Health & Wellness Articles

Yoga and You'll Go to Sleep

Health News Flash

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. Many of these people rely on medication to fall asleep, but research shows that relaxation and meditation exercises can also be effective at treating insomnia.

A new study from the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School has found that yoga, which incorporates both relaxation and meditation, may also help alleviate insomnia. Twenty participants with a history of insomnia completed a clinical trial in which they received a single in-person training session to learn yoga. They practiced daily for 8 weeks, receiving additional support in-person and by telephone, and kept a sleep diary. Participants experienced statistically significant improvements in five different measures of sleep quality over the course of the study.

Action Sparked
Although study participants received one-on-one yoga training, you don’t have to hire a private instructor to get to sleep. Read Yoga for Beginners to learn the basics of yoga and visit www.YogaJournal.com, a comprehensive website that demonstrates specific poses that help relieve insomnia. Besides getting better sleep, yoga might also help you increase muscle tone and flexibility, and maybe even achieve inner peace. Remember that sleep disorders can be a sign of an underlying health problem, and can also lead to more serious health problems. If you’re experiencing ongoing sleep issues, consult your doctor.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • Great article. I have to look into yoga a little more because sometimes I have a hard time going to sleep. - 10/27/2013 11:49:12 AM
  • ESLTEACHER1
    My ability to sleep well has improved dramatically with yoga. I am amazed at the correlation between yoga and sleep and I can't deny its benefits. I am so happy to have discovered a fitness plus that helps strengthen me AND gives me a good night's sleep in the process! - 1/2/2011 4:12:37 PM
  • This is a confirmation of what I found out. A ten minute yoga session is like a sleeping pill. I am rested and blissful. - 8/4/2010 2:03:15 PM
  • I have found a significant increase in the quality of my sleep and a decrease in the time it takes me to fall asleep since starting Yoga. I do Hot Vinyasa for 60-90 minutes in a studio and cant wait to get to bed at night. - 4/15/2010 10:03:21 AM
  • I practice Yoga daily, several times a day in fact. Each morning I do a quick energixing 10 min routine that helps get the sleep out of my eyes, and each night, I do another relaxing, 10 Min practice. It is simple stretches to get the kinks out of your bosy and by concentrating on your breathing... relax you. I still have trouble sleeping, but I have found that when I do sleep, it is of a much higher quality than before. - 10/29/2009 3:21:15 PM
  • GRETIESMOM
    Great article. I find if I'm too wound-up to sleep, concentrating on the slow breathing exercises I learned in yoga class really help and I drift off to lala land easily. - 7/3/2008 12:07:12 AM

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