fitnesshealth and nutritionyoga

meditation, yoga and a good night’s sleep

This meditation and yoga for better sleep post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone and should not be taken as medical advice. #FindRestEasy #CollectiveBias

Sleeping for me is a struggle and always has been.  Unless I am totally wiped out, I have trouble drifting off to dreamland and even more trouble staying asleep.  This is a pretty common problem, so I know I am not alone when I say sleep is werk!  I have tried many different solutions over the years, searching for that illusive good night’s sleep.  From prescriptions to essential oils, I’ve tried it all.  What I’ve found is that some things work, others don’t.  Two things that definitely work – meditation and yoga.

After a stressful day of errands, appointments, meetings, work and kids, it is important to wind down before bed.  Often we make the mistake of working until we pass out, watching TV late and scrolling through Facebook while lying in bed.  Turn it all off.  That’s step one.  The blue light that LCD screens emit is similar in wavelength to daylight, sending your body the message that it is time to be alert, not sleepy.  This inhibits melatonin production and messes up your circadian rhythm.  As a blogger, I know this is really difficult, but it is important to turn it all off and slow things down.

Meditation has been a life changing practice for me and has dramatically reduced my anxiety.  I can say that I am 100% free of anti-anxiety prescriptions and a lot of it is due to meditation and yoga.  Tips for meditating: start small.  Start with just 2 or 3 minutes a day and build from there.  Add an additional minute every week until you are meditating 10 minutes a day.  Count your breaths.  Especially at first, it will be hard to keep your mind from wandering.  This gets easier as you go, but it helps to stay focused if you count your breaths.  If your mind starts to wander, start back at one.  Focus on positivity.  Meditation is not a time to stress out.  Focus on love and positive reflection – squash negative thoughts quickly.  Become your own best friend.  Meditation is a time to get to know yourself.  Try and forget about the outside world and look inwards.  Accept that you might not like everything about yourself and then work on noted improvements.

Yoga is so amazing for so many reasons and I don’t go a day without it.  With a focus on deep breathing and stretching, yoga is the perfect exercise to do before sleep.  I’m not talking about intense bikram yoga that gathers puddles of hard-earned sweat, no, I’m talking simple and calm poses that relieve tension and reduce stress.  Anyone can do these!

The cat stretch (see above) is one of my favorite pre-bedtime yoga poses.  It begins with a flat back and alternates between a rounded back and a flexed back.  It stretches the spine better than any other pose and promotes the release of tension in the back.  I work on my computer a good part of the day, so spine stretches are very crucial to me and give me great relief!

The rock-a-bye roll is really great for relaxing the entire body and is a great stretch as you pull your knees into your chest.  To do this pose, rock your body to roll up into a sitting position then roll back down. Do this for about a minute then as you roll back down for the last time extend your arms and legs.  From here, you may want to just go to sleep already!

The pigeon (see above) is a really incredible stretch that most people need.  It releases tension in your hips, which can be notoriously tight and stiff for many people – also a great glute and groin stretch.  The pigeon can be easy achieved from all fours, sliding your right knee towards your right hand, your left leg back as far as it can reach and sitting down.  It is a bit like a side split with your front leg bent inwards.  Keep your hips square <– this is how you open up your hips.

The last pose I always do after ANY workout is child’s pose.  This pose is a great stretch for your core and your arms.  It looks relaxing, but it still is a working pose.  Lay forward over your knees and extend your arms in front of you, far as you can reach.  Keep reaching through the pose, fingers spread, working towards stretching further.  After this one, you will sleep like a baby, promise (or I guess I should say child).

A half hour before bed, try some Emergen-Zzz*.  I’m a huge fan of this brand and its range of products, so to say I was looking forward to trying Emergen-Zzz* is an understatement.  This is a sleep aid that helps you fall to sleep with the help of natural melatonin (a hormone your body produces to prepare for sleep and setting your circadian rhythm).  It comes in peach and berry flavors – I’ve only tried the berry and it is quite pleasant!  I can say with 100% conviction that this product induces sleepy feelings and I’m noticing that I’m waking up less as well, but I have also been using…

…Advil PM, so that could be helping as well.  Advil PM is amazing for taking care of those aches and pains we all get while also helping you to get a good night’s sleep.  Aches and pains alone can really disturb your sleep, but Advil PM contains a sleep aid that will lull you right to sleep.  Another annoyance that can disturb sleep is heartburn – my husband has a lot of issues with this.  Treat your heartburn with Nexium 24HR so it won’t wake you up throughout the night (or keep your sleeping partner up)!  Just one pill gives you all day, all night relief.

I found Emergen-Zzzz and Advil PM at my local Walgreens, which is where I pick up our prescriptions so that is convenient.  Walgreens wants to help us have a great night’s rest, so they are offering a special promotion where customers can earn 3,000 Balance Rewards points (a $3 value) when they purchase 2 of the following participating products: Emergen-Zzz, Nexium 24HR, or Advil PM during the month of March. For more sleep aid products and ideas, check out the Walgreens website.

What helps you get a good night’s sleep?

*These statement have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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1 Comment

  1. Jenna Wood
    March 7, 2016 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    I try to keep my bedroom as a sanctuary. No electronic lights and no clutter. I want my mind to just feel uplifted and instantly relaxed when I walk in. I occasionally do yoga before bed as well, but I think I’ll give this routine a try next time. #client

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