9 Calming Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you toss and turn all night? Yoga poses for better sleep may be the solution for overcoming insomnia and restlessness so you can finally enjoy a good night's rest. 

The demands of a busy schedule can cause physical, mental, and emotional strain. By the time evening arrives, your muscles are tight and tense, your mind is overloaded with information, and you are often carrying the stresses that you have faced throughout the day. It's no wonder that you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or finding restful sleep. 

One of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep is to establish a pre-bedtime schedule that will help you unwind. Nighttime yoga will stretch tight muscles, calm the mind, and prepare your body for deep, restorative rest.


Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

Choose a few poses that work best for you. But, keep in mind that nighttime yoga is supposed to be soothing and relaxing, not energizing. So don't push yourself too hard. Allow the stretches to release the tension and lead your mind and body gently into dreamland.

Relaxation/Meditation

This doesn't have to include the chanting and “Oms”. It's about relaxing, finding the mind-body-breath connection, and letting the stresses of the day melt away.

  • Sit cross-legged on your bed, mat, or floor. If this position is uncomfortable, prop pillows under your knees or extend your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Sit up straight and lean against your pillows, headboard, or wall. If you prefer to not lean against something, that is fine too, as long as you can comfortably maintain a proper position without this added support.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs or on the floor beside your hips.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
  • Concentrate on releasing your stress and relaxing your muscles.
  • Hold this position for 1-5 minutes.


yoga meditation pose


Child's Pose

This is a calming, restorative posture that relieves physical, mental, and emotional tension. It is one of the best yoga poses for better sleep and is a great way to wind down after a busy day.

  • Kneel on your bed or mat, knees about hip width apart, butt resting on your heels, and your big toes touching.
  • As you exhale, slowly bend your torso over your thighs until your forehead touches the bed or mat.
  • Your arms can be down by your feet, palms facing up or extended in front of you with palms facing down.
  • Hold this pose for 1-5 minutes, remembering to maintain a calming breathing pattern.


child's pose



Seated Forward Bend

This pose will stretch out the leg muscles and spine, and help relax the body for a restful nights sleep.

  • Sit on the floor or bed and stretch your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Flex your toes toward the ceiling.
  • Bend forward and place your hands on your toes, ankles, or shins.
  • Remember, aim for a gentle stretch, nothing too intense.
  • Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, remembering to breath.
  • You can also do this pose in a cross-legged position, bending forward over your thighs and stretching your arms out in front of you.


seated forward bend pose


Legs up Wall Pose

This pose will help slow your heart rate, calm anxiety, improve sleep, and relieve pain caused by muscle tension.

  • Lie on the floor or your bed with your legs up against a wall (or your headboard).
  • Start with your tailbone about 6 inches from the wall and adjust for comfort. If there is too much strain on your hamstrings, move farther away. For a greater stretch, move closer.
  • If you have problems with lower back pain, support your body by placing a yoga block, pillow, or folded blanket under your hips.
  • Rest your arms by your side, palms up. You may also place your hands on your abdomen if this is more comfortable.
  • Close your eyes and focus on breathing.
  • Remain in this pose for 2-5 minutes.


legs up wall pose


Bound Angle Pose on Wall

This pose stretches the muscles in the lower back, glutes, thighs, and knees to relieve tension caused by sitting for long periods of time. It also helps release anxiety and relax the body.

  • Begin in the Legs-Up-Wall position.
  • Slowly bend your knees and slide your legs down the wall, placing the soles of your feet together.
  • Lower your heels as close to your inner thighs as comfortably possible.
  • GENTLY push your knees toward the wall.
  • The goal is to release tension and relax the muscles, so make sure the stretch is not too intense. You are preparing for sleep so you want to be kind to your body,  not challenge it.
  • Hold this position for 1-5 minutes, focusing on proper breathing.


Knee Hug

This pose relieves tension in the hips and provides a great massage for the back.

  • Lie flat on your back on your bed or floor.
  • Pull your knees to your chest.
  • Wrap your arms around your shins and clasp your hands.
  • Hold this position for three breaths.
  • Once you have relaxed into the stretch, begin slowly and gently rocking from side to side.
  • Continue for 30 seconds, remembering to maintain proper breathing techniques.


yoga knee hug


Reclining Goddess Stretch

Not only will this pose help release tension in the hips, groin, and thighs, but it is also great for calming the mind and relaxing the body.

  • Lie on your back on your bed, mat, or floor.
  • Place the soles of your feet together, knees pointing out.
  • Keep your knees as close to the floor as possible, and adjust the intensity by pulling your heels closer to your inner thighs.
  • If you feel any tension, place pillows or supports under your knees or lower back.
  • Place your hands at your sides or stretch them above your head, whichever you prefer.
  • Hold this position for 2-5 minutes, remembering to breathe.
yoga goddess stretch

Supine Twist with Leg Extension

This pose is great for releasing tension in the lower back, shoulders, hips, and glutes. 

  • Lie flat on your back on your bed or mat.
  • Extend your arms straight out at shoulder height (“T” position), palms up.
  • Lift your right leg up and bend your knee so it forms a 90-degree angle.
  • Rotate your right hip and torso toward the left until the side of your right knee and calf touch the ground (or as close as possible)
  • Keep both shoulders on the ground.
  • Turn your head toward the right, in the opposite direction of your bent knee.
  • Hold for two breaths to relax into the stretch, then if possible, extend your bent leg, pointing your toes toward the left.
  • Remain in this position for 1-2 minutes.
  • Bend your right leg, return to your back, straighten your right leg alongside your left leg.
  • Repeat on other side.


yoga group twisting poses


Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This is often referred to as the Final Relaxation pose, so you may want to make sure that you perform this movement somewhere comfortable since you just might fall asleep.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Extend both legs out straight and rest your arms at your side, palms up.
  • Close your eyes and focus on inhaling and exhaling, relaxing the muscles with each breath.
yoga corpse pose


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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.




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