Calming the mind and bringing the body to a relaxed state at the end of the day can be difficult. Yoga is a perfect activity to add to your bedtime routine to bring down your heart rate, relax tense muscles, and prepare your mind for uninterrupted sleep. Yoga is gentle enough that there are many poses you can do in bed so when you’re relaxed you can fall asleep.

Prepare for Success

Before you begin, set yourself up for success. A comfortable mattress, quiet room, and cool temperatures create the best conditions for restful sleep. Loose, breathable pajamas that don’t restrict blood flow work best to keep you comfortably warm. You’ll also want to avoid heavy meals and caffeinated beverages close to bedtime.

Bedtime Yoga for Better Sleep comfortable mattress

The following are all poses that can be performed in bed. Keep in mind that you won’t stretch as deeply because a mattress is softer than the floor.

 

Three-Part Breath

Deep breathing is always a good place to begin. You can sit or lie on the mattress for this exercise, whatever makes you feel relaxed.

  • Place one hand on your belly and the other on your rib cage near the sternum.

  • With eyes closed, breathe deeply from the belly.

  • Focus on the air as it fills and leaves your lungs. Use your breath to become more aware of your body.

  • Keep breathing. Focus on the expansion of your belly and ribs while the chest lifts.

  • Continue for 5-10 minutes.

     

Seated Forward Bend

This pose targets the tension in the legs, hamstrings, and lower back.

  • Sit with legs and feet straight in front of the body with toes pointing to the ceiling.

  • Inhale as you lift your arms above your head, and exhale as you bend from the hips towards your toes.

  • Reach your hands as far down the legs as possible. It’s alright if you can only reach your knees or mid-calf. The more you do the pose the more flexible you’ll become.

  • Inhale as you deepen the stretch using your arms and hands to pull the torso closer to the legs.

  • Hold for 5-6 breaths and release.

     

Knees to Chest

A simple pose that brings your focus inward and relieves tension in the spine.

  • Lie on your back.

  • Inhale as you bring your knees to your chest.

  • Clasp the hands over the shins and exhale as you gently pull your legs closer to your chest.

  • Hold for 5-6 breaths and release.

     

Supine Spinal Twist

This is another pose to take tension out of the spine. It also helps to open the chest.

  • Lie on your back with your arms outstretched to the sides with the palms of your hands facing the ceiling.

  • Bring your knees to your chest.

  • Keeping the knees bent, gently bring them across to one side of your body until they touch the mattress while turning your head in the opposite direction.

  • Hold for 5-6 deep breaths and release.

  • Bring knees to chest again before repeating on the other side.

     

Corpse Pose

Now that you’ve worked on those tension-filled parts of the body, you’re ready for the final relaxation.

  • Lie on your back with your feet at hip width apart. Your arms should be relaxed at your sides.

  • Close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath.

  • Focus on the rise and fall of your belly and chest. Feel the air entering and leaving your lungs.

  • Take as many breaths as you want until you’re ready to fall asleep.