How's Your Sleep?
Author: Maharishi Ayurveda Date Posted:9 May 2016
Do you know the three key reasons we have difficulty getting a good quality sleep, where we wake up feeling clear, alert and ready for an exciting and fulfilling day?
- The stress hormone cortisol can also be unusually high at night and our nervous system needs to be soothed after a full-on day. This causes occasional sleeplessness but can lead to deep exhaustion if sleep is disturbed regularly.
- Feeling so deeply exhausted that our body is wired and doesn’t have enough energy to sedate and calm us for sleep. This can be so frustrating as we lie waiting for sleep to come or find ourselves awake after only a little while, unable to go back to sleep.
- Unstable blood sugars that can’t stretch the distance of 8-9 hours and we wake needing a snack to help us sleep again.
Insufficient sleep has been linked to weight increase and impairs our thinking and our memory and can impair cardiovascular health and increase the risk of most degenerative diseases. Getting 7-8 hours a night regularly has been linked to a landmark study (Sleep, May 2010) that shows a reduction in mortality from all causes. So sleep is really important.
Ayurveda explains that getting good rest is essential for maintaining ojas – the substance produced from the complete digestion of all that we eat (including all we digest through our five senses). Ojas is at the basis of our vitality, happiness and wellbeing.
Waking in the early morning?
Do you often wake between 2am and 6am and have difficulty going back to sleep? Here’s what to do: adopt an evening wind down routine that helps calm your mind and body for sleep
- Have a Vata settling evening meal by 7pm. See Vata diet
- After your evening meal choose relaxing and soothing activities. Gentle walk and talk when the weather is fine, easy and relaxing book, relaxing music, and drinking Vata Tea. Stay away from situations or entertainment that you find shocking, scary, fearful or causes you to worry. Choose to relax so you can unwind before going to bed.
- About 9pm have a warm bath. Add 3-6 drops of Vata Aroma Oil to the bath water for a heavenly and settling experience. You may even like to apply a little Vata Massage Oil over the body prior to getting into the bath for deeper relaxation. Keep the light soft and low. Gently massage the soles of your feet while you linger in the bath.
- Then drink a cup of warm organic and pasteurised milk that you bring to the boil slowly. If you wish to increase the ojas value of the milk also add 1 tbsp of chopped dates, 2tsp of chopped almonds, 1 tbsp of coconut, ½ tsp of saffron, 1 tsp of ghee and 1/8 tsp of cardamom. Then enjoy!
- To enhance the effectiveness of the milk also take Stress Relief 2 tablets and 1- 2 tablets of Blissful Sleep.
- Be sure to be in bed with light out before 10pm.
- Ensure you stay warm and avoid getting cold.
Difficulty falling asleep
Do you typically have difficulty falling asleep between the hours of 10pm to 2am? Here’s what to do.
- Have a Pitta settling evening meal by 7pm. See Vata diet
- After your evening meal chill out. Avoid computer work, electronic activity, studying or mental work, aggressive or fast-paced movies or TV shows, confronting discussions or doing things that cause you to feel under pressure. Consider having a walk with a loved one or friend under the moon light, read a humorous book or watch a humorous or loving TV series or video. Listen to relaxing music, and drink Pitta Tea. Choose to chill so you can unwind before going to bed.
- About 9- 9.30 pm take a drink of organic milk that you bring to the boil slowly. To increase the ojas value of the milk and to settle the Pitta qualities within you, also add 1 tbsp of chopped dates, 2tsp of chopped almonds, 1 tbsp of coconut (meal or flakes), ½ tsp of saffron, 1 tsp of Ghee and 1/8 tsp of Cardamom. Enjoy!
- To enhance the effectiveness of the milk also take Stress Relief 2 tablets and 1- 2 tablets of Deep Rest.
- Be sure to be in bed with light out before 10pm and keep all electronic devises out of the bedroom.
- Ensure you stay comfortably warm and avoid overheating.
Wishing you the bliss of great sleep this week.