How can yoga help with my insomnia?

The number of people experiencing insomnia has tripled in the last ten years, all thanks to the stressors in our ‘modern’ life. Even healthy people become insomniacs over time and develop a weak body because of lack of proper rest.  And most often, they get other illnesses as a direct result of lack of sleep.

Yoga has proven to be an effective solution to cure insomnia. In this article, we will discuss how to use yoga to get better sleep.

Kukkutasana (C) Manasa Savnur

Insomnia is categorised as primary and secondary based on the cause. If your insomnia is not a result of a medical or environmental cause, it is called primary insomnia. If your sleeplessness is caused by a medical condition, use of drugs, psychiatric diseases, or because of environmental reasons like shift-work, it is called secondary insomnia.

In most cases, chronic cases of insomnia are caused by secondary issues.

According to research conducted by Harvard Medical School, yoga can significantly improve sleep quality among both primary and secondary insomniacs. Several studies funded by the US government have confirmed this finding.

Urdhva dhanurasana (C) Manasa Savnur

In a sleep study conducted at Harvard, they taught patients a basic set of yoga exercises and asked to journal their sleep habits before and during the research.

Publicly available data from the preliminary studies and a clinical trial suggests yoga helps in reducing cognitive and physiological arousal found in most chronic cases. It also improves relaxation. Evaluation of sleep diaries confirms a statistically significant improvement in all sleep parameters, including sleep efficiency and total sleep time.

(C) Manasa Savnur

If you find it hard to fall asleep, try yoga. A daily practice of 20-30 minutes can give you noticeable results within 2-3 weeks. Approach your nearest traditional yoga teacher to learn yoga. A well-trained yoga teacher can guide you through a set of poses specifically designed to reduce stress and improve sleep.

As you continue yoga practice, you will notice other benefits of following this ancient art.