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The 5-Minute Yoga-Meditation Mash-Up That Relieves Insomnia

Raise your hand if you go right from binging on Netflix or scrolling through your Instagram feed to closing your eyes and trying to sleep. Yeah, us too. Raise your hand if you also have a crazy-hard time falling asleep. We're right there with you. (If you're going to scroll on Insta, at least follow these meditation-savvy Instagrammers.)

You've probably heard that you should read a book (like, an actual, turn-the-pages-yourself book) or journal or do something else calming and non-technology related before bed. But maybe you don't want to take the time to do it. After all, we're all trying to squeeze in as much shut-eye as possible, right? Cue: This yoga-meditation mash-up from yogi Sadie Nardini that will help you decompress from your day and get ready to snooze in just a few minutes.

1. Belly Breath Technique

Breathing just into your chest can actually create an anxiety response, says Nardini. With this technique, you'll focus on breathing deeply into your belly to release all that feel-good serotonin.

A.  Take a deep inhale through your nose, filling the belly (not the chest). Envision that you have a sun burning in the center of your belly. As you inhale, breathe into it and let it warm and widen in all directions.

B. Exhale through your nose, letting go of all the air and visualizing any negativity leaving your body as well. Optional: While exhaling, squeeze and lift your pelvic muscles to add some extra resistance. Repeat for about 2 minutes. (P.S. This is also a great way to calm down when you're freaking the eff out.)

2. Sandstorm Meditation

Envision that you have some sort of force field around you. (You can also envision that you're inside a house or something similar.) As thoughts come up in your mind, envision that they're sand or rain, and once they hit the force field or windows of the house you're in, they just fall away. (In case you need it, here's a full guided meditation for a clear mind.)

3. Quick Self-Massage and Stretch

Give yourself a quick self-massage, bringing blood and warmth into your muscles. Pay attention to your calves, quads, and hamstrings, and work your way your forearms, biceps, and triceps. Once muscles are warm, stretch them out a little bit (try these 7 stress-relieving yoga stretches before bed), then give them all a good shake, and prepare for the best night's sleep ever.

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