- April 28, 2019
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Yoga
In previous decades, medical researchers paid little attention to the health benefits of yoga and meditation.
They assumed there was little value to these activities, other than providing some relaxation and aerobic exercise.
This has all changed thanks a growing body of evidence that shows how beneficial yoga and meditation can be to a person’s mental and physical health.
Both activities have been found to relieve stress and anxiety, reduce the risk of disease, and provide several other health benefits.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga and meditation is that they can both improve sleep quality.
By practicing these activities everyday, you will find it easier to get to sleep and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Why does sleep matter?
Many important biological processes occur when you sleep.
As you lay in bed:
- Energy reserves are restored
- Hormones are released and hormone levels are balanced
- The brain sorts and processes information
- The sympathetic nervous system has an opportunity to recuperate
- The levels of the stress hormone Cortisol are lowered
- The immune system releases inflammation fighting cytokines
Failure to get enough sleep or only enjoying low quality sleep means that these processes do not occur successfully.
Researchers have found that this can lead to several negative consequences including irritability, tiredness, poor cognitive performance, and higher stress levels.
If you are often sleep deprived, it can even increase the risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, anxiety, and diabetes.
How does yoga and meditation help you sleep?
There are several ways that yoga and meditation can improve the quality of your sleep.
Stress and anxiety relief
One of the best reasons to incorporate yoga and meditation into your life is how much these activities can improve your mental health.
They are both calming, meditative practices that promote inner peace.
When performing yoga or meditation, you can enter a mindful state, where any feelings of stress and anxiety simply disappear.
Both activities can also relieve stress and anxiety in other ways including:
- Directly alleviating the physical impact of the stress response (Lowers heart rate, blood pressure and respiration rate)
- Providing a fun social activity
- Improving your mental clarity and physical fitness
So how does this help how well you sleep?
Researchers have discovered a close link between stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
People with high levels of stress and anxiety tend to find it harder to get to sleep and are more likely to awaken throughout the night.
By reducing the impact of these common mental health issues, you can greatly improve your sleep quality.
The physical aspect of yoga
The physical benefits of yoga are numerous.
Many of these benefits can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Yoga uses a lot of energy
An intensive yoga session is physically demanding and burns off a lot of energy.
Using up your energy reserves makes it much easier to get to sleep later on.
Yoga aids in the removal of toxins
Many yoga poses are designed to stimulate your organs and remove toxins from the body.
Removal of these toxins can make it easier to get to sleep.
Relaxing the nervous system
Both yoga and meditation can have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
This can make it easier to get to sleep as your body can change between a fully alert state and the restful state ready for sleep more easily.
A sense of peace and calm
Regularly meditating and yoga practice can fill you a sense of calmness and peace.
This is useful when attempting to go to sleep as you will more relaxed and satisfied with life.
Instead of laying in bed feeling frustrated or anxious, you will simply feel calm and ready to rest.
Mindfulness practices make it easier to control your inner thoughts
Researchers have discovered that mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can help people control their inner thoughts.
This makes it much easier to process and constrain any repetitive negative thoughts that may be keeping you awake at night.
Instead of laying in bed thinking about an event that happened during the day, you can process the thought and focus your attention on getting some rest.
Thanks for reading How Yoga And Meditation Can Have A Positive Impact On Sleep.
For more posts on yoga, meditation, and healthy living, bookmark the site.