Why & How Yoga & Mindfulness can improve sleep and how we feel about ourselves
Sleep effects how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about ourselves effects our sleep and our ability to be who we want to be.
How and Why Yoga Mindfulness and Meditation including Yoga Nidra helps with Sleeping Problems
Did you know that having regular yoga mindfulness and meditation practice can help increase melatonin levels which in turn improve sleep.
Why should we care?
Insomnia is extremely under diagnosed and can cause &/or increase risk of:
Distraction of grey matter in the brain
Impaired Cognition as we age
Weight gain and obesity
Blood Pressure issues
Inflammation in the Body
To name a few. Poor sleep = Poor quality of life.
Growing evidence is showing that a regular practice of Yoga & Meditation helps improve sleep quality.
Studies have shown with regular Yoga and Meditation we are more likely to :
- Reduce feelings of fatigue
- Increase Melatonin
- Increase Serotonin
- Help with pain management
- Helps with mood regulation
- Fall asleep faster
- Wake up less frequently throughout the night
- Sleep for a longer period
Researchers at Harvard have found that Yoga and Meditation help with both primary and secondary insomnia
Ie where insomnia develops in isolation and also due to a related issue such as pain, stress, menopause , substance misuse, chronic illness.
So what is it keeping us awake ?
What stops us from being able to rest, turn off and replenish at night?
- Excessive Thinking
- Screen Time
- Stress and Worry
- Shift work
Thankfully Mindfulness Based Programs over a minimum of Eight weeks have shown to help with excessive thinking
Learning and being educated about how the brain works along with ongoing guided practices to put the theory into a felt experience , practitioners of mindfulness are able to better manage their thoughts and in turn their emotions.
Doing years of shift work as a Registered Nurse had benefits initially in that I got twice as much done as I didn’t feel I needed the sleep.
Overtime shift work and the addiction to energy drinks and ice breaks to stay awake started to effect everything
Not only did my skin break out so to did my anxiety. Worrying I would not get to sleep and this would effect my ability to do my job as an RN.
Thankfully through Yoga & Especially Yoga Nidra I learnt to practice techniques in my 20-30 minute breaks on night duty that I could feel refreshed. This meant I started to rely less on ice breaks.
I also started having acupuncture which lead me to commencing studies in Naturopathy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. I soon fell in love with the never ending benefits and the Ripple Effect of Yoga Mindfulness and Meditation was obvious.
If our basics of :
Are we getting enough sleep
Are we eating nourishing foods
Are we moving
If these are out of whack so to will your ability to process life. This is why Yoga in all it’s many forms helps us live life with more quality.
It teaches us to “listen”
There are methods to train our attention and understand the mind.
Overtime we start to unwind.
Learning how to befriend , not just label thoughts but understand the core beliefs that may lie behind excessive thinking in my experience can be a game changer.
To have the courage to get help and support to process and integrate core beliefs so they do not keep you up at night or more so hold you back in life.
In my role of both group training and one on one private programs , what’s common is people do not feel comfortable talking about their inner experiences.
A big one is trust. Those in the caring profession , health, wellness or medical profession can sometimes feel more than anyone they should be the ones with their shit together. Parents & Carers too.
There can be shame, guilt, feelings of its only me and everyone else has their shit together.
They don’t !
We are all human.
Oh and PS Those who may think you can’t teach Yoga or Mindfulness because you may have gone through a load of struggle, or trauma, who are sensitive to this
It is you who have the potential to make an even bigger difference.
Below is a clip from Natalia one of our Yoga NRG 200 hour Trainee Graduates
She talks about the benefits of yoga in particular with sleep problems.
Psychology Today , MJ Bruce
JAMA Internal Medicine
Joanna Thomas, Alaska Sleep Clinic
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