Sleep is an essential function that our body needs to perform every day to reset, recharge and renewed. Each of us is biochemically different & we all have a unique biological clock which can change at different stages of our lives.
Whether you are a night owl or an early riser, what is most important is that you have a sleep ritual that you follow and you get sufficient sleep every day. Though it's not just about getting sufficient sleep but also a quality sleep. Upon waking up a good sleep must leave you refreshed and energetic. To enhance the quality and quantity of your Sleep I would like to share my most effective and appreciated sleeping rituals:
Keep a consistent schedule. Pick a time that suits you and your lifestyle. Stay consistent by going to bed at the same time every night. Though the bedtime should be early enough for you to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
Create a bedtime ritual. An hour or two before your bedtime is generally a perfect time to start your bedtime ritual. This is the time that you may take a warm shower, dim your lights, drink warm herbal tea, read a book, reflect on the day and write a journal and stretch.
Create a healthy environment for sleeping. Use the bed only for sleeping and keep electronics out of the bedroom. Make sure the bedroom is comfortable and soothing. Keep the room dark and cool. Use white noise like a humidifier, fan or a white noise app. Put anything away from your bedroom which is distracting or disturbing you. Establish no technology in bedtime. My husband created a “no phone in bedroom rule” and I am so thankful for that. I was easily getting distracted with emails and social media updates and deadlines that I started losing my sleep. If you enjoy reading, opt for books. Use essential oils in your diffuser or eye masks. Essential oil helps relax and calms the nervous system. My all time favourite is lavender oil or ying yang oil.
Reduce overall caffeine intake and set a cut time like 4 pm or even earlier for the last cup of tea or coffee. I am not a big tea or coffee drinker but the days when I really need caffeine I plan out: Have coffee or steeped chai (which is stronger than bag tea) in the mornings and have a bag of black tea in the later afternoon like 3:30 or 4 PM. No later than that.Having caffeine later in the evening affects your sleep routine as well as overall quality of sleep. Caffeine is found in coffee, black, white and green tea, hot cocoa, lattes, espresso, chai, iced tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.
Avoid drinking alcohol regularly. You might get sleepy after a glass of red wine or feel relaxed after sipping tequila but you will definitely affect the quality and the length of your sleep.
One must also avoid eating heavy meals, sugary drinks or desserts right before bedtime. You are simply inviting a restless night by doing so. Eat your last meal at least 3 - 4 hrs before bedtime. If you want to indulge in deserts or sugary drinks keep them for afternoons.
Being physically active earlier during the day will help you complete your movement goals and also help you sleep better. But one should avoid vigorous physical activities right before bedtime as it can energise the body and make it difficult to rest. You might indulge in some restorative yoga asanas or bedtime stretches and some gentle breathing exercises and make these exercises as part of your bedtime routine. This practise can help your muscles relax and bring your mind to the centre and enhance your sleep.
If you are really struggling with sleeping you might want to seek help from a MD. They might prescribe you or suggest you to use sleeping pills. Over the counter sleeping meds can help you sleep though after a while your body can develop tolerance and the meds will start losing its effect. You might want to get a plan for yourself which can help you long term. For example a good quality magnesium supplement if taken properly can help enhance sleep. Message me or comment below if you need help to enhance your sleep. I am offering free holistic consultation for Sleep. Please allow me to help you practice a little bedtime routine that I also practise when I put my kids to bed. They love it and doze off in minutes.
Take a deep breath in as you lie down in bed and focus on relaxing as you exhale.
Soften your jaws and hands. Feel the bed underneath you and how it is supporting you as you continue to exhale and relax.
Visualize each part of your body, starting at your head and moving through your whole body to look for spots that feel tense. As you move through your body, exhale and focus on relaxing tense muscles.
After you've finished looking for tension throughout your body, focus on your exhales. As you exhale, repeat a mantra to yourself that helps to induce sleep such as simply the word "sleep" or “peace”
Follow this technique and you should find both your mind and body start to relax. Before you know it, you will be drifting off to sleep!
I rest well. I sleep peacefully and I awaken with joy.
I get plenty of sleep every night and my body appreciates I take care of it.
I allow myself to rest peacefully.
Wishing you all restful sleep. Namaste.
Health, love & light