According to new research that was completed by researchers in India, practicing yoga can improve quality of sleep, decrease day time sleepiness and increase the feeling of being refreshed upon waking up in the morning.
Researchers conducted a comparison between 30 people on a yoga training course with 30 first year medical students. Individuals were excluded from the research if they were on medication or had any history of sleeping disturbances or disorders.
Previous research into the sleep from a psychological perspective has found that sleepiness and fatigue is directly associated with decreased vigilance, reduced reaction times, poorer psychomotor coordination, decision making difficulties, slower information processing and memory problems.
The research concluded that medical students had very erratic sleeping patterns and these significantly impacted their productivity, memory, they did not feel refreshed after sleeping and took longer to fall asleep.
Poor sleep adversely affects academic performance in medical students. It is likely that the yogic teachings including relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and consistent sleeping and waking times are all improving the memory and mental capacity of the yoga students. The yogic teachings and practices are transferable to other populations; this could be the next area of research.