What All Insomniacs Need to Know About Yoga & Meditationby Martin Reed Patient Advocate
The causes of insomnia are many and can include:
Physical issues with the body
Side effects of pharmaceuticals or supplements
It is also possible that more than one of these common insomnia causes is occurring at the same time.
Although it would be a bold claim to state that meditation and yoga can cure chronic insomnia, these techniques can be effective for many.
More importantly, using yoga with meditation helps address the potential root cause of insomnia - not just its symptoms.
Why Yoga for Insomnia?
Yoga helps relax the physical body, stretch out the muscles, and reduces pain from misalignment of the skeletal structure of the body or over-worked muscles.
The flexibility gained over time from doing yoga can also prevent the body from having these issues in the future.
Yoga Techniques for Insomnia
Start with five basic yoga positions for insomnia, which are:
Big Toe Pose
Fire Log Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Practice the yoga poses each night before going to sleep. See the source link at the end of this article for more details on each of the above poses.
Why Meditation for Insomnia?
Harvard Medical School notes that meditation is a way of calming a restless mind to avoid insomnia and get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Meditation does take a bit of practice to achieve a calm mental state. But the significant power of meditation is that the person is in control and no longer feels like a “victim” of insomnia.
A terrific method that is extremely useful is to get out of bed when experiencing insomnia and practice meditation. Sometimes the meditation practice will make you feel sleepy - this is a good thing! If you start to feel sleeping while meditating, simply climb back into bed and give sleep another chance.
If meditation does not make you sleepy, meditation can still help you relax, so you feel less tired from lack of sleep the next day.
Meditation Techniques for Insomnia
Meditation is a technique used to concentrate focus on a specific thing. Possible focus items may include the breath with a particular sound (like “Aum”), an affirmation, a mantra, a word, or a prayer. Repeat the focus item aloud or silently with each in-breath and with each exhalation in a calm, gentle, hypnotic pattern.
We benefit from meditation by letting go and stopping the constant mental chatter in the brain. When thoughts come up, say “thoughts, thoughts,” let them pass, and then return concentration to the chosen focus item.
Summaroga combined with meditation creates positive, long-lasting results that can help relieve insomnia symptoms. The techniques are simple and the relaxation is enjoyable. Give them a try; you have nothing to lose!
Corliss, Julie. "Mindfulness Meditation Helps Fight Insomnia, Improves Sleep - Harvard Health Blog." Harvard Health Blog RSS. February 18, 2015. Accessed February 24, 2016.
Coviello, Casey. "5 Yoga Poses for Insomnia | Yoga Sequence for Better Sleep." Yoga Journal. December 29, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2016.