Lots of people toss and turn for hours in bed before finally drifting off and getting some actual rest. When it happens regularly you can end up feeling constantly tired during the day, possibly overusing sugar and coffee to stay awake, and even getting depressed and gaining weight as a result. That’s serious! Doing the following yoga poses before bed will help you fall asleep (and stay asleep). They’re all quite simple, so even if you’ve never done any yoga and don’t think of yourself as “flexible,” you’ll be able to master these without a problem.More and more scientific studies have shown the health benefits of yoga so why not take advantage?! You have nothing to lose…

The first time you do these poses, it’s good not to stay in them too long. One minute is plenty. Later, you can extend the pose to five minutes or even longer.

Balasana – Child’s Pose

If you have knee problems, this one probably isn’t a good idea. But for everyone else, this pose will relax your nervous system, back, shoulders, belly, and your mind.If your rear end doesn’t reach your heels, fold a blanket a few times over and tuck it under your bum so you can really let go. You can stretch your arms out in front of you or let them relax at your sides. Set an alarm so you know when to come out of the pose. While you’re in the Child’s Pose be sure to breathe deeply, especially into your back.

Supta Baddha Konasana — Bound Angle Reclining Pose

Some people call this the butterfly pose: lying on your back, prop up your knees, place the soles of your feet together and gently let your knees fall away to the sides.Most of us can’t lie flat in this pose. Our knees will be at least a few inches away from the ground. So to relax, put a stack of books or a rolled up blanket or pillow under each knee. Let your arms splay out at your sides, totally relaxed as well. Breathe all the way in to your lower belly.

Back roll

Lying on your back, take hold of your knees (or if you can reach, all the way around your shins as pictured here). Rock gently from side to side. It’s a great way to stretch and massage your lower back after a long day. Let your legs and feet completely relax. At the same time, let your shoulders melt toward the ground — be sure not to tense them while holding your knees. And of course, breathe deeply.

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Lying on your back with your arms on the ground at your sides, slide your hands — palms down — under your rear end. As you slide them, start to press the whole lower arms into the ground while bending your elbows. The effect is to lift your upper body gently upward and open your chest.You can hold your head up, if your throat and neck are uncomfortable, or gently let your head fall backward toward the ground. Take five to ten deep breaths and then carefully remove your hands from under you. Lie flat and enjoy the open sensation in your chest.


As countless people have discovered, meditation is incredibly good for relaxing, leaving the day’s stress behind, being in the moment and letting go. Cross your legs, seated on the edge of a neatly rolled blanket or thick book. Extend your spine upwards and relax your shoulders at the same time.

It’s good to have set an alarm for the amount of time you want to sit (one, five, ten minutes or longer!). Now start to breathe more deeply. Focus on the sensation of breathing and each time your mind wanders away, just come back to the air coming in and flowing out.

If you’re distracted by a particular subject, or a feeling or experience, see if you can allow yourself to be just as you are — even if it’s frustrated, sad, angry, or excited. For right now, instead of being distracted by it, just “be” it. And come back to your breath.

Viparita Karani — Legs Up the Wall Pose

Find a free wall where there’s enough space on the ground to lie down and prop your legs against the wall. Let your arms rest at your sides and your shoulders melt into the ground. Breathe into your whole chest.

If you’re on the stiff side, you may want to be a little further from the wall for a gentler stretch. And for anyone with lower back issues, you can try tucking a blanket or pillow under your tailbone as a support.

If you’ve always been skeptical about yoga, then here’s your chance: you don’t have to go to a yoga studio filled with super-fit advanced yogis. You don’t have to chant anything or light incense (though of course you may, if you like). Quietly, secretly, without telling anyone at all, you can try these poses to help with sleep problems, anxiety, or stress, and just see what happens.

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