Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. In Ayurveda, there are certain pillars of good sleep hygiene that are based on our daily routines and natural rhythms.
Understanding your dosha type is also crucial for achieving proper restful sleep. Let’s take a look at how to sleep well by incorporating the Ayurveda way.
Cut Back On Those Lattes
If you’re struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, one area that you may not have considered is your caffeine intake. Coffee, tea, soda, and even chocolate can contain caffeine, which is a stimulant that can interfere with your sleep quality.
In Ayurveda, caffeine is considered a vata-aggravating substance. Vata is one of the three doshas and is responsible for movement and change in the body.
When vata is imbalanced, it can cause anxiety and restlessness, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
To cut back on your caffeine intake, start by taking a look at your daily routine and identifying when you consume caffeine. Do you usually have a latte in the afternoon or a soda with lunch? Try switching to herbal tea or water instead.
Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal
In Ayurveda, it is believed that the digestive fire is at its strongest during midday. Therefore, it’s recommended to make lunch your biggest meal of the day.
This is because the body is better equipped to process and absorb nutrients during this time, which can lead to better overall health.
Eating a larger meal during lunch can also help prevent overeating later in the day, which can disrupt sleep and digestion.
When we consume a heavy dinner, our bodies are not able to fully digest the food before we go to bed, which can lead to sleep disturbances and poor digestion.
To make lunch your biggest meal, focus on incorporating healthy and nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins. Try to avoid heavy and greasy foods that can be harder to digest, such as fried foods and processed snacks.
It’s also important to eat mindfully and slowly during lunchtime. Take the time to savour each bite, chew your food thoroughly, and avoid distractions such as screens or work emails.
This can help improve digestion and allow your body to fully absorb and utilise the nutrients from your meal.
Have An Ayurvedic Nightcap
A nightcap is a bedtime drink that can help promote a restful night’s sleep. The key is to choose the right ingredients that can support your unique dosha, or energy type, and soothe any imbalances that may be affecting your sleep patterns.
For vata doshas, warm milk with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg can be grounding and calming, helping to ease anxiety and promote relaxation.
Pitta doshas may benefit from a cool, refreshing drink such as coconut water with a splash of lime or a glass of chilled almond milk with cardamom and saffron, which can help reduce heat and inflammation in the body.
Breathwork in Ayurveda is an important tool for achieving good night sleep. Breathing practices help to relax the body, reduce stress, and clear the mind. The practice of breathwork can help to reduce physical and mental tension which can improve sleep.
Breathwork can be used to improve sleep in a variety of ways. It can be used to slow down the breath, which helps to relax the body, reduce stress, and calm the mind.
The practice can also help to reduce stress hormones like cortisol, which can improve sleep quality.
Additionally, breathing practices can help to reduce the effects of insomnia by allowing the body to enter a state of deep relaxation and rest.
Through breathwork, the body can become more balanced and enter a state of peace and harmony, which can help to promote better sleep.
Breathing techniques involve closing one nostril and inhaling deeply through the other, then exhaling through the opposite nostril while closing the first. This pattern is repeated for several cycles, helping to soothe the mind and balance the breath.
Get In A Good Routine
Getting a good night’s sleep is not just about what you do right before you go to bed, it’s about establishing a consistent routine that prepares your body and mind for restful sleep.
Ayurveda emphasises the importance of a regular routine, or dinacharya, as a pillar of good health, including quality sleep.
First and foremost, it’s important to establish a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
This helps regulate your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm, which plays a key role in promoting restful sleep.
Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night, as insufficient sleep can lead to a host of health issues, including sleep deprivation, fatigue, and poor cognitive function.
In addition to a regular sleep schedule, it’s important to establish a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time for sleep.
This may include taking a warm bath or shower, practising gentle yoga or stretching, or enjoying a cup of warm herbal tea. These activities help calm the mind and promote relaxation, easing you into a restful night’s sleep.
Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a good routine, so try to stick to your sleep schedule and bedtime routine as much as possible.
If life circumstances require a change in routine, try to ease into the new schedule gradually, giving your body time to adjust.
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to find time to unwind and unplug. Our constant connection to technology, social media, and work can create stress and anxiety that can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Ayurveda recommends that we take time each day to unplug and unwind to promote restful sleep.
One way to unplug and unwind is to establish a technology-free zone in your home. This can be a specific room or area where you don’t allow any electronic devices, including phones, laptops, and televisions.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, gratitude may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, practising gratitude has been shown to have a positive impact on overall wellbeing, including sleep quality.
Gratitude is the act of expressing thankfulness and appreciation for the good things in our lives. This practice has been shown to have numerous benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety levels, improving mood, and promoting better sleep.
One study found that participants who kept a gratitude journal for just two weeks reported significantly better sleep quality than those who did not.
Another study found that gratitude interventions were effective in improving sleep quality in individuals with sleep disturbances.
So how can you incorporate gratitude into your daily routine to promote better sleep? One easy way is to start a gratitude journal. Each evening before bed, take a few minutes to write down three things you are grateful for.
This could be anything from a kind gesture from a friend to a beautiful sunset.
Taking the time to unplug and unwind is essential for promoting restful sleep.
By incorporating activities such as creating a technology-free zone, disconnecting from social media, engaging in relaxation activities, and practising gratitude into your daily routine, you can help encourage better sleep quality.
So take some time each day to unplug and unwind, and give your body the rest it needs to thrive.