Yoga to fall asleep: exercises & tips

Fall asleep and stay asleep better thanks to yoga

Woman does yoga in bed before sleeping

When falling asleep becomes a challenge, a spiral quickly develops. You lie awake, compulsively trying to get to sleep - and look into the dark bedroom with your eyes open. Yoga can help here. With the right exercises, you can calm down in the evening and fall asleep relaxed. Read here how yoga can specifically help you fall asleep and stay asleep and also get to know three suitable yoga postures.



How does yoga help you fall asleep?

The relaxing effect of yoga is well known. At the same time, the challenging, athletic aspect is often in the foreground. Pushing yourself to your limits, balancing your body and increasing your flexibility. Yoga already has a good reputation - and yet it can do more.

Listening to your body, gently stretching tense areas, releases tension. Both physically and mentally. Calm, targeted movements, coupled with concentration on even breathing, reduce stress. The result: your nervous system calms down, you switch off An almost meditative state sets in, which slows down the carousel of thoughts and, after some practice, can bring it to a complete standstill. For a faster and more restful sleep.

Woman lying in Shavasana
As a traditional relaxation exercise, Shavasana also helps you fall asleep with yoga.

Who can use yoga to fall asleep?

Basically, if you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, it's worth experimenting with yoga. A still awake, restless mind often stands in the way of falling asleep quickly. This is exactly what you can calm down with the help of yoga and thus create the conditions for falling asleep more quickly.

So much for the mental aspect. Sometimes you simply lack the comfort you need to close your eyes quickly due to tension. Especially if you sit a lot during the day, yoga before going to sleep helps to relieve muscle tension and fall asleep better.

The right kind of yoga before sleep

Stimulating the circulation shortly before going to bed is counterproductive. Not all yoga exercises are suitable for falling asleep. More intensive variations such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga are less suitable. Instead, practise yoga styles whose asanas you perform slowly and meditatively before going to sleep. Focus on:

  • Yin Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Yoga Nidra

These styles promote relaxation. If you want even more tips on how to relax in everyday life thanks to yoga, you can find futher articles on the subject in our owayo magazine.

Child's Pose
The child's posture helps to relax the body and mind and helps them fall asleep

3 yoga exercises for a better night's sleep

A big advantage of yoga to fall asleep: you don't need any previous knowledge. The exercises are simple, easy to do and help you relax. Even if you are a beginner, you can start yoga to fall asleep straight away. For each of the following three exercises, it is important to breathe calmly and evenly to help you calm down.

1. Child's Pose

Regardless of yoga style, it is one of the relaxation asanas par excellence. The secret of child's pose lies in concentrating on the simple. As a starting point, kneel on the floor. The legs touch each other. Now gently lean forward until your stomach rests on your thighs and your forehead on the floor. If you find it difficult to bend all the way down, you can also place your head on a cushion.

Once you have reached a comfortable position, you have two options: Either place your arms next to your body with your hands pointing backwards, or stretch them forward over your head with your palms touching the floor. This creates a gentle stretch and also relieves pressure on the shoulders. This results in the following effects:

  • Stretching of the entire back musculature
  • Release of tension in the neck and shoulders
  • Loosening up the muscles
  • Release of blockages
  • Relaxation

In this video you can see how to perform the child's pose:

2. The Butterfly Pose

For the butterfly pose (Supta Baddha Konasana), sit on your mat and place a yoga bolster, a yoga cushion or a blanket close behind your back. Now slowly lean back and rest your back on the cushion. Comfortable? Then put your legs up, bring them together until they touch and then slowly let your knees tilt outwards. Only do this until you feel a pleasant stretch in your groin. Rest your arms either relaxed on your stomach or with your palms open next to your body. This stimulates the butterfly pose:

  • the stretching of the groin
  • the opening of the front shoulders and chest
  • the release of blockages
  • the reduction of stress

Mady Morrison shows you how to perform the butterfly pose:

3. Shavasana

Shavasana - also known as the dead pose - is an essential part of any yoga session. At the end of a yoga class, this exercise helps you to relax. You let go and come to rest. If you do yoga immediately before going to bed, you can even do Shavasana in bed.

How to proceed:

Lie relaxed on your back. Arms and legs are stretched out. Your palms are facing the ceiling. Now simply lie there. Breathe calmly and evenly. Close your eyes and notice: How does your body feel? Which thoughts come? Which ones leave? You can stay like this for five minutes, or 20, and calm down more and more. Because Shavasana:

  • calms the heartbeat.
  • calms the breathing.
  • produces deep relaxation.


If your mind is racing despite relaxing exercises, a (guided) meditation can help. You can find a complete yoga sequence for falling asleep in this video by Mady Morrison:

Yoga to fall asleep: what you need

Basically, you can get started right away. Even the yoga mat is not absolutely necessary, as you can also do many exercises directly in bed or on the carpet. Clothing for yoga to fall asleep should be comfortable. You can either do yoga to fall asleep in your pyjamas or wear comfortable yoga leggings. For individual exercises, such as the butterfly pose, yoga aids such as cushions, blankets or yoga bolsters can be useful.

Fall asleep quickly thanks to yoga

The hurdle is low. You have nothing to lose. If you have trouble sleeping, it is definitely worth trying yoga to help you fall asleep. You don't need extensive equipment or much prior knowledge. You can get started straight away and calm your body and mind with simple but effective exercises.

If you are also looking for yoga clothing, you will find the right items in the owayo online shop the right items. In our magazine, we also offer you exciting articles on other yoga topics that go beyond sleep.


Image Credits: Title Image: ViDi Studio/; Image 2: 220 Selfmade studio/