Last updated on December 2nd, 2023.
The world is full of commotion. It’s stressful and ever-changing. We’re increasingly affected by global issue after global issue. No surprise that the effect of all of this commotion is poor sleep. Yoga Nidra for sleep is the answer.
Have you experienced insomnia in the past year? There’s a good chance you have, with around 35% of people reporting trouble sleeping. And, insomnia can lead to weight gain, heart disease and depression. But, not only does sleep deprivation affect people’s health, it also affects the economy, to a tune of $411 billion per year. Lack of sleep causes American’s to lose 11 days of productivity per year. And don’t forget the thousands of car crashes and medical errors each year that are due to chronic lack of sleep.
Every year people try many different solutions to their sleep problems. New, high-tech mattresses. Noise machines that fill the bedroom with nature sounds. Expensive eye masks. Even blackout curtains to stop light from coming into the room. But frequently it is outside forces that cause a person to not be able to get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, it’s that a person may not know how to relax. They may not even know that they need to achieve a level of peace and relaxation to gain a full eight hours of sleep.
We’re here to tell you that Yoga Nidra for Sleep is important because winding down the mind is imperative for successful rest. Apart from the key benefits of Yoga Nidra, practicing this type of yoga can help anyone increase their relaxation and begin sleeping deeply and feeling more rested. Follow along and we discuss how a form of yoga can improve your life.
Yoga Nidra for Sleep Finally Explained
If you aren’t interested in taking medication for your insomnia or sleep problems, there is a natural solution that has helped many people with their sleep issues: Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is guided meditation that can reduce stress, increase the feeling of well-being and bring about better sleep. Yoga Nidra is explained as being the space you experience between waking and sleep, and guided meditation can take you to that space.
Yoga Nidra is not only practiced in yoga studios, or at home by listening to CDs, the process is also used in schools, hospital, jails, hospices and veterans’ clinics to help people with depression, PTSD, cancer, stress and, of course, insomnia. And it has been around for thousands of years, even immortalized the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Unlike meditation, you’re not instructed to concentrate on a mantra or a picture in your mind. Instead, you guided through a process to withdraw your senses of sight, touch, taste and smell; you keep your sense of hearing so that you can listen to instructions. There is a scientific side to Yoga Nidra practice. Per Wikipedia, the practice leads to “increased…dopamine release in…the brain.” This leads to decreased blood flow in the parts of the brain that cause movement.
Yoga Nidra is increasing in popularity, and no wonder. So many people are having trouble sleeping that they’re searching for any kind of relief. And Yoga Nidra has been proven to work. So, we aim to offer a comprehensive look at the practice of Yoga Nidra, including the connection between Yoga Nidra and Sleep. Also, there are a lot of great Yoga Nidra videos on YouTube to help you sleep. We look at the five best. And, lastly, we look at the stages of Yoga Nidra.
If you’d like to pursue the practice further and learn how to become a Yoga Nidra teacher then check out are article on the Best Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training. For more Yoga Nidra and in-depth look at its connection to sleep, keep reading. We hope this article will spark your own look into Yoga Nidra and lead to a good night’s sleep!
What is the connection between Yoga Nidra and sleep?
Yoga Nidra, also called yogic sleep, is a form of guided meditation that leads to a state that almost feels like sleep. The National Sleep Foundations says that Yoga Nidra practice “induces the deepest possible state of relaxation” in the student, while they still maintain full consciousness.
During a Yoga Nidra practice, a student lies on their back on a yoga mat. The teacher guides the student to be aware of each part of their body individually. (click on this link to learn more about how to become a certified yoga teacher) Then, the student is asked to be aware of their body as a whole. The process can be repeated more than once. As the student relaxes, their brain waves start to slow down, and serotonin is released. As we stated above, the student achieves an almost sleep-like stage. If the practitioner is led through a Yoga Nidra class at home, through a CD or over the internet, they could very well achieve sleep.
Furthermore, some studies have shown that when awaking from a 45-minute Yoga Nidra class, a student will feel like that had up to three hours of REM sleep. Regular Yoga Nidra practice has been shown to allow students to create a more positive outlook on life. Better sleep can help a person be more productive, allow them to cope more easily with problems, and make them achieve increased concentration. Yoga Nidra is a cure-all, but it can definitely help a variety of issues.
5 Great Yoga Nidra For Sleep YouTube Videos
Guided Yoga Nidra classes in a yoga studio are great for relaxation and to destress your life. But you can’t stay in that sleep-like state for a full eight hours. You still have to get up when the class is done and drive home. For a great night’s sleep, why not try a Yoga Nidra YouTube video? You’ll be guided through a Yoga Nidra practice that will allow you to seamlessly move into the sleep stage. And, you’ll be able to stay asleep as you’ll already be at home.
We’ve scoured YouTube for five great Yoga Nidra sleep videos. Take a look at them below; they may be just what you need to start sleeping better.
1. This Yoga Nidra Video Will Help You Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes or Less Tonight by Yoga Journal
Yoga Journal’s 11-minute Yoga Nidra video will guide you through a body scan and deep breathing to relaxing and sleep. This video also guides the user back to a waking state if you are using it for deep meditation and not for sleep. It’s a very serene and calming video and has over 62,000 views.
2. Guided Yoga Nidra Sleep Meditation | Fall Asleep Bedtime Yoga by Brett Larkin Yoga
Bett Larkin guides the user through a sleep meditation that is perfect to listen to right before bedtime. The video can also be used to rest your mind, recalibrate your nervous system and rejuvenate yourself. Over 46,000 viewers have watched this video to achieve better sleep and relaxation. Now, this video also brings the viewer back to awareness, but if you’re like other users who left reviews, you’ll be asleep long before the video ends.
3. Yoga Nidra For Sleep - Powerful Guided Meditation to Fall Asleep Fast by Tripura Mandala
This video is beautiful. The voice may not be as soothing as the other videos, but the background wave sounds really relaxed me. This video is a bit longer than others and includes the sounds of waves even after the narrator stops. We feel it’s very soothing and we think you will, too!
4. Yoga Nidra 20 Minute Guided Meditation by Lizzy Hill
The narration on this video is beyond relaxing. Million of viewers have watching this video and it’s quite understandable. The calming tones of the narrator and the soothing background music come together for an experience that will allow you to fall into a deep, refreshing sleep.
5. Yoga Nidra Sleep Meditation by Jason Stephenson
Another great and very useful Yoga Nidra video, this will help you achieve the ultimate in relaxation. What we like about this video is what is that the narrator guides you into a proper sleeping position and give you tips on how to be physically comfortable. The narrator’s voice is quite soothing; this video will allow any view to achieve a deep sleep-like state or a good night’s sleep. Either way, they’ll awaken refreshed.
What are the stages of Yoga Nidra?
When practicing Yoga Nidra, please don’t expect to fall asleep or enter a sleep-like state automatically. There are a few stages you will be guided through before you attain deep relaxation. As you are led through the eight stages of Yoga Nidra, your brain waves will respond to the messaging and will slow down. Read on as we explain each stage.
The eight stages of Yoga Nidra:
- Stage 1. Turn off any distractions such as your phone and lower the lights. Begin relaxing and getting comfortable while lying on your back.
- Stage 2. Called Sankalpa, this stage invites you to create a positive affirmation and then repeat that affirmation in your mind three times.
- Stage 3. Scan every part of your body. You’ll be led through a detailed scan from your fingers to your toes starting on the right side of your body and then on the left side of your body. This body scan will focus your mind and lead your body into a sleep-like state of relaxation.
- Stage 4. Become aware of your breath and the energy flowing through your body. Your teacher may have you listen to each breath and count down your exhalations from 100 to 1.
- Stage 5. You will be guided to a state of emotional relaxation by experiencing opposite emotions or sensations without judgment or emotional reaction.
- Stage 6. Begin to visualize on a natural environment like a tree blowing in the breeze, to keep your mind focused.
- Stage 7. You’ll be guided through Sankalpa again to remind yourself of the affirmation you made in Stage 2.
- Stage 8. Scan every part of your body again, awakening. Slowly re-enter your body while still feeling a sense of quiet and inner peace. Relax and reflect in the calmness that you’ve achieved. Open your eyes slowly. Be prepared to re-enter the world feeling tranquil, with your heart open.
Sleep well, starting now!
The economy is losing an enormous amount of money every year from the lack of productivity in the face of workers’ poor sleeping habits. As we stated up top, 35% of Americans experience instances of insomnia each year.
And, it’s not only worker productivity that suffers. There’s depression, diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of other problems that arise from poor sleep. And pharmacological sleep aids such as sleeping pills only mask the problem. They can’t solve the problem of insomnia or other sleep issues.
But, Yoga Nidra, if done correctly and regularly, can go a long way to helping people sleep better. And, for those who still have issues with sleeping after practicing Yoga Nidra, at least they can be assured that they will achieve the ultimate relaxation, a relaxation that is reported to feel as good as hours of REM sleep.
So, we hope you find relief if you are suffering from any sort of sleeping issues. Go ahead and take the next step. Try the five Yoga Nidra guided meditations that we’ve curated above. We’re sure that one or even all of them will be just the ticket for better sleep or deeper relaxation. The soothing narrations and peaceful meditations will go far in bringing a calming moment to your hectic life.
We also hope that we’ve helped by discussing the relationship between Yoga Nidra and sleep. Even though there is a scientific basis behind the process, it’s really all about letter your mind go and relaxing into the stillness
And, before you embark on choosing your first Yoga Nidra class, we hope you take a moment to read through our explanation of the eight stages of Yoga Nidra. It’s helpful to understand the steps that your Yoga Nidra instructor will be guiding you through before you start your practice. You’ll have a better handle on not just the process of Yoga Nidra, but on how each process will affect you and what you should expect. If you’re familiar with the instructions, you won’t be caught by surprise at any point of the class. That of course, will allow you to have a successful class. And, it will allow you to stay in the moment, so your mind and awareness won’t emerge too early and awaken your senses before you’re ready.
(Looking for more ways to get better sleep? Check out Vedic meditation!)