7 Yoga Poses That'll Help You Sleep When You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night
I can confidently say that sleeping is one of my all-time favorite hobbies. But when I cuddle up in bed for some blissful shut-eye, there's absolutely nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall asleep again. Instead of losing your sh*t when that happens (personally, I know that an interruption in my slumber gets me heated AF), rolling out of bed and trying a few gentle yoga poses that help you sleep is sure to get your snooze back on track in no time.
From counting sheep, to deep breathing, to tensing and relaxing your muscles, there are so many methods that claim to help you fall back asleep when you find yourself wide awake at 3 a.m. But amongst all of the recommendations (that often don't really work, TBH), yoga might be the simplest and most effective cure to your sleeplessness.
Within the practice of yoga, every pose is meant to have a specific, healing effect on both your body and your energy. Incorporating certain asanas into your flow will calm the chatter in your mind so you can crawl back into bed feeling as relaxed as ever.
Give these seven soothing poses a try the next time you wake up in the middle of the night. Honestly, you might just fall asleep before you can even get through the entire routine.
1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana is an incredibly soothing pose that's perfect for when you find yourself tossing and turning late at night.
Make sure that you're really gentle with your body here, and keep a slight bend in your knees to make the fold more restorative without placing too much stress on your hamstrings.
Release your head, neck, and shoulders while cradling opposite elbows. Try swaying back and forth to add some subtle, relaxing movement to the asana.
2. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
While you're still standing in forward fold, bring your legs into a slightly wider stance. Relax your muscles, and allow yourself to fully surrender into this sleepy asana.
If your hands don't reach the ground here, that's totally fine. You can use pillows, towels, or blankets to bring the floor closer to you and make the pose more accessible. If your hands do reach the ground, and you feel that you need some support for your head, you can place a prop underneath the crown of your head to help you feel more comfortable.
Wherever you are in this pose, allow any tension in the body to melt away with each breath you take.
3. Head-To-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
This bad boy is a soothing, seated forward fold that calms the brain and relives any anxieties that might be keeping you awake at night.
Only go as far as feels good in this head-to-knee forward bend, and listen to your body to make sure you're not pushing or straining yourself. The goal isn't to be able to touch your toes here; it's simply to feel an elongation and relaxation of your spine, and to enjoy the sensation of this juicy stretch.
4. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Reclining bound angle pose is incredibly restorative, and the pose will put you right back to bed when your beauty sleep has been rudely interrupted.
This asana improves circulation in the body and decreases stress, which will allow your body to slip into a deep state of relaxation so you can close your eyes once again and drift off to sleep.
If you feel any strain in your groin or thighs, place props underneath your knees to make the pose feel even more restorative than it already is.
5. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge pose can be a very energizing asana, but if you support your lower back and sacrum with a prop, it transforms the pose into a luxuriously soothing movement. If you don't have access to a yoga block, you can stack towels, textbooks, or any other household items that will firmly support your back.
Once you're settled into this asana, inhale deeply, filling your whole belly with air. On your exhale, envision how amazing it's going to feel to fall back asleep.
6. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Viparita karani is the ultimate asana for literally anything that troubles you. So, if you're wide awake and craving sleep ASAP, throw your legs right up the wall, and breathe. Trust me, you'll feel drowsy again in no time.
7. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Savasana can be done literally right in your bed as you slip back under the covers and prepare to fall back asleep. This pose will provide you with the ultimate sense of tranquility, and you might even find yourself snoring before you've even fully settled into the asana.
On your inhale, allow your body to completely melt into your mattress. On your exhale, let go of what doesn't serve you, and welcome those sleepy, serene vibes with open arms.