There are few things more blissful than a good night’s sleep. A restful slumber can refresh the body and mind, leaving us feeling recharged and ready to take on the day. Unfortunately, however, getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an overwhelming 70 million American adults have chronic sleep problems. This includes disorders like insomnia, where sufferers have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Fortunately, if you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep problems, you may be able to find some relief in yoga and mediation. After all, both practices are known to promote relaxation and stress relief, which can do wonders for your quality of sleep. Let’s learn more about the ways yoga and meditation support deep sleep below.
Regulates Sleep-Wake Cycle
First of all, yoga and meditation practices may help regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This is because they can help increase melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a key role in regulating the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and it basically works like this: when it’s dark outside, melatonin levels rise, making us feel sleepy. Then, in the light of the morning, melatonin levels fall, helping us feel more alert.
By increasing melatonin levels, yoga and meditation can help you fall asleep faster, deeper, and for longer at nighttime. Say goodbye to that insomnia!
Reduces Stress + Anxiety
Yoga and meditation can also help support deep sleep by reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. When we experience stress, our bodies are in a state of “fight or flight.” This means that our sympathetic nervous system is activated, which can lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Not only does this make it difficult to fall asleep, but it can also make it difficult to stay asleep.
Fortunately, yoga and meditation can help to reduce stress and anxiety by activating the body’s “relaxation response.” This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” response, and therefore results in a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. In other words, yoga and meditation can help to calm the nervous system, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Increases Feelings of Well-Being
Finally, yoga and meditation can also increase feelings of general well-being. Put quite simply, when we feel good, we’re more likely to sleep well. This is because feelings of happiness and contentment can help reduce those pesky feelings of stress and anxiety, as we discussed earlier. Not to mention, when we’re feeling good, we’re more likely to have positive thoughts about sleep, which can help create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you will sleep well, you’re more likely to actually sleep well!
Yoga + Meditation = Better Sleep
So, if you’re looking for ways to support deep sleep, yoga and meditation may be able to help. These practices can help to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase feelings of well-being. So, what are you waiting for? Give yoga and meditation a try and see if they help you get the deep, restful sleep you need!
Looking for yoga and meditation classes? Contact Edie Gudaitis Wellness today to discuss your needs!