The Power of Sleep
Date Posted:4 June 2013
Good sleep is an essential daily reset. Quality sleep (or lack of) impacts our day to day energy, vitality and happiness. Recent research points to the fact that regular lack of quality sleep can lead to more serious problems than simply feeling dull and cloudy the next day – including weight gain, high blood pressure and reduced immune system function.
One way to assess the quality of your sleep is to ask yourself: Do I feel rested, clear and alert when I wake in the the morning? To look even closer at your sleep patterns answer the following questions:
- Do you have trouble falling asleep?
- Do you often wake up during the night?
- Do you snore?
- Are you a restless toss-and-turn type of sleeper?
- Do you experience sleepiness or fatigue during the day?
If your answers are typically no, then great - your quality of sleep is supporting your health and life enjoyment. If you answered yes to one or more of these symptoms of sleep disturbance then your sleep patterns need attention. If you worry that your sleep patterns are worse at this time of the year, it could be that the seasonal change is aggravating the underlying imbalance.
What to do
Some of the causes of poor sleep are just part of everyday life for many of us, and they may be hard to avoid, but with Ayurveda we can counter or remove them without turning to addictive sleep drugs or other options with side effects. Common causes of poor sleep include
- Feeling stressed - at work or home Irregular lifestyle
- Chemical influences - alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine Irregular working hours Insufficient exercise
- A new baby in the family
- An uncomfortable bed
- Feeling overheated or too cold
- Noise pollution
There are a number of simple thing you can do to make a difference.
1. Add targeted herbals to help restore natural sleep rhythms.
For difficulty falling asleep take 2 tablets of Blissful Sleep at bedtime. This is a gentle and non addictive, side-effect-free natural sleep aid. This herbal formula includes traditional herbs, Indian Valerian and Muskroot, both well known for centuries as sleep inducing. Also includes Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha), reducing the effects of stress and Tinospora Cordifolia (Guduchi), which supports the mind and boosts natural immunity, which is affected by reduced or broken sleep.
For waking in the night take 2 tablets of Deep Rest prior bed and 1-2 if you waken in the night. This potent herbal supports sleeping through the night and in returning to sleep when awakened. It’s synergistic combination of over 20 different herbs is a powerful boost to getting that full nights deep rest. Taken prior to sleep, and kept at the bedside to take if you wake, aiding a quick return to slumber time.
For restless sleep take a cup of Slumber Time Tea 30minutes prior bed and experience how relaxed you will feel. It works for me!
2. Cut down on caffeine, especially past midday – caffeine is like an antidote to sleep, so the further away from bedtime you have it, the better. Try Rajas Cup our coffee substitute which is also a high potency antioxidant too.
3. Eat three meals a day, including breakfast, but make dinner a lighter meal. This will allow the body to focus on sleep rather than digesting a recent meal.
4. At least 45 mins before you want to sleep, remove all activities that spark the senses and require focus, such as watching TV, browsing the internet, working on the computer. Instead, just lie back and relax – listen to music, talk with your partner, or even better, try a gentle massage to wind each other down
5. My favourite: rub a small amount of Vata Massage Oil on the soles of your feet – it’s calming and feels like heaven!
It usually takes a significant build up of stress to effect sleep patterns so if stress is causing loss of sleep for you, then this is a warning signal of stress overload to take note of.
The regular practise of Transcendental Meditation is very helpful at reducing the back log of stress and helping to restore resilience. In addition take 2 tablets of Stress Relief before breakfast and evening meals.
This potent herbal is an adaptogenic which means it helps you adapt to stress and deregulates your body's production of cortisol stress hormone. These herbals have been used for centuries to strengthen the nervous system and reduce the negative impact of stress upon us.
Wishing you the bliss of balance
The Get Balance Team