Extensive research is being done into holistic therapies for psychological and health disorders. Yoga improves a person’s outlook on life, and improves physical and mental health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Sleep Foundation, millions of Americans suffer from sleep problems.
The recommended hours of sleep per day is 7 to 9 hours for adults, yet millions of adults sleep lesser than that.Insomnia is a silent killer – it predisposes people to a number of chronic diseases. It is strongly associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and anxiety. Lack of sleep can have negative effect on cognitive ability of the brain, resulting in depression.
A study conducted at the Harvard Medical School investigated how a daily yoga practice might affect sleep for people with insomnia. They found broad improvements to measurements of sleep quality and quantity. Researchers provided their subjects with basic yoga training, then asked them to practise yoga everyday for eight weeks. They were also asked to maintain a sleep diary, and record any disturbances in sleep, duration of sleep at night. Their performance at work the next day and whether they felt less or more energetic with each passing day. The diaries were then analysed, and the findings coincided with improvements sleep efficiency. Total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep) and wake time after sleep onset.
Effects of yoga
A study was conducted in 2012 on menopausal women and investigated the effects of yoga on insomnia and menopausal symptoms. Brazilian researchers assigned 44 menopausal women with insomnia to yoga, physical therapy stretches, or no treatment for four months. The participants attended yoga sessions two times per week. The researchers concluded that there was a significant reduction in insomnia and menopausal symptoms. The women also reported decreased agitation, depression and a better outlook on life.
Yoga helps you sleep better
Aside from all these benefits, yoga asanas are challenging on the body. The muscles are fatigued after a productive session, and people tend to sleep better after heavy exercise or intensive yoga. Sleep gives muscles the opportunity to detox and relax, leaving the person exhilarated in the morning.
Are you an insomniac? Instead of taking pills, why don’t you sign up for an hour long yoga session, and see what a difference it’ll make!