These 7 Sleep Yoga Poses Will Help You Savasana Your Way Into A Good Night’s Sleep

I don’t know about you, but my sleep has been absolute crap since the pandemic hit. If I’m being honest, I didn’t sleep that well before the pandemic either, but this is a whole different level. For the last few months, if I don’t have melatonin or Zzzquil in my system, I’m not getting any sleep. And I don’t think I’m alone — UC Davis, Neurology Today, and The Sleep Foundation all have a term for this hyper sleepless-ness: “covid-somnia.” 

So, if you’re like me and you’re just not getting any rest, you’ve probably tried out a LOT of different things to relax your mind and body before bed.  Sometimes the answer is as simple as getting a better pillow, or calming down with some lavender spray  (check out our recommendations for the best sleeping products). But, I’m going to add another suggestion to the list: yoga for sleep. 

Now, I never would have thought about working out before bed, because that seems pretty counter-intuitive, but hear me out. When your body has too much tension, it’s not going to be able to relax, no matter how ready your mind is to be done with the day. Or, if it’s the other way around and your mind is just racing, yoga is super helpful because it’s breath-centric. People throughout the ages have been using breath-centered guides and meditations to calm the mind, which is partly why meditation and mindfulness apps are so popular (if you want to give one a try, we recommend Calm). 

So, let’s put on some comfy clothes and look at our favorite yoga poses that help us get ready for sleep. If you’re interested in more yoga poses, make sure to check out the Harvard Health Blog and Pocket Yoga!


Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart. Inhale deeply.

  • Exhale and fold your torso over your legs, to lengthen the spine. You can hold onto your elbows or let your hands rest on your shins or the floor.

  • Gently shake your head “yes” and “no” to relax and loosen your neck muscles.

  • To come out of this pose, roll up slowly to avoid getting light-headed.

Forward folds are incredibly calming. Don’t worry about reaching the floor — this pose is about lengthening the spine! Feel free to keep a generous bend in the knees, especially if your hamstrings are tight. As always, take care when bending if you have a back injury.

forward fold sleep yoga

forward fold variation

Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

lizard pose 1

lizard pose 2

  • Begin on all fours in a plank position, and then step your right foot forward to the outside of your right hand like you’re doing a lunge. 

  • Then, lower your left knee to the ground and press into your hips,  keeping your arms and back straight.

  • Slowly lower onto your forearms, and be mindful of keeping your back straight. It will take some core work to keep your spine from wanting to collapse inwards! 

  • Press up onto the ball of your left foot and straighten your left leg. Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

  • Place your mat perpendicular to the wall and sit on the mat so your side body is right up against the wall.

  • Lie back onto the mat, and then rotate your legs so they are against the wall with your feet in the air.

  • Relax your arms, close your eyes, and breathe. 

  • You can also add a pillow under your tailbone or your neck for extra support.

wall pose 1 sleep yoga

wall pose 2

Sleeping Swan or Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana) 

swan pose 1

swan pose 2

swan pose 3

  • Begin on all fours, with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. 

  • Then, slide the right knee forward to right behind your right wrist, as if you’re making the number 7 with your leg. 

  • Move your right ankle in front of your left hip and flex your foot.

  • Tuck your left toes under and slide your foot towards the back of your mat, as far as is comfortable. Peek back to make sure your foot isn’t angled in.

  • Re-center your weight and settle into your hips. 

  • You can stay here, with a flat back, or if you want a deeper stretch, you can begin to reach your arms towards the front of your mat. 

  • Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.

  • To come out of the pose, tuck your left toes under and slide your right leg back. Make sure to repeat it on the other side for an even stretch.

Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Kneel on the floor and bring your big toes together.

  • Place your knees as wide as the edges of your mat, or as wide as is comfortable.

  • Lower your torso onto your thighs and your forehead to the ground.

  • Your hands can reach out in front of you or wrap around toward your feet, depending on how your shoulders feel.

  • Stay for 1-3 minutes, then gently roll back up to a seat.

wide-knee child's pose

Reclining Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Sleep yoga

sleep yoga

  • Lying on your back, hug both knees into your chest. Open your arms to the side with fingertips stretched outwards, and slowly drop your knees to one side. 

  • To switch sides, slowly bring your knees back to center and then continue the twist on the other side..

  • If you’re looking for some variation, you can hug the knees and rock on your back from side to side. Don’t rock so far that your knees touch the ground! Gentle rocks up and down or side to side are a nice massage for your spine.

  • You can also lie on your back with your knees bent, plant your feet on the floor at the edges of your mat. Then, drop the knees from side to side.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

  • Savasana is the traditional ending pose in yoga, so this is the ultimate sleep yoga pose. 

  • Lie back on the mat, and then hug your knees to your chest while taking a deep breath in.

  • On an exhale, stretch your legs out while keeping your tailbone on the ground. Place your feet on the lower corners of your mat, but keep them relaxed. 

  • You should feel your lower back soften and relax. If not, try some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth as you relax your arms at your side, palms facing the ceiling. 

  • Do a check-in with your whole body: anywhere you feel tension, stress, or energy, breathe into it and then let it go — relaxing fully into the pose. 

  • Close your eyes and relax. Stay for as long as is comfortable.

sleep yoga

If you’re interested in a guided yoga routine before bed, we love these videos from some of our favorite yoga channels!


Did you find any of these sleep yoga poses or videos especially relaxing? If you found a new favorite yoga pose for getting ready for sleep (or if we missed your favorite one), let us know in the comments!

If You’re Interested In More Ways To Get Better Sleep, Check Out: 

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3 thoughts on “These 7 Sleep Yoga Poses Will Help You Savasana Your Way Into A Good Night’s Sleep

  1. I have been thinking about yoga workout for a while and you’re right those days with less movement and less activities it’s very hard to fal asleep thank you for this article

    1. hi, Abeer! I’m so glad you found this article helpful! The Wide-kneed child’s pose in particular has been a game changer for helping me relax my body and mind before going to sleep. Hope these poses help you get some more sleep in the future!

  2. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content!