INSOMNIA – Enjoy a relaxing sleep

Contrary to the popular myth, Insomnia is not a disease but a sleeping disorder. Medical practitioners describe it that if a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for too long then he may be suffering from insomnia, or lack of sleep. People who complain that they can’t keep their eyes closed or their minds don’t shut down for them to fall asleep are also in the same category of insomniacs.

These people are more prone to the risk of nighttime blood pressure, which in turn can lead to cardiac problems. The research, which has been published in Sleep, compared the level of 24-hour blood pressure of people who suffer from insomnia to people who indulge in sound sleeping. Insomnia tends to increase with age and research shows that it affects 40% of women and 30% of men.

Common triggers for short-term or intermittent insomnia include:

  • Stress
  • Noise
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Environment change
  • Sleep schedule problems
  • Jet lag
  • Certain medications
  • Caffeine
  • Anxiety
  • Excitement
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Shift work
  • Nighttime activity schedules
  • Chronic stress
Researchers have found that practicing Yoga has tremendous benefit in improving the quality of sleep because of the stimulatory effect yoga has on nervous system and in particular the brain. The relaxation techniques and asanas describe in yoga help one to relax both body and mind completely.

In parallel to practicing yoga ensure you have a healthy diet and eat 3 hours before bed time. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least 6 hours prior to bed time.

Prepare yourself for sleep by doing some gentle stretches to relax your muscles. Then some breathing techniques to unwind. Continue with 10 minutes of yoga nidra for relaxation.

Tadasana (palm tree pose)

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet together, and arms by the side.
  • Raise the arms over the head and interlock the fingers and turn the palms upward. Inhale and stretch the arms.
  • Exhale and bring the hands to the side.
  • Repeat 5-10 rounds.
Gentle swings
  • Stand with feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Gently swing both arms first to the right, turning your head to the right. Then to your left, turning your head to the left.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Dwikonasana (double angle pose)
How to do it?
  • Stand erect with the feet slightly apart.
  • Extend the arms behind the back and interlock the fingers.
  • Bend forward from the hips while simultaneously raising the arms behind the back as high as possible without strain.
  • Keep pulling your arms upwards gently to accentuate the stretch on the shoulders and chest.
  • Remain in final position for 5- 10 seconds.
  • Relax the arms.
  • Repeat up to 5 times.

Shashankasana (pose of the moon or hare pose)
How to do it?
  • Sit in Vajrasana ( on your heals) , placing the palms on the thighs just aboe the knees.
  • Close they eyes and relax, keeping the pine and head straight.
  • While inhaling, raise the arms above the head, keeping them straight and shoulder width apart.
  • Exhale while bending the trunk forward from the hips, keeping the arms and head straight and in line with the trunk
  • At the end of the movement, the hands and forehead should rest on the floor in front of the knees.
  • If possible, the arms and forehead should touch the floor at the same time.
  • Relax in this position for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 to 5 rounds.
Kapalbhati Kriya
How to do it?
  • Sit in a comfortable position with back straight.
  • Place your palms on the knees.
  • Perform forceful powerful active exhalations and passive inhalations in a rhythmic pattern.
  • With every exhalation the stomach should hit the spine.
  • Start practicing 50 exhalations at a stretch.
Warning : Those suffering from high blood pressure should avoid.Those with stomach ailments and those undergone surgery recently should practice only after consulting the doctor.

Bhramri Pranayam
Bhramri is a deeply relaxing Pranayama. The vibration caused by the humming sound performs a massage on the brain and anti-stress hormones are released. People with sever throat problems should avoid this pranayama.

How to do it?

  • Sit in a comfortable posture.
  • Close your ears with your thumbs as shown and rest the other fingers on the head.
  • Inhale deeply. While exhaling out through the mouth, emit a humming sound, (like that of a bee) “hun” from your throat.
  • The sound will travel upwards and spread all over the head.
  • Try and increase the period of exhalation so that you can ‘hum’ longer.
  • Practice for about 10 breaths, and gradually increase the duration.
Yoga Nidra in Shavasana
How to do it?
  • Lie flat on the back with the arms slightly away from your body, palm facing upwards. Let the fingers curl up slightly.
  • Move the feet slightly apart to a comfortable positing and close the eyes.
  • The head and spine should be in a straight line.
  • Start relaxing your whole body.
  • Become aware of the right hand and relax it.
  • Slowly become aware of the right wrist, elbow, armpit, right side of the waist, right buttock, right thigh, right knee, calf, heel, sold of the foot, and relax them one by one.
  • Repeat this process with the left side of the body and all the parts of the head and trunk.
  • Make sure that each part of the body is relaxed, feel each part merging into the floor.
  • Repeat this process few times and all the tensions will be removed.
Enjoy a relaxing sleep

1 Response to “INSOMNIA – Enjoy a relaxing sleep”


  1. 1 Clerk January 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

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