A couple of years ago there was this post floating around on social media, and it went like this….
“No we don’t need more sleep. It’s our souls that are tired, not our bodies. We need nature. We need magic. We need adventure. We need freedom. We need truth. We need stillness. We don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live.” – Brooke Hampton
My immediate reaction to this alluring quote was… Yeah, we do need more sleep!!
I certainly agree that we benefit from those other things too, like nature, truth and stillness. I also agree that living consciously and awake are where it’s at. But I personally have a really hard time connecting with conscious living, nature and stillness when I don’t have adequate sleep.
There’s a lot of research that supports the importance of adequate sleep. And it’s one of the main pillars of health according to Ayurveda. According to the NIH, getting adequate sleep can help boost your immune system, improve your mood, lower your risk for serious health problems, improve memory and avoid injuries/accidents, among other benefits.
Sadly, the pandemic has done a number on our sleep. And according to the Cleveland Clinic, Stress-related insomnia due to the pandemic is definitely a thing, and it even has a name: “coronasomnia.” Insomnia is so prevalent that even Saturday Night Live had a skit about it last month.
As yoga therapists and yoga practitioners there’s a lot we can do to help ourselves and others make lifestyle changes and incorporate practices that can reconnect us with circadian rhythms and help rebalance our sleep wake cycles so we can get good sleep. Some helpful practices include having end of day rituals that encourage us to wind down and signal that the day has come to a close, practicing yoga nidra, self-massage, meditation, calming breath practices, and restorative yoga poses.
And even though the pandemic has done a number on our sleep, it has also made more available to us opportunities to learn and connect with others and gain valuable education and information that previously may not have been as accessible. Next Saturday, March 12 from 10:00a-12:30p MT we will be hosting another monthly workshop entitled Relieving Stress & Insomnia with Gabriele Oltersdorf and Dr. Suzanna Braeger. Gabriele is an Inner Peace Yoga Therapy graduate in Germany who has been focusing her work in this area and she will be joined by her colleague Dr. Suzanna who will provide nutritional information to support the subject. This workshop is designed to help us gain a deeper understanding and learn effective ways to relieve anxiety and insomnia with a combination of Karuna Yoga, breath, mindful nutrition, and sound healing.
I hope you can join us. Details and registration are here.
Yours in Yoga,
Michele Lawrence, Director