4-Step Bedtime Restorative Practice for Better Sleep

Yoga Medicine founder Tiffany Cruikshank offers her favorite bedtime ritual to settle the nervous system in preparation for deep sleep.

As Mother Nature hits refresh, we can too by taking some time each day to power off our devices and zoom in on our center. Join Yoga Medicine founder Tiffany Cruikshank here each Tuesday to unplug and unwind with new a practice for your #digitaldetox.

Restorative yoga postures can be very effective in preparing the body for deep, restful sleep and though an hour or more practice can be a great way to train the body for this, using a short practice can also be helpful. The the most potent part of this shortened practice will focus on the breath. Because the breath is the only part of our autonomic nervous system that we can consciously control it gives us a direct gateway into the regulation of the nervous system and the relaxation response that prepares us for sleep.

See also The Science of Breathing

Here is my favorite sleep protocol. I often it use with my patients and students, who are struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality. You can do all of the points below or pick and choose. If you do them all, I recommend sticking to the order below. Before you begin turn off all your electronic devices and phones, set your alarm for the morning, brush your teeth, and prepare for bed. Begin dimming the lights. The effect of this practice can be immediate, but for more chronic insomnia you may need to stick with it nightly for a couple weeks before you experience changes in your sleep. The effects of this protocol are both long and short term, so commit to it for at least a month and then you can continue or use it as needed after that. The entire practice should take about 15–25 minutes, depending on how long your spend with each.

4-Step Restorative Practice for Better Sleep