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Yoga Before Bed: How Does It Help?

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Yoga before bed

Yoga, an ancient practice that is making rounds all over the world, has many benefits. But have you ever thought about yoga before bed? 

A 10-minute yoga routine before bed allows you to release all the physical and mental fatigue accumulated in your body and helps you indulge in a night of peaceful sleep. In this blog, you will learn about the best yoga positions and their benefits for sleep.

Benefits of Doing Yoga Before Bed

Here are some of the benefits of yoga before bed.

1. Reduces Insomnia

With yoga, you may be able to sleep faster, longer, and go to sleep on time after an exhausting day that helps you counter the symptoms of insomnia. 

According to research from 2019, yoga helps in treating insomnia and promotes better sleep. Along with yoga postures for insomnia, other ancient practices such as tai chi, meditation, and qigong can also help to reduce insomnia.

2. Helps in Weight Loss

Practicing yoga before bed helps you sleep better. It helps in building a proper routine that has a positive impact on weight loss. It also allows you to be more mindful or conscious of your eating habits.

3. Improves Sleep Quality

Researchers conducted a study on older adults who practiced yoga daily in 2013; they found that those who practiced yoga daily had better sleep and quality of life and compared to those who didn’t.

4. Promotes Relaxation

Yoga helps your body to relax instantaneously and lowers the influence of other factors. It also reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Practicing daily yoga reduces stress-related concerns such as weight gain, insomnia, and anxiety.

6 Best Yoga Poses for Sleep

Now that you know the benefits of yoga for sleep, you might be eager to practice a few yoga poses. Here is a list of the best bedtime yoga poses for sleep.

1. Reclined Butterfly

This pose helps the nervous system and reduces stress. For support, place cushions or blocks under your knees.

  • Press the soles of your feet together in a seated position
  • Open your knees to the sides
  • Lie on your back
  • Rest your hands in a comfortable position
  • Stay in this pose for 5 minutes

You can try this pose with a partner as well.

2. Legs-up-the-wall

You can place a cushion or a block under your hips. You can also modify this pose by placing the soles of your feet together or opening your legs wide.

  • Sit alongside a wall on your right side
  • Lie on your back and swing up the legs against the wall, placing your hips against the wall
  • Place your arms in a comfortable position
  • Focus on your breathing and concentrate on releasing stress in your body
  • Hold this pose for 5 minutes

3. Child's Pose

This pose increases flexibility and stretches the spine. For more support, you can put a cushion under your chest, forehead, or thighs.

  • Kneel on the floor and touch both your soles
  • Widen the knees and align them with the hips
  • Relax your chest and sink it into your thighs
  • Release any stress across your spine
  • Hold this pose for 5 minutes

3. Corpse Pose

Corpse pose is also known as a lying-down yoga pose. It helps you in restoring your body after the yoga routine and hence is also known as a restorative yoga pose.

  • Lie your back on your mat
  • Position your feet a little wider
  • Keep your head, neck, and spine in a straight position
  • Concentrate on your breathing as you let go of the tension in your body
  • Allow your body to fall freely
  • Stay in this position for 15 minutes

4. Upward Dog Pose

  • Place the stomach down on the floor and bend the elbows so that the forearms are straight in the upward direction.
  • While inhaling, press the hands on the floor, straighten the forearms and lift the chest a few inches off the floor with the feet touching the floor. You can use a pillow under the pelvis if required.
  • Breathe in and breathe out while looking straight forward.
  • Stay in this position for about 30-40 seconds before releasing back to the floor.

5. Knee-to-chest Pose

  • Lie on the back with forearms and legs stretched outwards.
  • While exhaling, slowly move both the knees to the chest and hold the hands around them.
  • Let the back lie flat on the mat and bring the shoulder back down to the mat.
  • Slowly move backward and forward or side to side to give a healthy massage to the spine.
  • Stay in this position for about one minute.
  • To exit this position, breathe out and release both the legs, stretching them to the floor.
  • Repeat this process six times.

Hand Stretches and Massages That Help You Sleep Better

Another way to relax before bed is to give yourself calming hand stretches and massages. These yoga stretches before bed are easy to do and equally rejuvenating at the same time.

Stretch 1

Stretch 1 helps in warming up your wrist joints. Circle both your hands inward and outward five times respectively.

Stretch 2

Lock your fingers among themselves and stretch your arms in front of you. Ensure that palms are stretched in opposite directions. Take 4-5 deep breaths. Unlock your fingers.

Stretch 3

Keep your right arm straight and allow the palm to face upwards. Use your left hand to stretch your fingers back and to stretch the inside of your wrist and forearm. It is one of the best yoga stretches for sleep.

Massage 1

Put a few drops of oil in your left palm and apply it into your hand using rubbing movements. Apply some pressure in a circular motion.

Massage 2

Hold the left wrist with your right hand, with your left palm facing downward. Apply your right thumb to massage the back of your wrist in a small circular motion.

Massage 3

Turn your left palm upside and interlock your fingers. Using your right thumb, firmly knead at the center of your left palm in slow smaller circles.

Massage 4

Allow your palm to face upwards. Use your thumb to massage in small circles. Start massaging at the wrist by your thumb joint and slowly move towards the finger joint. Repeat the process back towards the wrist.

Massage 5

Place your right thumb in the areas between your left thumb and index finger. Apply pressure and take five deep breaths.

Yoga Routines to Follow

Following yoga routines before going to bed can be beneficial for a good sleep. You can choose a 5-, 10-, or 15- minute routine according to your convenience.

5-Minute Routine

You can try the following 5-minute routine before going to sleep.

Twisted Roots:

  • Lie on the back and keep the knees bent with the feet on the floor. You can use a cushion or a bolster under the forehead if required.
  • Hold the backside of the right thigh and slowly move towards the ribs. You can use a strap instead of hands if required.
  • Hold this pose and move slowly from side to side.
  • Keep the right knee in the same position and slowly stretch the left leg as far as possible.
  • Now, roll onto the left side and bring the right knee down. Place a cushion between the right knee and floor if the knee doesn’t touch the floor.
  • Hold the lower body in this position and twist the upper body to the right so that the back is straight against the floor.
  • Take a few breaths and release the body from this posture.
  • Lie on the back on the floor.
  • Repeat the same process for the opposite side.

Corpse Pose:

At the end of your yoga routine, do this pose to restore yourself.

  • Lie your back on your mat
  • Position your feet a little wider
  • Keep your head, neck, and spine in a straight position
  • Concentrate on your breathing as you let go of tension in your body
  • Allow your body to fall freely
  • Stay in this position for 15 minutes

10-Minute Routine

You can try the following 10-minute routine before going to sleep.

Regular Pose

  • Sit comfortably on a yoga mat or any bedsheet
  • Cross the right leg in front of the left leg
  • Ensure that the spine is aligned straight
  • Hold your knees with your hands and stretch your shoulders and spine to keep them straight
  • Twist the palms upwards to face the ceiling
  • Ensure that the arms are straight down from the elbow
  • Stay in this position for a few breaths
  • Repeat the same process with the left leg in front of the right leg

Cat Pose

  • Place your hands and knees on a yoga mat, ensure that the knees are below the hips, and the waist, elbows, and shoulders are aligned in a straight line.
  • While exhaling, bend the spine towards the roof with the shoulders and knees in the original position. Let the head hang downwards towards the floor.
  • While inhaling, calm yourself and straighten the spine.

Cow Pose

  • Place your hands and knees on the mat or a blanket. Ensure that the knees are below the hips and the waist, elbows, and shoulders are aligned in a straight line.
  • While inhaling, bend the spine downwards towards the floor and lift the head looking upwards.
  • While exhaling, calm yourself and straighten the spine.
  • You can switch between cat and cow positions for a few minutes.

Legs-up-the-wall

You can place a cushion or a block under your hips. You can also modify this pose by placing the soles of your feet together or opening your legs wide.

  • Sit alongside a wall on your right side
  • Lie on your back and swing up the legs against the wall, placing your hips against the wall
  • Place your arms in a comfortable position
  • Focus on your breathing and concentrate on releasing stress in your body
  • Hold this pose for 5 minutes

15-Minute Routine

You can try the following 15-minute routine before going to sleep.

Hero Pose

  • Place your knees on the floor and move your feet apart so that they are slightly wider than the hips. You can use a cushion or a blanket between the thighs if necessary.
  • While exhaling, sit back in a way that the bottom is between the feet and touching the floor. You can use a book if your bottom doesn’t touch the floor.
  • Ensure that the thighs turn inwards, and place the palms of the hands-on the lap.
  • Align your spine in a straight line and hold this position for five minutes.
  • To move out of this position, raise the bottom, cross the ankles, bring the bottom back down and slide off.

Child’s Pose:

This pose increases flexibility and stretches the spine. For more support, you can put a cushion under your chest, forehead, or thighs.

  • Kneel on the floor and touch both your soles
  • Widen the knees and align them with the hips
  • Relax your chest and sink it into your thighs
  • Release any stress along your spine
  • Hold this pose for a few minutes
  • To exit this position, life the chest back to an upright position

Upward Dog Pose

  • Place the stomach down on the floor and bend the elbows so that the forearms are straight in the upward direction.
  • While inhaling, press the hands on the floor, straighten the forearms and lift the chest a few inches off the floor with the feet touching the floor. You can use a pillow under the pelvis if required.
  • Breathe in and breathe out while looking straight forward.
  • Stay in this position for about 30-40 seconds before releasing back to the floor.

Knee-to-chest Pose:

  • Lie on the back with forearms and legs stretched outwards.
  • While exhaling, slowly move both the knees to the chest and hold the hands around them.
  • Let the back lie flat on the mat and bring the shoulder back down to the mat.
  • Slowly move backward and forward or side to side to give a healthy massage to the spine.
  • Stay in this position for about one minute.
  • To exit this position, breathe out and release both the legs, stretching them to the floor.
  • Repeat this process six times.

Corpse Pose:

This is one of the best yoga poses to help you sleep.

  • Lie your back on your mat
  • Position your feet a little wider
  • Keep your head, neck, and spine in a straight position
  • Concentrate on your breathing as you let go of tension in your body
  • Allow your body to fall freely
  • Stay in this position for 15 minutes

Safety Tips

Yoga is the safest form of physical activity, but you still need to follow some safety tips. 

Here are some tips that will keep you safe while practicing yoga.

  • Try doing yoga on bare feet to allow better friction
  • Try using a yoga mat, an exercise mat, and a blanket
  • Try wearing comfortable, breathable clothing
  • Warm-up your body with some light stretches before starting yoga

The Final Word

There is enough evidence suggesting that yoga improves sleep quality substantially and practicing it daily may not only improve your sleep cycle but also improve your overall lifestyle.

Hopefully, you will practice the yoga routines mentioned above and experience soothing, calming, and deep sleep starting tonight.

FAQs

There is no best time to do yoga. However, preferably wait for 2-3 hours after dinner before practicing yoga.

The Adamantine Pose or the Vajrasana is the best yoga pose after dinner, it helps in relaxing breathing and stretching the upper body and abdomen.

No, night time yoga may loosen up your muscles, relieve stress, and restore you to deep sleep.

Most yoga poses are restorative, however, you need to practice 4-5 different poses in a routine to get truly restorative benefits.

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Sleep Consultant with extensive experience who has assisted hundreds of parents with their children’s sleep issues. She also works with adults to educate, support, and motivate them to sleep better.
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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians