Yoga is a restorative practice that aligns your breath and your body. It is believed to have many benefits to people who practice such as increased flexibility, improved strength, decreased stress and, as a U.S. National Survey recently discovered, improved sleep.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health conducted a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) on health approaches in the U.S. The survey found that over 55% of yoga users reported improved sleep since practicing. This could have links to over 85% also reported reduced levels of stress – a causation of insomnia.
Yoga reduces the stress hormone cortisol in your body and teaches your muscles how to relax so when it’s time to hit the hay you’re body is privy to shutting off and getting some good rest.
Sleep is important in the functionality and well-being of human bodies. It makes you feel better while protecting your mental and physical health as it maintains brain function and regulates emotional well-being.
One study conducted short-term trials of yoga on elderly people and found it to have beneficial effects on sleep as the subjects who took part had better quality of sleep, which in turn, improved their overall quality of life.
Another study found that people who regularly took part in Bikram Yoga significantly returned to sleep faster after nocturnal awakenings.
Although these studies are far and few between, more and more are popping up showing how practicing yoga can benefit your life, including improving your sleep.
Yoga may appear as an intimidating form of exercise but for those who have trouble sleeping it might be worth stepping onto a mat and giving the practice a go.