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Better Sleep With Yoga Nidra

Better Sleep with Yoga Nidra

Sleep problems and anxiety go hand in hand. Better sleep builds your parasympathetic nervous system which is necessary to calm anxiety. 

Your parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that reduces anxiety and helps you get good sleep. 

Have you ever tried Yoga Nidra? I hadn’t done it in awhile but a recent night of sleep problems reminded me to bring that tool out of the toolbox.

Yoga Nidra is often called ‘yogic sleep.’ What a great tool for better sleep, insomnia, and anxiety!

No Mat Needed!

Yoga Nidra is not yoga on a mat. In fact, it’s not about moving your body at all. Instead, Yoga Nidra involves laying in savasana pose (flat on your back).  Then you listen to a very specific form of yogic guided  meditation. That’s it.

Many types of meditation can be useful for sleep problems and anxiety. But Yoga Nidra is different. Yoga Nidra is similar to listening to a guided meditation, but not the same. There are very specific Yoga Nidra techniques which make it unique compared to general guided meditations.

How it Works for Better Sleep

It is likely that the restorative and calming effect of Yoga Nidra is due to the series of brainwave changes experienced during Yoga Nidra. This brainwave activity is likely what distinguishes Yoga Nidra from other types of guided meditations.

It is said that a 30-minute Yoga Nidra practice is equivalent to 2-4 hours of actual sleep in terms of its calming effect on your parasympathetic nervous system. There’s some debate over the science that backs this up as research on Yoga Nidra can be challenging. 

If you have sleep problems, can you imagine how different you could feel with 2-4 extra hours of sleep? Getting 7+ hours of sleep with quality deep sleep and REM sleep could be a game changer. Better sleep has improved my mood, energy, attitude, thinking process and more!

What If I Fall Asleep during Yoga Nidra?

I have found Yoga Nidra to be relaxing enough to help me fall asleep. Some clients report they fall asleep quickly after the guided practice ends, and others report they fall asleep during the middle of it.  Either way is no problem.

It’s said that if you fall asleep during the guided practice, it still has benefits for helping your brainwaves and nervous system move into a more relaxed state.

P.S. My favorite Yoga Nidra recordings are by Molly Birkholm


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