good morning yogis!
good morning yogis!
how did you sleep last night? if you are like many people in this over stressed, over stimulated culture of ours – not very well. when life throw’s us stressors, we often invite them into bed with us… or out of bed, as the case may be.
when you are exhausted the idea of getting on your mat, or your meditation cushion, or even just to work, can seem daunting. so – here are a few things to incorporate into your days to help your nights be more restful:
1. WHAT YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW:
*avoid stimulants and depressants during the day (this includes coffee, tea, alcohol, etc.) – if we are constantly calling our adrenals to immediate attention and then drowning them out trying to quiet them down, they are bound to get worn out. caffeine, even early in the day, trains our body to need something external to wake up – alcohol triggers relaxation, but affects our sleep cycles, so that, even if we fall asleep, we are less likely to have a full or restful night of sleep.
*exercise during the day. using our body is one of the best ways to ensure we tire it out enough to trigger a deep night of rest. avoid exercising late at night, since there is typically an immediate energizing effect.
*avoid screens for the last couple of hours before sleep – this includes television and computer. try a bath (especially with bath salts), reading or listening to relaxing music/podcast instead
*go to bed when you’re tired. listen to your body’s cues and when possible, if your body is ready for bed – follow it.
2. WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
*that doing viparita karani (legs up the wall) pose with your eyes covered just before bed for 15 minutes or so can help induce sleep. (see the earlier post “nothing sympathetic about this” for instructions on this pose)
*also, doing 1 to 3 slow, meditative sun salutes shortly before bed will also unwind the tension of the day and trigger sleep
*if you are having trouble quieting your mind while lying in bed, try listening to a guided meditation meant to calm the body or induce sleep. here’s one of my favorites to fall asleep to at “themeditationpodcast.com”
*if you keep waking up at a certain time in the night, it may be connected to some disturbance in the meridians. in chinese medicine there is a body clock, where two-hour time periods are connected to specific meridians. the ones that are most likely connected to sleep disturbances are:
GALLBLADDER: 11 pm-1 am // LIVER: 1-3 am // LUNG 3-5am // LARGE INTESTINE 5-7 am
if you wake up during one of these times, try doing some of the specific exercises for these meridians (given in earlier blogs listed under their names). also, for this and all sleep issues, acupuncture can be incredibly helpful.
*self-massage, especially of the hands, feet, head, face and ears are all great ways to help trigger restful sleep. for some specific acupressure points to help sleep, check this out:
(taken from http://www.healthy-ojas.com)
*finally – a trick i learned from my ayurvedic guru eleni gekas is to drink a glass of warm milk with nutmeg, and other warming spices (like cinnamon and turmeric). not only does it taste delicious – it sends you right into dreamland!
rest well sweet ones!