Try This Bedtime Yoga Sequence to Find Deep, Restful Sleep

Serene lady practicing a restorative pose and meditating on a yoga mat with props

Bedtime yoga should be soothing and calming to the nervous system so that you can downregulate your whole body in preparation for sleep. This can easily be achieved by practicing gentle, restorative poses right in your bed! Whether you’re having trouble falling asleep at bedtime or tend to wake often throughout the night, this gentle bedtime yoga practice will (hopefully!) help you to find deep, restful sleep.

Try This Bedtime Yoga Practice in Your Bed Tonight

Put on your comfiest pair of pajamas and get cozy under your blanket with lots of pillows nearby for when you’d like some extra support, and be prepared to drift off into restful sleep.

Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Comfortable bed time yoga to prepare for sleep

Gentle forward folds are typically quite soothing to the nervous system, so they’re a perfect addition to any bedtime yoga sequence.

  1. Sit up in your bed with your legs stretched forward. If you’d like, you can rest the back of your pelvis against the wall or headboard of your bed. If it feels good, you can elevate your hips by sitting on top of a pillow.
  2. Gently round your spine forward and down over your legs in front of you. Place pillow(s) between your torso and your thighs for extra comfort and support.
  3. Rest your forehead or one cheek onto the pillow in front of you and close your eyes.
  4. Surrender into this shape for as long as you’d like. Focus on taking long, full, deep breaths in this position.

Side-Lying Stretch

A side lying stretch that is helpful to prepare for sleep

This soft stretch creates length in the side body while also placing you in a potential sleeping position that you may choose to simply surrender into for the night!

  1. Lie on your right side with a pillow underneath your ribcage and a pillow under your head.
  2. Weave your right arm between the two pillows so that you’re resting on your right shoulder and right hip.
  3. Reach your left arm over your head and rest your hand onto the bed above the pillow under your head.
  4. Close your eyes and breathe deeply into your left side body.
  5. Surrender into this shape for as long as you’d like. If it feels appropriate, repeat on the other side.

Supported Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

A gentle backbend to help prepare for a good night's sleep

This very subtle backbend gently opens your heart center to help release any tension that you might be holding physically and/or emotionally.

  1. Place a pillow toward the top quarter of your bed.
  2. Lie down on your back over the pillow so that the pillow lands right under your heart space right underneath your shoulder blades and relax your head directly onto the bed.
  3. Reach your arms out toward the sides of your bed in a T shape.
  4. Soften your gaze or close your eyes and surrender into the subtle opening.
  5. Hold here for as long as you’d like while taking advantage of the upward tilt of your ribcage, which allows for full, deep breaths.

Supine Twist (Jathara Parivrttanasana)

A gentle and restorative twist to help settle down

No bedtime yoga sequence is complete without a soft twist to “wring out” your stressful day. This easy one gives you a soft opening and another potential position that you can use to drift off into sleep.

  1. Lie down on your back with your head resting on a pillow.
  2. Gently hug your knees toward your chest.
  3. Release your arms out toward the sides of your bed in line with your shoulders into a T-shape.
  4. Slowly draw your knees across your body toward the left side of your bed. Either rest your knees on a pillow or on your bed, but make sure that they’re supported by something.
  5. Softly close your eyes and surrender into this easy twist for as long as you’d like. If it feels appropriate, repeat on the other side.

Stonehenge

Restorative Stonehenge Pose to induce sleep

This very relaxing inversion is the perfect position to end in because it’s incredibly comfortable to sleep in. So if you’re feeling ready, allow yourself to doze off into dreamland when you practice this final shape.

  1. Stack two to four pillows at the bottom of your bed.
  2. Lie down on your back and rest your calves directly over the stack of pillows. If you’d like, you can also rest your head onto a pillow.
  3. Close your eyes and allow your full body weight to melt into the pillows and bed beneath you.
  4. Draw your awareness to your breath. Deepen your inhalations and elongate your exhalations.
  5. Surrender here for as long as you’d like.

Surrender to Deep, Restful Sleep

This bedtime yoga sequence requires no fancy props or special yogic skills, so you can easily use this every day before bed. Practice each pose for anywhere from 10 seconds to 20 minutes. Make this sequence your own to help you downregulate your nervous system and relax into the deep, restful sleep that you crave.

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Leah Sugerman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, yoga writer

Leah Sugerman is a yoga teacher, writer, and passionate world traveler. An eternally grateful student, she has trained in countless schools and traditions of the practice. She teaches a fusion of the styles she has studied with a strong emphasis on breath, alignment, and anatomical integrity. Leah teaches workshops, retreats, and trainings, both internationally and online. For more information, visit www.leahsugerman.com.

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