One of the most important things that should remain our top priority, no matter what our age is or what we’re doing in life, is rest.
Life can be tough. It gets busy, crowded, and overwhelming. During the day, most of us function like a machine– just working and grinding our way through life. When everything is constantly moving, it might be hard to find time to pause and take a breath.
This could ultimately affect your sleep, making you more tired and eventually, this could become a recipe for burnout– not just physically but mentally as well.
Good thing there are ways to achieve a better sleep. We’ll share some tips and a yoga flow for relaxed sleep, to help you get that rest.
Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep plays a vital role in our daily lives. This ensures that we’ll be able to unlock the full potential of our brain for the next day. This helps recharge our minds and bodies, giving us the energy we need.
Studies have shown time and time again that sleep is important to maintain a good, healthy, and balanced lifestyle. Even if you’re eating well and exercising, if you’re not resting properly you won’t feel at your best.
Normally, if you don’t have enough sleep, you’ll feel drained and seem more unmotivated. There could also be a physical reaction from your body. Maybe you’re feeling sore in some areas, or even constant headaches, these could all be due to a lack of sleep.
This is why if you have experienced doing an all-nighter, or just having 3-4 hours of sleep, it could be quite hard to feel good about yourself the next day, and will reflect on how you look and how you interact with people.
Your eyes will be darker than usual. You might see some spots on your face forming. You don’t have the energy to talk, or even interact with people. Ultimately, you’ll just feel very down and tired.
This may be a good time to listen to your body and finally drop your fourth cup of coffee. Lack of sleep will just affect your mind and body negatively. Find a way to slowly unwind and get your resting hours started.
What Affects Our Sleep?
There are different factors that can affect your sleep. This could range from the things in your room such as your bed, lighting, and temperature, or more specific things such as your lifestyle and even medications.
Take work or example. For some, it’s easy for them to set personal and professional boundaries. By the time that clock hits 5 PM, they are out of the building and ready to do more for themselves.
However, for a lot of people, this is not the case. They might not have the luxury to switch gears and go off work mode. This is a learned habit that can easily affect their everyday lives – especially their sleep!
Since their brain is still on overdrive by the time they get out of work, it could take a while for them to wind down and relax. This is where a good yoga flow for relaxed sleep comes in.
For most people, this is probably the most common factor that affects their sleep. Work and school can highly influence your sleeping pattern.
For example, your work requires you to be on a graveyard shift. This would mean that you’ll be awake during the usual sleeping hours and be asleep in the morning.
A lot of people will need a long time to be able to adjust to this completely. You can expect that for the first few weeks, you’ll just be completely tired and drained since your mind and body are already used to your routine.
This goes the same for students who deal with different academic workloads. Nowadays, it’s pretty common for students to pull an all-nighter to complete a specific task. You can ask any student, especially in University, if they have been sleeping well and you might be surprised at their answers.
You will be surprised how even small changes in your life can affect your sleep.
Another thing that can affect your sleeping habits is your environment, particularly where you sleep. Believe it or not, a few changes in your choice of bed, mattress, and pillow, can contribute a lot to the quality of your sleep.
If your bed is not comfortable enough, you’ll feel discomfort throughout thus by the time you wake up, you might feel extra soreness on your back and neck. Worst-case scenario is that you won’t be able to sleep at all.
Your sleep time habits contribute largely to how quickly and easily you get to sleep. This includes watching TV or being on your phone while laying in bed, causing insomnia effects. This can be because your blurring the line between the bed being for sleep and confusing your brain into thinking it is a place to stay alert watching your fav late night show or scrolling Tik Tok!
Also the blue light emitted from these electronic devices cause disruptions to your sleep hormones in the body.
The lighting and temperature of your room also affect your sleep quality. Most people cannot sleep when it’s too bright. Their rooms should be pitch black or else they won’t be able to sleep properly. This is because our brains recognize that it’s already night time and it will signal your body to fully rest.
Noise is also a deal-breaker for some people. It could be hard for them to turn off their mind if they’re hearing unnecessary noise.
It could be hard to focus on sleeping when you’re hearing a commotion outside. This is not even exclusive to loud and banging noises. It could be just small but repetitive noises that could really affect their sleep.
Another thing to consider is the temperature. You won’t be able to feel comfortable if you’re either feeling too hot or too cold. This is common for a lot of people. One thing to do is to experiment with the temperature that you want your room to be in. Eventually, you might be able to find the ideal one that works for you best.
Medications and Other Substance
Alcohol and caffeine also have an impact on your sleep. If you’re downing three to five cups of coffee per day, you might have a hard time resting since increased caffeine intake can boost your brain activity to the point where you’ll feel alert for long periods of time.
Prescribed medication such as antidepressants can also influence your sleeping patterns. This could have side effects like tiredness, nausea, trouble sleeping, etc. This is also the reason why it should only be taken with the doctor’s prescription as it could really affect your lifestyle.
Stress and Anxiety
As simple as it sounds, stress and anxiety also directly affect our sleep. If you’re constantly worried about something or there are multiple thoughts running through your mind, you won’t be able to get that good sleep.
As long as your brain is very active, this can’t signal your body to slow down and prepare for the next day. This is why it’s essential to learn a few tips and tricks that will help you free your mind from these things.
Quick Yoga Flow For Relaxed Sleep
One thing you can do to alleviate stress and anxiety is yoga or aerial yoga. There is a routine you can do for weight loss, improved flexibility, and back pain relief, and there’s also yoga flow for relaxed sleep.
This is a very simple routine that you can do either on your bed, mat or on the floor. Just make sure that you’re already preparing your mind and body for this flow. Find a comfortable spot and let’s start.
Start with Anjali Mudra (Hands together)
- First, sit on your mat or the floor. You can either sit in a Vajrasana position (kneeling while your buttocks rest on your heels and thighs on your calves) or a Sukhasana position (with your feet crossed and tucked under the opposite knee)
- Then place your hands together and allow your mind to find your center.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale at a steady pace.
- This is a good time to free your mind from any unwanted thoughts and completely focus on your breathing.
- Stay in the position for a minute or two, depending on your level of satisfaction. You can extend if you want to.
Next is Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- From the Vajrasana position, start by widening your knees and bringing your upper body forward.
- You may fully drop your body on the mat and stretch your arms forward, palms flat.
- Make sure that your head is also facing the mat. This position allows you to surrender your body completely and let go of things that bother you.
- Take deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Get more intentional with your breathing. Stay in the moment.
- You may stay in this position until you’re fully satisfied.
- Go back to the Vajrasana position.
The child’s pose is such a beautiful, relaxing pose that you can do any time you are feeling stressed or anxious, as it calms the parasympathetic nervous system.
Next is Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)
You may not consider this pose in your yoga flow for relaxed sleep as it can have an energizing effect.
However, the rhythmic spinal movement reduces stiffness and calms the nerves. It is great for stress relief, improved emotional balance and mental stability.
- Come into a tabletop position.
- Take a few of breaths. As you inhale, slowly drop your belly and lift your head. Your gaze should also follow.
- Then, as you exhale, slowly round your spine and bring your chin closer to your chest.
- Proceed to inhale and exhale, while alternating the poses.
- This helps stretch your neck and back, working on any kinks and tension that you’ve been carrying throughout the day.
- As you slowly get deep into the pose, you’ll feel a slight release in the areas that you’re working on.
- Continue with the pose until you’re comfortable to proceed to the next.
Next is Butterfly Pose
- Coming from the Varjasana position, sit on your mat with your legs forward and then slowly bend your knees and put your feet together.
- Make sure that you find a comfortable spot, so your body won’t feel too stretched. If it will help, find a yoga block and place it underneath your knees or thighs for extra support.
- Place both of your hands on your feet. You can hold them together as you move your body forward, rounding your spine in the process.
- Ideally, your upper body should be close to your legs. If you can, you may also rest your forehead on your hands. If not, don’t extend yourself too much.
- As soon as you find a good distance, take a deep breath once again.
- Focus on your breathing and get more intentional as time passes.
- Stay present and be more mindful of your connection to your body. Allow yourself to release the remaining tension and anxiety.
- Be in this position for a couple of breaths, before going back to the original one.
Last is Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- This is the easiest position that will prepare your body for your upcoming rest.
- Lay down on your mat. Your whole body should be completely flat on the mat.
- Spread your legs slightly. Maintain a good distance between your feet.
- Your arms should be on your side, palms facing up.
- Close your eyes. This is the final pose. This is a good time to let go of everything and allow your body and mind to completely shut off.
- Empty your mind. Just think about your breathing. Slowly inhale and exhale.
- Don’t feel pressured to do anything. Just lay there and be one with yourself.
- Stay in the position for as long as you want to. Enjoy the process of relaxing your mind and body.
- If you’re on your bed already, feel free to drift off to sleep.
Yoga Flow For Relaxed Sleep
Sleep is a very important part of our day. It is something that we should pay more attention to and avoid skipping. For the most part, our sleeping patterns are created by our lifestyle and becomes more ingrained habit as we grow older. This doesn’t mean, that we won’t be able to unlearn unhealthy the habits that we have formed.
Simple changes in our lifestyle can be a great addition to a healthier life. You should always listen to your body and learn how to take care of it better. If you’re into making changes in your life, start with improving your sleep. Try this quick yoga flow for relaxed sleep. Though seemingly small, it could bring big changes in your life.