|Layover at Denver International
Some of us, like my kids, can sleep anywhere and anytime. As fast as I can say savasana in my college classes, is as quickly as some of my students are out.
Yet, no matter what age we are, how much money we make or where we are, we can all be affected by insomnia. Age, diet, and life circumstances, to name a few, can change our sleeping patterns.
Some of us fall asleep easily, awaken in the middle of the night and then cannot fall back to sleep. Others have difficulty falling asleep from the start.
Yoga practices, especially breathing practices and asana (yoga poses), enhance or hinder the sleeping process depending on how and when we use them and which ones we use. Even though I’ve practiced yoga for a long time and felt the energy change in my body, it was much later in my yoga education that I learned about using the effects of yoga to alter my body’s energy level. We hear talk about energy, cakras, and the like in yoga, yet how to utilize this source from within is not something universally taught.
What to do??
- Set up a night time routine-don’t eat too much, too late; start to slow down when the sun sets; turn electronics off 1 to 2 hours before bed.
- Drink some herbal tea or warm nut milk with cardamom; no caffeine after lunch time.
- Take a warm bath with lavender or rose essential oil and then massage some oil into your feet.
- Make your sleeping space a sanctuary- comfortable, cozy and clean
- Do a gentle yoga practice with some forward bending (helps us to turn inwards), inversions.
- Save the strenuous practices for morning to help you wake up.
- After looking over our day, visualize our intentions (to sleep peacefully through the night).
- Read something inspirational or peaceful
- Listen to a guided meditation, peaceful music chanting or yoga nidra.
- Focus on your breathing-breathe into your chest and belly and out belly chest.
Of course, you don’t have to do all of these things. Choose the ones that speak to you and try them for a week to 10 days. Evaluate your results and continue or try something different.
A Surprising Cure for Insomnia
If you have other helpful ideas that don’t involve substances, please share. Sleep inducement is definitely not a one-size fits all kind of practice. Happy zzzz’s.