01 Dec 3 ways a yoga retreat will improve your sleep
Attending a digital detox yoga retreat can do wonders for you; you will almost certainly leave the retreat feeling stress free, relaxed and rejuvenated.
One factor that plays a crucial part in relieving stress is the maintenance of good sleep habits. Although there is no set number of hours we should sleep, experts recommend that we should aim for between seven to nine hours each night – although it varies from person to person.
However, on average adults only sleep 6.6 hours each night which, according to recent studies, is just not enough. Not getting enough sleep is directly related to stress. Sleep deprivation increases the production of cortisol (the hormone that accounts for stress) meaning a lack of sleep can leave you feeling stressed.
So, one guaranteed way to reduce stress is making every effort to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, 21% of adults reported that when they do not get enough sleep they feel stressed.
Yoga is proven to help with sleeping problems including insomnia. A study showed 44 people participating in yoga slept better when compared with the control group. The yoga group had lower scores for insomnia and higher scores for quality of life.
There are three ways specifically that a yoga retreat can result in much better sleep.
A yoga retreat relaxes the mind
Yoga is proven to increase parasympathetic nervous system activity. The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system and is responsible for the body’s unconscious actions.
The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of processes including; digestion, salivation, tears and defection. When the parasympathetic system is stimulated through yoga the muscles become less tense and the heart rate and blood pressure both become lower. This has a calming effect on the body.
The practice of yoga at a yoga retreat including restorative asanas (poses), slow breathing and meditation increases the parasympathetic nervous system and leads to mental relaxation and an improved night’s sleep.
Yoga helps with physical aches
Studies show that yoga is an effective treatment for chronic pain. Patients suffering from pain who participated in regular yoga practice showed a reduction in joint pain, muscle stiffness and overall physical discomfort.
Yoga is proven to increase flexibility in the lower body, while supporting the lower back in a supine position (lying down). Yoga also specifically relieves aches and pains that are associated with a tight low back. Yoga also lengthens the inner hip muscles while stretching the thighs calves and hamstrings. Yoga poses such as Padangusthasana, also known as Big Toe Pose, stretches the hamstrings and calves which often cause physical discomfort.
The relief of these physical aches and pains, which can lead to restless and uncomfortable nights, definitely ensures you will be able to sleep much better during and after a yoga retreat.
Yoga impacts mental health
We know from many studies that yoga has a calming effect on the mind.
Findings from Duke University highlight that yoga appears to have a positive effect on a whole range of mental health issues including; mild depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and sleep problems.
The study found that in 70 active-duty troops, daily yoga not only eased anxiety but also improved sleep. The study shows that there is enough research to highlight the positive effects that yoga has on mental health, and that it should be considered an effective part of mental health treatment. Improved mental health has been shown to have positive benefits for sleep.
So, attending one of our yoga retreats with digital detox will reduce stress, relax the mind and help with physical aches and pains. This all results in a fantastic week’s sleep.