Wow, what a crazy start to 2020! I’m sure you’re all feeling the impact of the coronavirus epidemic. You might be feeling overwhelmed or scared about the future. It’s OK to be feeling those things, but it’s important to get some control over your worries. Adequate sleep and relaxation are more important than ever! Being able to deal with new challenges is so much easier when you’re properly rested.
Why sleep is important
- When you sleep, your body goes into recovery mode. A good nights sleep leaves you revitalized and well prepared for the next busy day.
- Good sleep even helps you consolidate memories and behaviours. If you skip out on good sleep, you’re not giving your brain the chance to put everything together from your day.
- Lack of sleep contributes negatively to mental wellbeing and anxiety. It makes overcoming the challenges of life much harder.
- Core body temperature rises when you don’t rest. Problems with higher core temperatures are inflammation-related conditions, autoimmune disease and allergies.
Adults require between 8 to 10 hours sleep a night and studies show that most are getting less than 6 per night. Many people also either have trouble falling or staying asleep. We just aren’t getting the amount of sleep we need. One of the main reasons for sleep deprivation is our lack of time to get everything done.
As a teacher, there are high demands and endless things that need to be completed. The ‘easy’ solution is to sacrifice sleep for more time. However, the lack of sleep creates more problems than it solves. At work, I can see how lack of sleep can impact productivity and relationships with students. It can also lead to stress-related illness, burn out and staff absence. At home, it can lead to emotional outbursts and strained relationships.
How our natural rhythm is being effected
Everyone has a circadian rhythm, known as your sleep/wake cycle or body clock. It’s a natural, internal system that helps regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness every day. Our bodies are designed to be awake during the day, and asleep at night. The visual cues of light and dark signals to our body to produce melatonin as the sun sets and to stop producing it when dawn breaks to wake us up. also signals the body to stay awake or sleep.
However, this natural process is often disrupted with artificial lighting. Overuse of lights, phones and technology during what should be your bodies sleeping hours overrides your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Overriding your rest-activity cycle consistently leads to burnout. It clashes with your natural rhythm and activating your flight and fight stress response.
What is Nidra Yoga and how can it help with sleep?
Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based, conscious guided meditation. Don’t let the word yoga put you off! There are no yoga poses or physical exertion. You’re lying in a comfortable position and covered with a blanket. So there’s really nothing stopping you from giving it a go! Your body sleeps while your mind is awake taking in the guided instructions. It’s complete REST for both your mind and body. Yoga Nidra is a great way to let your body rest and balance your rest-activity cycle. You get all the benefits of meditation, as well as sleep.
Yoga Nidra encourages rest by using breathing triggers the relaxation response. Your brain is guided to a delta brain-wave statewhere organs are regenerate and stress hormone cortisol is removed. Your nervous system is calmed and your thoughts slowed down. The hormone serotonin is released to help you feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety and depression. Practicing Yoga Nidra for just 20-minutes is equivalent rest for your body to an extra 2 hours of sleep. Getting to sleep and staying asleep is also improved with a regular Yoga Nidra practice.
Sounds great right? It’s easy to try, doesn’t take long and offers amazing benefits.
If you’d like to feel less overwhelmed and calm both your mind and body from home so that you can better support your family then add your details to the link below to receive a FREE yin yoga shape video each day. https://simplyhappy.com.au/your-yin-yoga/
Narelle is a teacher, wellness coach and Yin & Nidra instructor. As a mum of two children, one who was diagnosed with autism 2 years ago she’s come to understand the importance of rest and making sure her cup is full to be able to continue to hold space for her son and the rest of her family.
She’s practised yoga for over 20 years. She started to practice restorative styles of yoga like Yin & Nidra Yoga three years ago for its restful benefits and to heal her mind and body after living in constant stress mode. She completed my teacher training in Yin & Nidra yoga last year. Over the past 12 months, she’s been sharing her knowledge and passion of rest and Yin & Nidra in regular classes in Geelong. She’s recently combined both her coaching and Yin & Nidra Yoga into an online Mind & Body Studio for women looking who are looking for support and accountability to make simple changes to their new stay at home lifestyle. If you’d like to experience the benefits then join her free Calm Your Mind & Body in 5 Days from home using Yin & Nidra yoga.
You may also like to read: