The practice of yoga nidra, or “yogic sleep,” involves slowing down and releasing stress-related feelings through guided imagery and breath work. It helps you relax by focusing on your breath while lying down in savasana, or corpse pose, typically done at the end of a yoga class.
Yoga nidra is known for its science-backed benefits, including reduced stress, enhanced cognitive processing, improved red blood cell counts, and even better sleep. It has been recognized as a complementary alternative therapy for treating PTSD and chronic pain.
Unlike traditional meditation, which is typically done in a seated position, yoga nidra is performed while lying down. It is a form of guided meditation that brings you into a relaxed state between being awake and asleep.
One person’s experience with yoga nidra involved trying 10-minute sessions every night for a week. While longer sessions were attempted, restlessness made it difficult to complete. Despite the challenges, improvements in sleep quality were observed, with increased time spent in REM, core, and deep sleep, and reduced time spent awake.
If you struggle with meditation but are looking to improve your sleep, yoga nidra may be worth a try. While the practice can be challenging, incorporating it into your bedtime routine may lead to better sleep quality.