Can yoga help you sleep less, but better?

By Our Reporter
Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay

Ever wonder how successful people manage to do it all? Celebrities and politicians are swamped with responsibilities just like the rest of us, perhaps even more so. So how do they make it all work? The answer is: less sleep.

Even though science does not entirely support it, there are famous people who sleep less than the average 6-8 hours and still lead healthy lives. Information technology executive Marissa Mayer and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi claim that they only sleep for fours hours a night. Martha Steward and Donald Trump are two other workaholics who say their busy schedules only allow for 3 to 4 hours of sleep.

What’s the secret? Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to sleep just 3.5 hours every night. Despite the shortness of his sleep, he states that his slumber is sound thanks to yoga and pranayama. Modi says that he starts his day with yoga and that is what keeps him rested and agile in spite of lack of sleep. Does it work?

Doing yoga gives your body a boost

Physically, yoga provides the body with a workout that releases toxins and at the same time revives the body by increasing oxygen circulation. However, not all yoga postures get your body ready to hit the hay. Hot yoga raises your heart rate, thus making it harder to fall asleep. Yoga nidra, which focuses more on breathing techniques, is the right kind of exercise to relax the body, preparing it for a restful sleep.

Yoga helps release pent-up stress

It is common to lie in bed thinking about your day or tomorrow’s to-do list. Not only do these thoughts create anxiety and stress, but they are also detrimental to your sleep quality. Doing yoga regularly for 30 minutes just before bedtime helps you let go of some of the tension. People who have tried this exercise say that this nighttime routine gives them a surge of peaceful energy and mental stillness that drives negative thoughts away. When you no longer worry about the day ahead, your mind unwinds and your heart rate powers down. In this state, your body is set for a good-quality sleep.

Yoga for sleep quality over quantity

Almost none of us fall asleep the moment our head hits the pillow. Yet, yogis claim to be sound asleep within 30 seconds of going to bed. This is because yoga improves your overall sleep quality. Studies show that certain yoga postures allow us to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and go back to sleep much easier if we wake up in the middle of the night. No wonder insomniacs all recommend yoga as the most effective method of treatment.

Yoga is by no means a substitute for sleep, however, it is proven to encourage a good night’s rest. In addition to all the other benefits, mentally and physically, yoga is the perfect solution to get the most out of sleep time.


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