BOOK REVIEW: Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery: An Integrated Approach to Supporting Healthy Sleep and Sustaining Energy All Day, by Lisa Sanfilippo

Review by Pamela Stokes Eggleston

As a yoga therapist, I work with clients who have chronic conditions such as MS, diabetes, and PTSD. All of these issues can negatively affect sleep—as can the stress many of us experience as an unfortunate consequence of daily life—so I was pleasantly surprised when I found Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery.

Points for yoga professionals…

Few books describe therapeutic yoga techniques for sleep and insomnia, and Lisa Sanfilippo’s well-written text dives into the therapeutic benefits of yogic principles for sleep deprivation. As I read it, I was happy to discover that I have been using much of what’s mentioned in the book. I also learned some new tools I’ll bring into my yoga therapy practice, like marma points to induce relaxation and the concept of posttraumatic insomnia, which offers language to describe what many of the wounded veteran clients I see have endured.

…And for everyone else

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. To make it through the night, many use prescription sleep aids, which can come with side-effects and the risk of dependence over time.

What’s nice about this book is that it does not offer quick solutions—complementary therapies are seldom fast fixes—but rather tangible ideas for recharging our batteries and regaining balance through rest, restoration, and relaxation. Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery is for anyone working with those who are sleep deprived or who themselves needs the tools to learn how to relax more.

Yoga therapy comprehensively addresses the whole person through the panchamaya kosha model and other yogic tools like doshas, chakras, yamas and niyamas (ethical principles), knowledge of the critical importance of various pranayama (breathwork) techniques, and a general understanding of the nervous system. Sanfilippo brings it all together by expertly discussing the stages of sleep and their interplay with ancient yogic wisdom.

Pamela Stokes Eggleston, MS, MBA, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, founded Yoga2Sleep and co-founded Retreat to Spirit. She empowers people to improve their sleep, rest more, and discover their soul’s calling.