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3 Yoga Poses to Improve Sleep

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Most seniors, at one point or another, will have difficulty falling or staying asleep. If you provide home care for an elderly parent and notice he or she isn’t getting restful sleep, these yoga poses may be able to help.

Janu Sirsasana

Forward-bending poses such as Janu Sirsasana stretch the spine, quiet the mind, and encourage better sleep. The deep breathing required for this pose is also key for a restful sleep.

Sit on the floor with legs extended straight in front (bend your knees if needed to prevent slouching). Bend the right knee, bringing the sole of the right foot to the inner left thigh and move the right knee toward the floor. Place a cushion under the knee if this causes too much discomfort. Breathe in and lengthen the spine, then breathe out while bending forward from the hips to the left leg. Place hands on either side of the left leg while making sure that your spine and neck are elongated. Keep your eyes on the big toe of the left foot while inhaling and exhaling. Repeat on the opposite side. Sit on a cushion or folded blanket to make forward bends easier.

Upavistha Konasana

This pose opens the hips and slows down the heart rate to release body tension that accumulated during the day. The breathing required for this pose also mimics the deep breathing of sleep, which readies the body for rest, and the stretching of the core muscles provides comfort throughout the night.

Sit upright on a cushion placed on the floor. Extend legs into a V shape as wide as you can without discomfort. Lengthen the spine while inhaling and make sure that you are not slouching. Bend forward from the hips with your hands in front while exhaling. Lengthen the spine while inhaling and relax in a forward motion with each exhale. If forward bends cause too much discomfort, you can sit on your hands and focus on sitting up and breathing without slouching.

Reclined Twist

This calming pose relieves tension in the lower back to reduce aches during the night, allowing for comfortable sleep. The breathing required for this pose also trains the body for better breathing during sleep that not only helps you fall asleep faster, but also to feel more rested upon waking.

Lie on your back and slowly bring both knees to the chest. Stretch your left arm to the side with the palm facing up while keeping knees to the chest. Slowly bring the knees down to the right side to reach the floor. Place a cushion under the knees to avoid over-extension. Place the right hand on the knees and turn the head slightly to the left or up toward the ceiling. Repeat with the other side.

Learn more about senior health and wellness from the friendly staff at Oklahoma Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in, hourly, and respite care in Oklahoma, helping seniors maintain a happy, safe, and high-quality life. Give us a call at 405-285-4191 to learn more about our care services and schedule a free in-home consultation.