’s Pose

This pose, often done at the end of a yoga session to relax the body, can also help you to wind down before bed to catch a more restful sleep. Not sure how to do a child’s pose? ACE Fitness Organization instructs:

  • From your seated position, fold your legs so you are sitting on your knees with the tops of your feet underneath you. 
  • Bow forward until your forehead touches the ground.
  • Stay here, breathing deeply for several minutes. Focus on your breath, paying attention to each inhale and each exhale. 

Note:  It’s a good idea to spread your knees to allow your upper body to deepen when you bow forward in the second step. If this is not a comfortable position, tuck a pillow between your hips and your calves, and also put a pillow under your forehead. Try to find a position that is comfortable. Your arms can stretch out in front with palms facing down or rest alongside the body with the palms facing up.

Lizard Pose

The lizard pose targets your hip flexors, quads and hamstrings, according to Shape magazine

  • Starting in “downward-facing dog,” step your right foot outside of your right hand and bend the knee, coming to a lunge position, your right thigh parallel to the floor, toes turned slightly out.
  • Come down to rest your elbows on the ground. Keep your neck and spine in line, and press your left heel away, keeping your hips square.
  • Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the left side.

Supine Twist (Spinal Twist)

The supine twist (or spinal twist) targets your back, hips, ribs and upper back. This exercise helps to get a nice stretch, loosening the muscles in these areas. Here’s how to do the twist as instructed by ACE Fitness:

  • Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. 
  • Gently begin to lower both knees to the left side, aiming to keep your shoulders glued to the ground. 
  • Turn your gaze toward the right side. 
  • Pause here and breathe, bringing your focus into your hips and lower back. Stay here for 10 to 15 breaths and then switch sides.

Note: To increase comfort, place one pillow between the knees and one pillow under the left knee. 

Up the Wall

This pose will have your legs up the wall. Doing this pose has other benefits as well, such as 

  • alleviating headaches
  • Boosts energy
  • Soothes menstrual cramps (some yoga traditions advise against doing Viparita Karani during menstruation)
  • Relieves lower back pain

This pose also targets your glutes and hamstrings, so you’re getting a nice stretch for your bottom! How to do the pose:

  •  Sit facing the wall and lie on your back.
  • Moving your buttocks as close to the wall as possible, lift your legs and rest the back of your legs against the wall, perpendicular to the ground.
  • Rest with your arms out to the sides, palms up. Hold for 15 seconds. 

Happy Baby

The happy baby pose helps calm the brain and relieve stress and fatigue. It targets your spine, groin and hips. While this pose is great for before bed, you can also use this pose to help alleviate cramps when you are on your period.

How to: 

  • Lie on your back, lift your legs and bend your knees with your feet flexed towards the ceiling.
  • Grab the big toe of each foot with each respective hand and further bend your knees towards your armpits. If able, rock left to right, gently massaging the spine.
  • Hold for 15 seconds.

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