We recently started thinking about the deep impact that quality sleep has on our everyday lives. Without at least 8 hours of sleep, we can't function during the day at our best. At Yoga Wake Up, we create sleep-focused meditations that encourage your best night of rest so that you ignore your snooze button, wake up feeling refreshed, and feel ready to take on whatever your day might throw at you. We spoke with Yoga Wake Up teacher, Niki Saccareccia, to gain a better understanding of why so many people struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, and learned how her new sleep sessions in-app can help you to have your best night’s sleep.
It’s estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. We asked Niki why she thinks this is the case, and her answer was eye-opening.
Niki explained, “We have blue light saturation and bite sized portions of information on social media where the mind consumes and then reacts without absorbing what’s been consumed. Anything from working from home ON your bed, eating too close to bedtime, caffeine and alcohol intake too close to bedtime, inconsistent bedtimes, hormone or medication fluctuations, being too hot or too cold…there’s a lot of potential variables that contribute to a widespread trend of pretty poor sleep hygiene.”
Okay, so today we’ve learned that most people probably have pretty poor sleep hygiene, and if you’re a chronic social media scroller before bed, you might too! When we’re constantly stimulating our brain before bed, we don’t give it enough time to wind down for sleep.
“Winding down is a process, not something that can be an immediate gratification thing like so much of what our modern lives have become dictated by”, Niki explained. She continues, “Winding down requires us to systematically slow down, to feel and reflect on everything that we’ve experienced consciously and subconsciously throughout the day and process it - and if any of that feels overwhelming, unfinished or even traumatizing, it can start the stress cycle over.”
Niki created 3 new sleep-focused meditations for Yoga Wake Up that are perfect for anyone who struggles to wind down in the evening. But, if we just said that phone before bed = bad sleep, how can audio-guided sleep meditations help?
“The gift that audio meditations provide is a surrogate internal narrator that can “replace” the incessant internal voice that wants you to win all the hypothetical arguments and plan all the things you have to do tomorrow, with a guiding voice of strategic awareness with the intention to take care of you and help you rest - mentally and physically”, Niki explained.
Niki’s new classes are perfect for anyone who struggles to fall asleep and stay asleep. From body scanning, belly breathing, and self-massages, these are all components of an evidence-based process called Yoga Nidra.
“Yoga Nidra has proven benefits in reducing sleep issues and increasing sleep quality as well as the benefits of great sleep: brain performance, mood improvement, physical healing and creativity”, Niki said. She continued, “When we have healthy sleep hygiene, we fall asleep within 15 minutes of turning out the lights and laying down. So these 3 practices fall within that time frame, helping to train effective and efficient sleeping habits. My recommendation is to work with each of these practices for 3-5 nights in a row and really let the simplicity of each practice work its magic on you.”
You heard it here first! Check out Niki’s new classes to learn efficient sleep techniques that will lead you toward your best night of rest.
Simple Rituals are often the best. This bedtime breath countdown will help you get to sleep easily and often by slowly unwinding your mind from all the overactivity, delivering you into a simple state of ease and rest.
When you’re having trouble getting to sleep or getting back to sleep because your mind is working overtime or you’re navigating some intense feelings, this combo session will help. Belly Breathing helps take the edge off while a guided body scan soothes the spirit into its natural state of relaxation.
Sometimes we just need a little TLC to help us get to sleep. This special guided self-massage taps into the spa-level superpower of your Vagus Nerve, relaxing your eyes, jaw, neck and throat center so you can go to bed like 😌 and not 😩😳😣