We all deal with stress in one form or another in our day to day lives. Even good stress can keep us from falling asleep at night, and we know how important sleep is for healing our bodies.
The following information is provided by the Sleep Help Institute.
How Yoga and Sleep Can Alleviate Stress
Strategies for reducing stress include identifying the source of stress, building strong relationships, exercising, and getting professional help. But rest and relaxation can have a profound effect as well.
Get enough sleep. Stress may leave you lying awake at night, but it's important to get enough sleep so you're mentally and physically prepared to meet the demands of a new day. Good sleep has a positive effect on memory, judgement, and mood, all of which can help you alleviate stress.
Practice healthy sleep habits. Combat your anxiety to sleep better at night. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine, including leaving your phone off or not near you at night, nightly gratitude practices such as writing in a journal, or thinking of a positive thing as you go to sleep.
Make yoga part of your daily routine. Research has found that yoga can be used to improve sleep quality and reduce work stress after work hours. In a study of nurses, those who practiced yoga more than two times every week for about an hour had better sleep quality and lower work stress than nurses who did not practice yoga.
Combine yoga with mindfulness. As you're practicing yoga, consider making meditation part of your routine. Add progressive muscle relaxation, counting meditation, or mindful breathing as you're working through relaxing yoga poses.
Sleep in an environment where you feel comfortable. Make your bedroom inviting and a healthy sleep environment. Reduce or eliminate distractions and keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet. Choose a mattress that meets your needs or upgrade to a custom-made mattress so you can sleep comfortably and well supported.
Taking steps to counter your stress can dramatically improve your physical health and mental well-being. Yoga and healthy sleep habits can help you relax and feel better.