A mountain yoga studio holds retreats to tackle sleep deprivation

Set back in the mountains of Taff’s Well Cardiff, this forest-view yoga studio knows that the first pillar of health is sleep

Mountain Yoga’s studio in Taff’s Well set up for their sleep retreat. Image credit: Eve Davies

In the wake of new research that shows consistent lack of sleep is related to depressive symptoms, a yoga studio in the mountains of Taff’s Well hosts a winter sleep retreat. 

Research by University College London shows sleeping less than five hours a night makes people 2.5 times more likely to experience depression.

The four-hour sleep masterclass at Mountain Yoga, taking place on 2 December at a cost of £59, dives into sleep science.  

We are already in a mental health crisis. There has also been a rise in tiredness in the UK, according to The Guardian. Therefore, we need to be doing everything we can to make sure we are getting enough sleep. 

Sleep technician Penelope Lewis describes sleep as a “spring cleaning for the brain” in her book The Secret World of Sleep. She explains how sleep aids mental clarity by getting rid of unwanted information stored in the brain. 

Backed by health knowledge gained from a military past, Chris Flynn, co-owner of Mountain Yoga alongside Craig McCormack and Josh Odell, said: “We know that the first pillar of health is sleep,” which many people are not getting enough of. 

Problems like reduced concentration and mental clarity arise with a lack of quality sleep, which can be detrimental to workplace productivity. 

Sunset from Mountain Yoga’s studio decking where their retreats and classes take place. Image credit: Eve Davies

Flynn explains the key to an easy night’s rest is “setting up during the day” with “a sleep hygiene checklist” comprising sunlight, movement, and limited screentime.

He teaches participants how to manage these variables to set their circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock that is naturally aligned with the day and night cycle).

During the day, we produce up-regulating hormones including serotonin, adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine. At night, we produce melatonin in response to darkness. Hence, light from screens disrupts this hormone production. Mountain Yoga’s retreat focusses on establishing healthy hormonal patterns to aid sleep routine.