“I’m always tired and never tired.  That is my curse”
Jonathan Coe – The House of Sleep 

Sleep is so fundamental to our health and wellbeing, it’s our life support system and when we aren’t getting enough it can be debilitating on many levels, affecting our ability to function in everyday life. According to a recent Wellbeing Report as many as 16 million UK adults are suffering from sleepless nights and a third (31%) say they have insomnia.

Many of us have experienced that feeling of getting into bed feeling exhausted, but not being able to fall asleep, feeling ‘tired but wired’, or waking in the early hours feeling anxious about how much sleep we’ve had and whether we’ll get any more. Modern-day living has had a huge impact on when we go to sleep and we are surrounded by distractions often causing ‘sleep procrastination’ ignoring the body’s natural signals to go to bed when we feel tired.  We can fall into the trap of propping ourselves up with stimulants the next day as a coping mechanism, keeping us in activation drive and finding it hard to switch ourselves off and power down.

The Yoga Therapy for Sleep Recovery is built around practices that calm the nervous system and take us into this much-needed rest and digest branch. By viewing the body through the lens of five different layers, often referred to as ‘koshas’ in yoga,  practices are integrated to support insomnia through a physical, energetic, mental, emotional and a soul layer perspective. This allows for a broad approach and can not only help us identify our ‘sleep saboteurs’, but also help us understand which layer may need support incorporating physical postures, breath work, acupressure points, meditations and uncovering at a deeper level what may be keeping us awake.

My own personal experience of insomnia arose after an extended period of sleep deprivation from my second child. I had no idea at the time that this may have been amplified by the transition from post-natal to peri-menopause. The tools from this course have been fundamental in helping me re-set myself when I go through a bad patch. Sleep is as important as food and if we can give ourselves the gift of learning how we can protect it, we may not only improve our health and wellbeing but could possibly increase our life expectancy.

Blog by Claire Russell Burns, Movement for Life

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