Since introducing the topic of Women in the Workplace, I've received many questions and comments about all things sleep. This outpour of concerns sparked my interest in starting a sleep series. Clearly, there is need for Ayurvedic remedies for good sleep.
Last week we started with the basics of the importance of sleep as it relates to our health. Today, I am building on this theme by giving you some sleep hacks to add to your nightly routine.
Develop a Nightly Routine
As the day winds down, you may be be wondering how to fall asleep in a timely manner. During that crucial period between dinner and bedtime, it is important to implement a routine that promotes relaxation. If you go to bed earlier, you will fall asleep with greater ease.
If you are someone who goes to bed after ten o’clock, I try to pay attention to how you feel in the hours after 10pm. Do you experience a second burst of mental energy? I often hear that around ten o’clock at night, people physically want to go to bed but mentally, they experience a second wind. Ideally, we should be going to bed by ten o’clock so the body and mind can rest.
Now that we've begun to establish a relaxing nightly routine, let's unpack some of my favorite sleep hacks and their relationship to Ayurveda. These ways to fall asleep will give you the quality of rest that you need in order to thrive during.
Sleep Hacks: The 5 Senses
Five elements of our universe correlate to the five senses of the body. We know these senses well: hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell. These are the five pairings of elements and senses:
Space - hear
Air - touch
Fire - sight
Water - taste
Earth – smell
In Ayurveda, we learn that health = body, mind, senses, and soul. If your senses do not receive what they need at night, you will start to see the impact on your ability to sleep as well as the quality of rest. I invite you to implement some positive adjustments to your routine with these Ayurvedic remedies for good sleep.
I often hear about people falling asleep with the television on. While a common habit, the sound actually continues to stimulate your mind, preventing you from falling into the deep sleep that your body, mind and soul need.
Sleep hack: If you feel that you cannot fall asleep without the television on, try to adjust the level of sound that fills your space. You can also incorporate a white noise machine into your bedtime routine instead of watching T.V.
Positive sounds like rainfall will put your mind at ease.
Silence is golden - consider sleeping without excess sound.
When it comes to sleep, touch relates most to skin. Are you sleeping on sheets that make you sweat? What is the temperature of your room? Many clients tell me they prefer colder temperatures. They can choose to warm up under the covers or enjoy the cool air.
Sleep hack: Adjust the temperature to make yourself more comfortable. If you wake up sweaty at night, then reevaluate your room temperature and bedding. Another great sleep hack is to massage your feet. This act of self-care will help you relax and stimulate your organs. After rubbing your feet, massage the top of your head to close out the body capsule.
Sheets that are soft and moisture-wicking will keep you comfortable.
Set a room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Massage your feet and head with oil at bedtime.
Even though your eyes are closed there could be light affecting your sleep. Streetlights, sunlight, neighbors floodlights, or any other light shining through your window can disrupt your sleep.
Sleep hack: If possible, install blackout shades in your room. Adjust your lighting while getting ready for bed. If possible, implement candlelight to help soften your mood and calm your mind.
Eliminate light pollution from the street outside, television, electronics, or other visual distractions
Consider quality shades or blackout curtains
This may seem irrelevant when considering how to fall asleep but oral care has a powerful effect on your body. We will spend more time on time on oral care in another post but keep in mind that it is the entrance to your gastrointestinal tract.
Sleep hack: Brush your teeth and floss. This action will give you a clean, minty fresh taste in your mouth which will help you feel more comfortable as you fall asleep.
Consistent oral care
For our last sleep hack, I recommend filling your space with a calming scent. As we enter summer you may experience a stuffy smell because your windows are closed and your air conditioner is on. Essential oils, incense and diffusers will give your room a relaxing scent.
Sleep hack: While you eat dinner, turn on a diffuser with some lavender oil. When you are ready for bed your room will be filled with a calming scent. Additionally, if you can open a window to invite some fresh air into your space, you will release some of that stuffiness.
Diffuse essential oils at night
When possible, open the window for fresh air
Most of these hacks are easy to implement with any routine. If you don't know how to fall asleep or the quality of rest could use some improvement, I encourage you to make small shifts in your bedtime routine. Start some of these sleep hacks.
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