A good night’s sleep is SO vital for your overall health, mood and well-being.
However… we ALL have those nights, where our mind & thoughts simply won’t calm down.
Here’s the thing… did you know many yogis and instructors have their own mind-calming routine to help them wind down at night? Would you like to create one for yourself?
Let’s do that! We’ll cover a few surprisingly-effective poses you can try-out right now.
Can yoga poses help you relax and fall asleep at night before bed?
Yes – there are DEFINITELY yoga poses that can help you gracefully calm your mind and body, making it easier for you to drift off to dreamland. In this article, we’ll share 7 yoga poses that are perfect for bedtime (and how to do them).
1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This pose is incredibly calming and can be done in bed if you have enough space. To get into child’s pose:
- Start on your hands and knees, with your palms flat on the mattress and your knees hip-width apart.
- As you exhale, slowly lower your butt down towards your heels, and extend your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the bed and let your entire body relax.
- Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds or as long as you feel comfortable.
Why it helps: This restful yoga pose can help to ease muscle tension and calm the mind, making it the perfect way to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Here’s why it works:
Child’s Pose helps to stretch and lengthen the spine, providing relief from back pain and improving spinal alignment – which yoga wheels and props are great for helping too.
It also calms the nervous system and promotes relaxation. Plus, the position of the head and eyes in Child’s Pose can help to ease headaches and eye strain (which can help restlessness, if you like to “phone-scroll” before bed).
So next time you’re having trouble sleeping, try spending a few minutes in Child’s Pose. You just might find yourself drifting off to dreamland in no time.
2. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This one might sound a bit strange but trust us, it works like a charm! Here’s how to do it correctly:
- Lie down on your back, with your arms by your sides, and legs extended straight out in front of you.
- Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths.
- Pay attention to every part of your body, and try to relax every muscle group as you exhale.
- Stay in this pose for at least five minutes – or until you feel completely relaxed.
Why it helps: Preparing for bed can feel like a chore sometimes, especially when you’re exhausted. But if you make time for Corpse Pose (Savasana) before hitting the hay, you’ll be rewarded with a more restful night’s sleep.
Also known as “the final relaxation,” Corpse Pose is a reclining pose that helps to quiet the mind and release muscular tension. As your body relaxes into the floor, your breathing becomes slow and deep, and your mind begins to still.
In this state of total relaxation, you’re more likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. Many yogis like to practice this on a cushioned yoga mat.
So next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious before bed, take some time for Corpse Pose. You may just find that it’s the key to getting a good night’s rest.
3. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
This gentle yoga pose stretches the front of the body, including the chest, throat, and abdomen. It also helps to release tension in the back and neck – a great way to calm the mind before bed. To do this pose:
- Start on your knees, with your feet hip-width apart, and place your palms flat on the mattress in front of you.
- As you inhale, press down into your palms and arch your back, reaching behind you to grab onto each ankle.
- Gently pull yourself forward so that your head is level with your pelvis then hold the pose for five deep breaths before releasing back into child’s pose.
Why it helps: Camel Pose is especially beneficial if you tend to carry stress in your shoulders and upper back. The deep breath that accompanies this pose also helps to calm and center the mind, making it easier to fall asleep. Why is yoga so hard? Here’s how to make it easier!
So if you’re having trouble winding down at night, give Camel Pose a try. You just might find that it helps you relax and drift off to sleep more easily.
4. Legs Up the Wall Pose
Legs Up the Wall is a pose recommended by John Hopkins Medicine and Harvard University. It also might be the easiest one to practice here – and many yogis swear by doing it regularly (especially relaxing before bed and helping to fall asleep). Try this:
- Start by sitting with your hips close to a wall.
- Then, lie down on your back and swing your legs up onto the wall. Make sure to keep your legs straight, and rest your hands on your belly or at your sides.
- You can stay in this pose for as long as you like, but it is typically recommended to stay for 5-10 minutes.
- When you are ready to come out of the pose, slowly lower your legs back down to the ground.
Just make sure that your bottom is close enough to the wall so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
Why it helps: This position can help to relieve tension in the back and legs, and it can also be a great way to reduce stress levels. Legs Up the Wall is a great pose for beginners, but many experienced yogis continue to practice this regularly too. Whether you are looking to relax or reduce stress, this pose is worth trying before bedtime.
5. Seated Forward Fold Pose
This pose will help stretch out your back and hamstrings, which can help relieve any tension you might be feeling. To do this pose:
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Then, slowly lean forward, reaching for your toes.
- If you can’t reach them, no worries – just go as far as you can comfortably. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds before releasing.
- If you’re already super flexible (enough to extend past your feet), try adding a yoga brick to stretch further.
Why it helps: This simple yoga pose can help to relax the body and ease the mind – making it easier to fall asleep at night. When done correctly, Seated Forward Fold Pose stretches the hamstrings and lower back, promoting relaxation in the entire body.
The act of folding forward also helps to release any tension that might be held in the shoulders and neck. You might notice the natural “deep breathing” that is required for this pose helps to slow the heart rate and quiet the mind. Seated Forward Fold Pose is an wonderful way to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
6. Bridge Pose
This pose is great for stretches out your hips and chest. Try this:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Then, slowly lift your hips off the ground, using your arms for support if needed.
- Hold this position for at least 30 seconds before releasing.
Why it helps: You might see this pose in yoga nidra (yogic sleep) practices – it’s been used throughout the history of yoga. Bridge Pose helps to calm the nervous system, ease tension in the back and neck, and open up the chest and lungs – making it easier to breathe deeply and relax.
It also helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and digest functions. As a result, this pose can help you to wind down before bedtime and fall asleep more easily. So if you’re having trouble sleeping, try adding Bridge Pose to your nightly routine.
7. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Sukhasana is a great beginner’s yoga pose – and it’s very similar to meditation (you might want to check out Meditation vs. Yoga: Which is better for you?). It’s simple yet effective in promoting relaxation and flexibility. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by sitting on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Flex your feet so that your toes point up towards the ceiling.
- Place your hands on your knees, with your palms facing down. Exhale and begin to bend forward from your hips, leading with your chest.
- Walk your fingers forward until they reach the ground in front of you. If you can’t reach the ground, that’s okay – just go as far as you can.
- As you exhale, press your fingertips back and lengthen your spine. Inhale and return to an upright position.
- Repeat this pose several times. You can also practice it with your eyes closed, focusing on your breath.
Why it helps: The pose helps to calm the mind and release tension from the body – making it the perfect way to wind down before sleep. Easy Pose improves circulation and stretch the muscles of the hips and thighs. By practicing this pose on a regular basis, you can enjoy deeper sleep and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
Final thoughts on yoga poses that help you relax before bed and fall asleep at night
By the time bedtime rolls around, we’re often so tense and wound up… that it’s hard to fall asleep. It’s a great thing we have yoga in our lives! Many yogis have also asked us – can yoga improve mental health?
So there you have it – three yoga poses that are perfect for falling asleep before bedtime. We hope these poses help you get the restful night’s sleep that you deserve!
And if you’re ever in the search for yoga gear, check out these reviews to help guide your purchase. We help you decide which products are worth buying, and which you should avoid.