Insomnia-the inability to get to sleep or to sleep soundly-can be either temporary or chronic, lasting a few days to weeks. It affects a whopping 54 percent of adults in the United States at one time or another, and insomnia that lasts more than six weeks may affect from 10 to 15 percent of adults at some point during their lives. To get a decent night's sleep, many Americans are turning to pills. Last year in the United States, about 42 million sleeping pill prescriptions were filled, an increase of 60 percent since the year 2000. But drugs aren't always effective, some have negative side effects, and worst of all, as soon as you stop taking them, the insomnia often returns.
Whether it's yoga to reduce muscle tension, breathing to slow the heart rate, or an herbal massage to calm a racing mind, a simple routine can be the most effective and safest road to a better night's sleep. There is growing evidence that small behavioral changes can make a big difference in getting some good shuteye. A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that participants who made modifications like reducing stimuli in the bedroom and learning relaxation techniques improved their sleep more than those who took drugs.
If you think yoga might work for you, click here to find a restful yoga routine to try. Or keep reading about how yoga can help you deal with insomnia.
Posted by Yoga Journal's Online Editor Erica Rodefer
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