Trouble sleeping? Try yoga.


February 18, 2013

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By Betty Murray

Do you lie in bed at night, struggling to fall asleep? Is getting uninterrupted sleep little more than a fantasy? Inability to sleep may be improved with yoga.

A recent Harvard study found that yoga improves both quality and quantity of sleep. Following an eight-week evaluation, during which participants were asked to maintain regular, daily yoga practice researchers found that yoga improved sleep efficiency, how long it takes to fall asleep and total sleep time, among other factors.

During the study, researchers evaluated individuals with different types of insomnia, including insomnia related to a health problem, chronic pain, cancer, depression, medication use and drug or alcohol use (and abuse). Other similar studies have also linked yoga practice to improved sleep in cancer survivors, post-menopausal women and women with osteoarthritis.

At least 40 percent of adults in America suffer from some type of insomnia. If left untreated, inability to get proper sleep could lead to more significant health consequences, such as high blood pressure, higher risk of heart attack and inflammation in the body. Insomnia also affects cognitive ability, and could be linked to anxiety and depression. Your inability to sleep may even be contributing to weight gain.

If you are struggling to sleep, yoga may be the answer for you. If you are unfamiliar with yoga, there are several yoga studios in the Dallas area that offer beginner classes. Take time to build yoga into your daily exercise routine and you just may find that you sleep better at night.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

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