Sleep Deprived? How To Wake Up Feeling Great Every Morning!
I have spoken to many people recently that seem to have trouble sleeping. It seems as though almost every conversation turns to the inability to have good sleep. In my personal journey to health and well being, which I am still on, I found having a daily routine to be vitally important to experience a great night’s sleep. In the busy world we live in today, we expect much from our body that is in tune with the natural world and not so much the electronic man-made world we have created. I study Ayurvedic practices that are hundreds even thousands of years old but allow for the natural body to work with the natural world. Ayurveda is a way of life that is healing and nurturing for the body. So how does all this work to help us sleep?
Our body is in alignment with the natural rhythm of the earth, moon, sun, and stars. I know some may think it is a bit far fetched but I ask for you to just try for 21 days to create a different way of living and see if your sleep improves.
1. A daily routine: set a regular waking time for every day, not just the workweek. Set a regular sleep time for every day, between 9-pm and 10pm. Set a regular time to eat morning, noon and evening. Try to have the largest meal in the middle of the day and only a small portion before 6pm and nothing after this time. A cup of hot tea is a great choice for the evening. (Below is a bedtime tea recipe for relaxing) Increase the amount of water and remove alcohol. I know this may present a challenge so take it slow. Try adding one change to your lifestyle every few days or one change a week. This is a lifestyle change not a fix it in a week change.
2. Thoroughly clean and declutter your sleep space. Remove any items you may store under your bed and keep this space clean and free of clutter or storage items. Remove all electronic devices from your sleep space. Yes a television in the bedroom is the largest stealer of sleep. Use an old fashioned alarm clock and charge the mobile device else where. Create a cozy space that invites rest and relaxation. Turn off all bright lights, ceiling lights, fluorescent lighting, use low wattage bulbs in a lamp~40 watts or less. Use your sleep space for sleep. Conditioning the mind that this is time for sleep and not other activities is the key to success. If you are in a committed relationship and intimacy is part of your lifestyle then allow the space to be welcoming to intimate activities as well.
3. If you use medications, alcohol or drugs to help with sleep, begin to ween yourself from use. Slowly begin reducing the quantities over a few days or even a week until you have weened your body. A detox recipe below will help in detoxing the body. We are striving for a clean body, mind and spirit so we can return to our natural cycles of sleep and awake.
4. Clean your body. I realize many of us take a shower in the morning as a means of waking up however, a warm shower or bath in the evening will wash away the day and the days activities. The body will naturally respond to being clean thus conditioning the mind to begin preparing for sleep. Try adjust the morning shower to a cooler shower and a quicker shower. Allow the evening for relaxing, nothing rushed or hurried.
5. Allow only mind medicine into the mind. Limit the use and amount of violent, negative or otherwise disturbing programs or reading material late in the evening. Plan for quiet time 15 minutes before bed time. Quiet time, reflecting on the day, spending intimate time with your partner, journaling, or meditation, listing to soft music or recorded meditations. There are many apps available for sleep, bedtime stories and guided meditations. Many are free with in-app purchase if you desire.
Ayurveda was practiced hundreds of years ago in a very different world than the one in which we live today. These steps may seem challenging to work into everyday life however, the body will function more effectively if the sleep and rest periods are adequate. I invite you to try using the steps above and see if you have improved sleep. The mind body connection needs time to reconnect the most important piece here is not not rush and hurry the process. We sleep better when we wake with the sun and rest with the moon.
Herbal tea for sleep:
Heat filtered water to a boil
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a tea cup or mug pour water over spices allow to steep 2-3 minutes then, Enjoy!
These spices are warming in the body and allow the body to feel restful
Detox meal for 3 days:
Use same spice as above in same quantities
Measure out 1/4 cup brown rice, red lentils and mugdal (can be purchased in most stores) mix with spices
Chopped one small onion, garlic clove and fresh spinach
Pour 1 3/4 cup of filtered water into a medium pot add onion, garlic, spinach and rice mixture
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, turn down to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes fluff the mixture with a fork and Enjoy!
Can be stored in a covered glass container in the refrigerator for three days.
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