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.
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.