Hello folks. I hope you are staying safe and at the best of your health while reading this. Today we will be discussing ‘Yoga Nidra’, the one-stop solution for all your sleep-related problems, anxiety, stress, and depression. A solution for all the major bodily problems, be it physical or mental. But before we discuss the effectiveness of ‘Yoga Nidra’, let’s dive deep into the problems and why practicing Yoga Nidra is a must for every single human on this planet.
These are unprecedented times and we are fighting an enemy we cannot see. A virus has changed the way our world functions. What started as a mole is turning out to be a mountain. Many things have changed during this pandemic under the #NewNormal and it is taking a toll on our bodies, especially our sleep cycle. Our sleep cycle is more messed up than ever and it should not be taken lightly. It is no brainer that sleep plays a vital role in maintaining our physical as well as mental health. Having enough sleep puts our bodies at ease and lowers the risk of blood pressure. It is very crucial considering the number of people suffering from heart attacks and strokes due to high blood pressure in their veins.
A huge chunk of people today is suffering from sleep-related problems, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. While some are unable to sleep because they are swamped with work, others are unable to sleep because they do not have work! Children are loaded with online classes and assignments which makes it extremely difficult for them to give rest to their bodies. It is very important to understand that work or no work, a regular sleep routine is a basic necessity of a body. As fascinating as it may sound but it is a scientifically proven fact that sleeping for 7 hours a day can cure 90% of health-related issues.
Let’s take quick look at some staggering statistics:
- According to the National Institute of Health, around 30% of the general population suffers from sleep disruption.
- About 25% of adults have trouble sleeping due to stress and anxiety.
- People with insomnia are 30% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
- Almost 40 million Americans suffer from chronic Insomnia.
- 75% of people suffering from depression have insomnia
- Now that we have established what lack of sleep can do to your body, let us discuss the solution.
Yoga Nidra for good sleep at the rescue!
Time and again, Yoga has rescued humanity from all kinds of bodily problems and helped lead a peaceful and healthy life. Be it physical or mental, yoga has the solution for every problem in the book. Yoga is not an exercise routine; it is a way of life. The main reason that yoga works are a combination of physical and mental calmness. While there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep, there is a particular combination of meditation and yoga that comes close, it Yoga Nidra. We will be discussing Yoga Nidra which is a scientifically proven antidote to anxiety, stress, and depression.
Before you read further, if you or anyone of your loved ones is suffering from chronic stress and anxiety, check out this article on the most effective yoga poses for stress relief and anxiety.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based meditation technique that is really based on the biology of your own body. Yoga Nidra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Yogic Sleep’ or ‘Psychic Sleep’. It is a state of consciousness between sleeping and waking; an immensely powerful meditation technique.
In Yoga Nidra, we are emptying the contents of the mind by entering a profoundly deep state of consciousness. Yoga Nidra trains your body and mind for this relaxation process so you can reach a deeper state of sleep. It slows down the wavelengths in your mind as you enter a state of half-sleep. You start with sensing each and every part of your body along with mindful breathing to trigger the relaxation response in your body, leaving you in a state of complete bliss. The most beautiful part of Yoga Nidra is that it is effortless. You don’t need to try because your body already knows how to do it. You won’t believe but 45 minutes of Yoga Nidra is as restorative as 3 hours of sleep.
The Science behind Yoga Nidra!
Let’s understand what goes on in your brain while you are practicing Yoga Nidra.
When you begin Yoga Nidra, your brain is at Beta waves which are basically like a busy street inside your brain! Lots of brain activity and continuous thoughts. The brain shifts from Beta to Alpha waves, and at this point the mood-enhancing serotonin is released and hence you enter a more relaxed state with a calm mind. As you are moving to the alpha state, you are slowing down the brain activity and entering a state of rest.
From Alpha, you go into a theta brain wave state, commonly referred to as “the dream state”. Here in this state, your thoughts continue to slow down even more. It is a state of emotional integration; we release the emotions that no longer serve us. From Theta, you reach the final stage of Yoga Nidra which, the delta brain-wave state. This is the most blissful and restorative phase. In the delta brain wave state, your organs regenerate and the stress hormone moves out of your system.
However, as blissful as it may sound, very few people are able to enter the delta brain wave state under normal circumstances. The delta state is equivalent to the state of your brain when it’s under anesthesia. Most of us aren’t able to enter this delta state which means we are not our bodies to regenerate fully. And that is why adapting Yoda Nidra is so important for your self-care practices.