5 yoga moves for a better night sleep

5 simple stretches to help you get a better night sleep.

50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder. - American Sleep Association

Have you ever been so tired that you feel like you could sleep standing up?  But then, just as you sink into bed your brain refuses to shut off, so you start making tomorrow’s to-do list? Or maybe you begin to stress over things that you have no control over at the moment?  Does getting a full night of sleep seem like a dream to you?  It did to me, until recently when Nora finally began sleeping through the night (and by through the night I mean an incredible ten-hour stretch!) The first few nights I slept deeply and felt amazing in the morning, refreshed and ready to start my day. But after a couple of days I started to struggle with falling asleep quickly at night, which wasn’t for lack of me being tired.  With four kids, workouts and running my business, I am definitely exhausted and ready for bed by 9pm.  I just couldn’t shut my brain off and would feel even less physically tired once I got into bed than I did mid-afternoon when the kids seem to need more of my attention and I'm preparing dinner, among various other activities.

Studies have shown several proven ways to help you to experience a better nights sleep, such as getting in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm, avoiding screen time one to two hours before bed, getting enough sunlight throughout the day, eating a light dinner (bigger meals earlier in the day) and the list goes on.  Sometimes all of these just aren’t possible for me.  Often after the kids go to bed I want to catch up on a TV show or two, or the kids “shared” food from my plate each time I tried to eat, so come dinner time I’m starving and it feels like I want to eat a whole cow!

So, you might wonder what do I do? Well, what I have found that works for me to help put me to sleep is first to do some stretching, and then I clear my mind and thoughts with meditation. I get that this can sound intimidating, but what I mean by meditation is just to quiet your mind.  You can choose to do this by thinking positive thoughts, thinking about nothing (not so easy for me), listening to soothing music, or by praying, which is what I choose to do. 

So, sometimes I still eat a giant dinner, go to bed and wake up at completely different times each morning, or I watch some late night TV before going to sleep and I still have found a way to help ease me into a deep slumber.

Here are 5 simple stretches that may help promote deeper, more restful sleep.

I am no Yogi (just a total wanna-be), so to all my yoga professional friends- be nice!

Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and repeat 1-2 times through.

If you have ever struggled with falling asleep, or staying asleep, I want to know what has helped you.