Sleep & Oxygen Blog
Yoga is an ancient practice whose objective is to bring harmony between the body and the mind1. Yoga has since become a popular form of exercise around the world, with more and more people waking up to do the sun salutation each day.
Many adults experience sleep disturbances, especially in older age groups. Recent research demonstrates that yoga may not just be beneficial for improving core strength, flexibility, and stress levels; but that daily yoga can actually improve your sleep quality2. The results showed that yoga can help you to fall asleep faster, sleep for longer durations, and return to sleep more quickly in case you wake up in the middle of the night.
Obstructive sleep apnea is when muscles in the upper airway collapse and block your air passage, forcing you to awaken in order to take a breath. It may happen a few to hundreds of times per night (depending on the severity of your condition), and often without you remembering. It’s extremely disruptive to your sleep.
Although not a direct treatment for sleep apnea, Yoga breathing exercises help strengthen, tone and open the upper airway muscles which can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
When questioned, people who practice yoga responded that they felt better rested and more energetic than people who didn’t practice yoga3. This is also true for older people who have insomnia—those who are 60 and older experience better sleep quality, sleep for longer, and feel better during the day when they perform regular yoga.
Regular exercise can have tremendous benefits on your health and well-being.
A recent study showed involving 1104 men and women enrolled in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study demonstrated how 7 h of exercise per week compared to 0 h of exercise per week was associated with a significant reduction of Apnea / Hypopnea (AHI) episodes - 5.3 vs. 2.84.
Yoga helps alleviate stress so you can sleep more peacefully
Did you know exercise helps reduce stress? And a main reason for lack of sleep is stress. If you fall into this bucket, try adding a new yoga exercise routine from the comfort of your bed with yoga. Yoga can also significantly reduce stress and calm the mind which can lead to better overall quality of life.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, a national survey found more than 55% of people who practice yoga found a better night’s rest leading to less stress.
If you want to work yoga into your bedtime routine, it’s important to do the right kind. Some types of yoga can be energizing (like hot yoga and vigorous vinyasa flow), which won’t help you relax. Here are three poses that are ideal for preparing your body for sleep and to help curb sleep apnea symptoms.
For more information on sleep apnea and getting a better night’s sleep check out our blogs Your Sleep Hygiene: Better Sleep With the Right Habits and Risks Of Untreated Sleep Apnea.