Ayurveda offers an ideal way for transitioning from the activity of the day into the sacred chamber of sleep. Following these routines will help you unplug so you can relax and rejuvenate every night, just as nature would have us!
UNWINDING THE DAY
- Turn off overhead lights after dinner. Low lighting helps tell your body it is time to go to sleep, while bright lights confuses your circadian rhythms and natural hormones that pull you into the “sleepy feeling.”
- Turn off your screens (computers, cellphones, TVs), too! Research now confirms that screens are also disconnecting us from our circadian rhythms.
- Be in bed by ten. Have you ever noticed that you get a second wind around 10:30 PM? That’s because the metabolic energy your body normally uses for detoxing you while you sleep gets diverted to mental energy, and we get activated. Our body detoxifies and rejuvenates from 10pm-2am so if you currently go to bed at midnight, use the fifteen-minute rule. Each night, try going to bed a mere 15 minutes earlier. Soon you’ll be snoozing by 10pm!
- Take a bath to help orient the nervous system towards sleep. Use oils such as lavender, honeysuckle, chamomile or pure rose for a soothing, peaceful sleep.
- Avoid too much mental stimulation right before bed. Avoid Netflix, planning your future or having intense conversations. Instead, read an uplifting novel, write a gratitude list or try this practice: Once in bed and lying down, mentally go backwards through your day in increments of 30 minutes or an hour. Try to register what was happening — what you were experiencing — without judgment. Notice your feelings, relax and try to let go. End with the image of you woke up that morning. Likely, you’ve already drifted off to sleep before you do!