Ayurvedic Sleep Tips
The past few years many people have had sleep issues. Lack of sleep not only makes you feel like ish the next day it also can be a hormone disruptor. Often when we are so tightly wound on our need for sleep it can interfere with our sleep that night. We get in our heads about it, making us feel anxious, looking at the clock and counting down the hours until we wake up. Not a fun cycle to be in..
In Ayurveda when sleep is interrupted often it's a sign a dosha is out of balance. Typically when we have trouble falling asleep that is the pitta dosha at play as we think about all of the things we didn't get to that day or what we need to do tomorrow. While vata can interrupt our sleep in the middle of the night. We hear a noise we get concerned, we get jumpy and have trouble calming our nervous system back down.
Establish a Routine
Before bed a few evening rituals to calm the body
- Take a bath
- Have a cup of turmeric milk
- Have a cup of chamomile tea
- Practice meditation
- Practice pranayama
- Reduce screen time. 2 hours before bed start to unwind off work and your double phone and tv screen time.
- Eliminate stimulants make sure you have a cut off time for caffeine. I personally have an 11am cutoff time. Some people can process it after 2pm most can't.
- Reading before bed can be stimulating Ayurveda says. I personally have done that since I was a little girl and I've conditioned my body to read to put me to sleep.
- Eat an early lighter dinner so you can fall asleep without needing to digest your food. Eating at least 2 hours before bedtime is key as well.
Other Routine Tips During the Day
- Reduce stress throughout your day
- Pranayama and meditation to help calm the mind
- Exercise which will help reduce excess energy in the body. We have all seen that with kids, on the days they don't get enough movement they have trouble going to sleep. Adults are the same we need to make sure we move our bodies so we do fall asleep faster.
Make sure your bedroom is your sanctuary. I personally don't like any electronics in the bedroom. I bought an older alarm clock that slowly lights up to wake me up. I love it. My phone stays in my office so I'm not tempted to look at it plus my phone shuts down at 7:30pm each night and doesn't open my apps until 7:30am. That's another great tip if you want better boundaries with your phone.
Why no phone in the bedroom?
Your phone emanates a blue light by your cell phone screen it restrains the production of melatonin. Which controls your sleep wake cycle. It has also been shown to disrupt the REM sleep, make it harder for you to wake up and for you to fall asleep.
There are mixed reviews on pillows. I personally have a very thin pillow and just got my first silk pillowcase. I have had a podcast guest Chuck Turner on discussing why you don't want to use a pillow. I also am a fan of a body pillow. I place the pillow between my knees and ankles. That keeps my hips at proper alignment. I also use it under my arm as well as that helps me from excessively rounding .
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