Saturday, July 4, 2015

Better Sleep Through Qigong, Meditation, Talkdown and Other Gentle Practices

Poor sleep is endemic to our society but can be particularly challenging for those with chronic conditions. This past week I’ve been trying out a variety of videos, apps, exercises etc. to see which ones help with sleeping. I had to stop doing this in the middle of the day (let alone first thing in the morning) as all I wanted to do was sleep.

Below are lots of options, so check them out and see what works for you.

• Yogaf or Better Sleep: You can do all 5 five poses in bed. I find the Upside-Down Relaxation pose (legs against the wall) really relaxing and have been known to fall asleep like that.

• Left Nostril Breathing (Surya Bhedana): Either sit up or lie down on you right side. Cover the right nostril with your thumb and extend the fingers out. With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your left nostril.  Then, just as gently, exhale long, slowly and completely, again through the left nostril.  Relax your body as you feel the relaxing, cooling breath bringing new life into your body.  Relax even deeper with each exhale as you breathe out all tension. Take 5-10 deep breathes. Try counting 4 breathes in, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 4. The mantra Sa Ta Na Ma can be used in place of the numbers.

• Guided Body Scan Meditation for Sleep from UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center 

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