There are plenty of ways to wind down after a long day—reading a good book, watching TV, having a glass of wine, the list goes on. But it turns out light activity does more to help you relax before bed than being sedentary does. In fact, research shows performing gentle movements, like yoga, in the evening can even improve the quality of your sleep. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital finds gentle yoga can ease chronic insomnia and help you fall asleep more quickly.
For many practitioners, yoga can help the body relax after a long, stressful day and can help quiet the distracting thoughts that may keep you up at night.
Want to give an evening yoga session a shot? There are tons of workout DVDs and online videos designed to be done around dusk. And when you sign up for the premium option in FitStar Yoga, you’ll unlock “Before Bedtime,” a routine specifically designed to help you get better rest. In the meantime, here are three relaxing moves you can try on your own.
Lie flat on your back with your arms comfortably at your sides, close your eyes, and relax your entire body. Lay still and focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
While lying on your back, bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around them. Hold this stretch for about a minute.
Start seated on your knees, then bend forward at the waist and stretch your arms up above your head. Relax your upper body in this pose for about a minute, or find a length of time that feels comfortable for you.
How do you unwind at the end of the day? Join the conversation below!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.