Whether it's breathing to slow the heart rate or massage to calm the mind, a simple yogic routine can be effective for a better night's sleep. The next time you have trouble sleeping, follow these simple steps, and observe their soothing wonders:
Know your timing. Institute a regular bedtime; maintaining consistency will help keep your circadian rhythms—the biological changes that happen every 24 hours—steady. Eventually, your body will naturally understand and crave sleep during these hours.
Create a wind-down period. Create space between your busy day and sleep time. Honor your time at home and play relaxing music, or light candles. Think of the yoga precept of pratyahara: Withdraw your senses in order to turn inward.
Strike a pose. Notice how you feel before doing a nighttime yoga routine. Are you wired or tired? If you're amped up, do poses like twists or standing poses to burn off excess energy. If you're tired, do some restorative poses or breathing until you feel more refreshed.
Get warm. Remember to stay toasty while practicing your nighttime poses—have a blanket, socks, and a sweater nearby. Drink a warm cup of herbal tea or take a bath based on your dosha.