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Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and yogic rituals can all help you calm your nervous system and get better sleep. And we all know how important that is for balancing body and mind during times of stress. As John Douillard, best-selling author and founder of LifeSpa.com, told us: “In Ayurveda, a balanced circadian clock (or your internal time-keeping for cycles of sleep and alertness) is directly linked to a strong immune system, and now Nobel Prize-winning science backs that up.”
The following seven yoga practices, plus tips from teachers on how they beat insomnia and get enough zzz’s, will help your head hit the pillow and your mind find peace, keeping you healthier and stronger. Rest assured.
Goodnight, Insomnia: An Urban Zen Sequence for Better Sleep
This combination of restorative yoga, meditation, essential oils, and Reiki— from dream team Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee—will help ease anxiety and insomnia to deliver your best night’s zzz’s.
How to Outsmart Your Insomnia
Next time you can’t fall asleep, try this sequence by Kelly Golden, a ParaYoga teacher. It’s designed to help balance the vayus, or winds—a concept in yoga used to describe the different types of energy that govern physical and mental health. The practice features poses that nurture samana and apana vayus—which respectively help you digest and release what’s keeping you awake.
15 Poses to Help You Sleep Better
Ease into a restful night with a quiet yoga practice focused on deep breathing to calm your mind and release physical tension. This combination of breath and movement, designed by teacher Jeanie Manchester, activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps counteract stress. Many of the restorative versions of the poses in this sequence use a prop underneath your forehead to encourage relaxation around the eyes and additional soothing of your nervous system.
Can’t Sleep? Try These 6 Restorative Poses Right in Bed
Often when bedtime comes at the end of a busy day, it’s hard to allow the body and mind to slow down. You check email, you scroll through social media, and you fall down the rabbit hole. Before you know it, it’s midnight, the blue light from your electronics has thrown off your circadian rhythm—the body’s biological clock that regulates the 24-hour cycle of each day—and you can no longer fall asleep properly. Next time you need some support surrendering to sleep, grab some pillows and try this sequence, from teacher Sarah Clark, of pre-slumber asana between the sheets.
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8 Yoga Poses to Sleep Better Tonight
One of the reasons that so many of us find it hard to sleep is our inability to shift from the fight-or-flight mode into the parasympathetic nervous system, where deep rest is possible. This sequence turns down the intensity of modern life and helps you drop into your deeper, calmer self.
Sleep Better: Battle Insomnia with Yoga
Whether it’s yoga to reduce muscle tension, breathing to slow the heart rate, or an herbal massage to calm a racing mind, a simple routine can be the most effective and safest road to a better night’s sleep. Kick your insomnia for good by creating a simple and restful nighttime routine.
This Yoga Nidra Video Will Help You Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes or Less Tonight
In this guided Yoga Nidra sequence, you’ll spend 10 minutes in Savasana (Corpse Pose)—we knew that would get your attention!—as teacher Rosie Acosta guides you through a brief body scan and deep breathing exercises that will have you feeling more relaxed than you have in a long time.
10 Yoga Teachers Share Exactly How They Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Setting up a well-planned nighttime ritual to prepare your mind and body for sleep can help you get high-quality rest, which is important for everything from dealing with stress to controlling blood sugar. So, who better to ask about bedtime routines than yoga teachers? Calming and centering techniques are their areas of expertise, plus many of them teach early-morning classes, which makes regular sleep schedules extra-important.
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