Do you dream of being a sound sleeper? We've all experienced the agony of a sleepless night — tossing and turning in a sea of sweltering sheets, trying to calm an overactive brain.

Millions of Americans struggle with some form of a sleep disorder that keeps them from achieving the recommended eight hours of rest each night. This is a health hazard, because without sufficient slumber, the body cannot function properly.

If counting sheep isn't working, try these yoga-inspired sleep-inducing stretches. All you need is your mattress (or you can do them on the floor) and two pillows.  (Practice these stretches within an hour of your bedtime.)

Legs-up-the-wall pose

  • Place a pillow against your headboard.
  • Lie down on the pillow, positioning your hips on the cushion, with your legs extended on the headboard. Your feet should be aligned above your hips. Extend your arms out to shoulder height with your palms up.
  • Take a deep breath through your nose, filling your abdomen with air. Hold for two counts then exhale fully. When you are ready to leave this position simply bring your knees in toward your chest and roll over to the side.
Ashley demonstrates the leg on the wall pose, left, and how to safely roll out of it, right.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley demonstrates the leg on the wall pose, left, and how to safely roll out of it, right.

Supported reclining twist

  • Begin in a supine position with knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Place a pillow between your legs so your knees are supported and slowly rotate at the hips to lower your legs to the right side of your body.
  • Extend your arms out to shoulder height, relax your hands palm side up and gently turn your head to the left until you feel a slight stretch in your neck. Remain in this position for as long as you'd like, then repeat on the opposite side.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt

Wind-relieving pose

  • Begin in a supine position, pressing your lower back into the mattress or floor.
  • Slowly bend your right knee, bring it in toward the right side of your chest and lace your fingers around your shin. Keep your left leg fully extended. (For those with lower-back discomfort and flexibility limitations, support your spine by bending your left leg so your left foot is flat against the mattress or floor.)
  • Breathe deeply in this position. Let your abdomen rise fully on the inhale and hollow out completely on the exhale. When ready, perform this stretch on the left leg.
Ashley demonstrates the wind relieving pose, left, and a modified pose, right.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley demonstrates the wind relieving pose, left, and a modified pose, right.

With the right set of stretches, you can finally put yourself to sleep.

Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.