Great Sleep Makes For a Great Day
Author: Linda Sinden Date Posted:11 June 2019
Quality sleep provides a 're-set' to the mind and body and is the foundation for a great day! Some of the benefits of quality sleep, defined as enjoying 7.5 to 9 hours of undisturbed sleep a night include
- Increased ability to focus, improved productivity and enhanced creativity
- Safety in the workplace and while driving
- More effective cellular repair
- Weight regulation
- Higher pain threshold
- Glowing complexion, bright eyes with a happier and healthier appearance
- Emotional stability
You already know that lack of sleep doesn't feel good, but did you know it also puts you at greater risk of physical illness in the long term, such as inflammation, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and cognitive issues? People with poor quality of sleep report they comfort eat, can make rash decisions or mistakes, experience worry or anxiety, low mood or depression or have less control over irritation and bouts of anger. On a lighter note it also increases the tendency for wrinkles!
Here are a list of behaviours that contribute to sleep issues. As you read each one consider your own daily habits to see where you might be able to enhance the quality of your sleep.
- Having a large evening meal that sits heavily when you go to bed
- Doing activities that excite or activate the mind in the 45 minutes before you start sleeping such as computer work, podcasts, intense chats or discussion, intense or fast paced movies or pod casts.
- Using synthetic or unnatural fabric for sleeping clothes and bedding
- Going to bed at different times
- Reading or watching podcasts in the bedroom
- Lack of an evening walk after dinner
- Working shift work
- Lack of a daily walk or exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes
- Lack of effective stress reduction strategies
- Lack of winding down in the evening with relaxing activities such as an oil massage and bath or foot massage prior bed
- A cold and raw diet that aggravates Vata dosha so the mind is unable to settle at night
- Emotional or mental stress
- Exercising close to bedtime
- Blood sugar issues
- Intestinal imbalance affecting microbiology
- Snacking instead of eating meals
- Working in excess
- Worry or fear and anxiety
- Inability to burn and use fat
- Too much caffeine
- A new baby in the family
- An uncomfortable bed
- Noise pollution
How many could you say yes to?
Tips for a Great Sleep
Ayurveda provides some excellent ways to help settle the mind and body so one can retire within for a deeply restful night of sleep.
- In the evening eat foods that are high in tryptophan, which promotes sleep: dates, milk, nut butter (almond and or cashew), bananas and figs.
- Ensure you have adequate protein during the day to keep your blood sugars stable, thereby reducing the impulse to snack on sugary foods. Include protein at each meal, e.g. lentils, beans, eggs, fish, chicken, turkey and tofu.
- Avoid heavy meals in the evening, as they can keep you awake. Aim to eat a light to moderate dinner 2-3 hours before bed.
- Reduce caffeine and nicotine as they are stimulants - nicotine also causes nightmares. Keep your caffeine intake to no more than two cups per day, taken in the morning only.
- Prior bed drink a relaxing cup of Slumber Time Tea or a hot milk to which Vata tea has been added.
- Avoid alcohol intake. It may help you to nod off but disturbs sleep later in the night.
- Favour Vata balancing foods for the evening meal.
- If you have difficulty going to sleep take 2 tablets of Blissful Sleep with 2 tablets of Stress Relief at bedtime.
- If you have difficulty waking in the night take 2 tablets of Deep Rest and 2 tablets of Stress Relief at bedtime.
- Massage your feet for 5 minutes at bedtime with Vata massage oil during Autumn/Winter/Spring and Pitta massage oil during summer.
- Burn Vata aroma oil in a burner at bedtime or place 1-2 drops on your bed pillow at bedtime.
Establish a wind-down routine in the evening prior bed. Don’t expect yourself to switch off in 5 minutes and go straight to sleep. Avoid intense mental activity for at least 45 minutes prior bed: Put the computer off, reschedule intense discussions to the next day and avoid activity that requires intense concentration.
Have a regular time and routine for going to bed, light out; (10pm is ideal); along with a regular time for waking and rising (just before sunrise is ideal.)
Wishing you the bliss of a great sleep tonight and every night!