Sleepless in St. Paul? Yoga meditation for insomnia

_Yoga is known to do wonders for the body: strengthen, tone, stretch and more. However, one benefit that may surprise you: improved sleep.  It’s not uncommon to hear students rave that they get their “best night’s sleep” after yoga class.  There are endless anecdotes, but what does the research say?

While limited, there are some initial studies on the topic of yoga and insomnia.  Perhaps the most compelling is a Harvard study which found “statistically significant” improvements across several aspects of sleep quality, including sleep efficiency or SE,  and wake time after sleep onset, or WASO,  based on the sleep diaries of 20 subjects over an 8-week period of yoga practice.  (Khalsa 2004).  The study referred to yoga as a “multicomponent” practice implying the full range of classical yoga including asana (exercises), pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and yoga nidra (final relaxation).

[Read more…]