Insomnia is often not a stand-alone condition, but is linked to other aspects of your health as well — stress, anxiety, depression and decreased physical activity — all of which you can help fight through yoga. However, new evidence shows that yoga can directly help with sleep, regardless of whether or not insomnia is just a symptom. A recent Harvard study on insomnia showed that, after 8 weeks of daily yoga practice, there were improvements in sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, and the total amount of time it takes to fall asleep (known as “sleep onset latency”). The study included people with varying types and causes of insomnia, including both primary and secondary. Primary insomnia describes sleeplessness that develops on its own, while secondary is a symptom or cause of another health or sleep condition. In both cases the test subjects were eventually able to increase the amount of restful sleep they received, meaning that yoga is able to treat insomnia itself as opposed to only treating causes of insomnia.
So what are the sleep benefits of yoga?