Ah, Sleep. Something we all need to restore our bodies, minds and spirits every night. It is not unknown that as a society, most of us do not get proper sleep each night. According to Ayurveda, getting proper rest is one of the most important things we can do for our health, immunity, energy and mood. Maybe a resolution you have for the upcoming new year is better sleep or maybe you just want to try a couple natural options to reduce the tossing and turning throughout the night.
Here's my top Ayurvedic tips for better sleep:
1. Enjoy an Ayurveda-approved Nightcap
This means skipping the wine, sparkling water, etc. and focusing on a warm, cozy beverage such as organic whole milk or plant milk of choice with a dash of turmeric, nutmeg, ashwagandha and/or cinnamon. Looking for something lighter? An herbal tea with no caffeine, like our Pitta Soothe, is also great.
2. Get on a Solid Routine
I know this one is easier said than done, but it is so effective. For my parents reading this, think about how important routine is for your child's nap and sleep! We need the same, even as adults. In Ayurveda, dinacharya (daily routine) is a pillar needed for proper sleep and health. Routines ground our energy and give us balance. Some tips to get started with your routine: go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, try to eat your meals at the same times daily and aim for daily movement.
3. Give Yourself a Break From Screens
Too much stimulae, such as movies, news and scrolling, can aggravate our Vata dosha. Vata is air and space in the body and mind; this means we become anxious, unsettled and definitely not ready for proper rest. If you are used to watching tv or scrolling on your phone nightly before bed, try out turning off the TV and plugging your phone into your charger even just 30 minutes before bed. Give yourself 30 minutes to unwind, diffuse Soothe blend, read or journal. It's a daily ritual of self-care that not only feels good, but will lead to better sleep.
4. Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal
What does lunch have to do with sleep? Actually a lot! In Ayurveda, our largest meal of the day should be at lunch. This is because our digestion fire is the strongest at this time; since we are connected to nature this is when the sun is directly overhead. In the evening our digestion is much weaker, which is why our meal should be smaller, vegetable-focused and ample time before sleep. Night time is when our body rests and repairs; hard to do if your body is in overdrive trying to digest a heavy meal. In the winter months, focus on lighter vegetable soups for dinner (makes for an easy crockpot dinner that is ready after work!)
5. Write It Down
Journaling is a powerful tool that allows us to release to-do lists, tasks, emotions and anything else we are holding onto from our day. As a mother, business owner and lover of achievement, I find even just spending a couple minutes to write down what I want to do tomorrow helps my brain power down. Try creating a ritual when journaling, using an essential oil blend such as Serene or Divine, and enjoying some simple time for you.
As we wind down in 2022, I hope these tips help your year get started with better rest. If you are looking for some additional products to help you, I recommend our Sleep Set. I created all of the products in this set to help promote better rest, less anxiety and more calm. Here's to sleeping well in 2023!