As the nights get shorter, we tend to have changes in our own internal clock. We can feel less energized and our sleep is impacted. Being mindful of our daily rhythms, and routines known as “Dinacharya” in Ayurveda can help us feel rested and restored. When it comes to sleep, the work for forming a good sleep hygiene begins in the morning.
Rising With the Sun
As we rise, waking up to sunrise and practicing sun gazing can help us regulate our cortisol levels. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, associated with boosting mood and promoting calm focus. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep. Additionally, UVB light waves help with Vitamin D synthesis.Optimum levels of vitamin D can help regulate our sleep.
Practicing mindful moments including movements during the day, especially when the kapha energy might be present mid afternoon, can help us stay energized during the day and ready to wind down at night. Being active during the day can help us again at night to fall asleep.
Walking barefoot may help reset the body’s natural electrical currents. When you walk barefoot on the Earth, there’s a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body that spread throughout your tissues. The effect is sufficient to maintain your body at the same negatively charged electrical potential as the Earth.
if you’re experiencing insomnia or sleep disturbances – Instead of approaching it as a task — approach it with an inquiry mindset. Sleep is a state of consciousness. Sometimes it’s our ego that prevents us from letting go and leads us to a state of wakefulness. When you cease listening to the ego — sleep is available. It’s ok if you wake up at 3am, just as in meditation — don’t judge the mind. Witness what comes up — take a breath and practice a gradual relaxation by focusing on your breath or a sound or a sensation or whatever anchor comes easy to you to release any feelings or emotions. An easy scan of the body — also known as “yoga nidra,” helps the mind to drop into a resting state. If you want to follow along some guided meditations, here are a couple I shared on Insight timer.
Block Blue Light
Try wearing blue light blocker glasses to block blue light from electronics and screens for two to three hours before bedtime. Blue light suppresses melatonin production, which is a hormone that helps you fall asleep, which is why it’s important to limit blue light exposure before bedtime.
Pranayama — Deep Breathing
Deep breathing can calm your heart rate, ease anxiety, and prepare you for sleep.
1. The 1:2 breathing practice — where you gradually increase your exhales until they are twice the length of your inhales, helps relax the nervous system and reduce anxiety and sleep disturbances.
2. I also practice Nadi shodhana ( alternate nostril breathing) – This practice calms the nervous system at the energetic level and opens an energy channel that quiets the mind. Place your right thumb over the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril and use the right finger to close off the left nostril. Lift your thumb and exhale out of the right nostril. Repeat breathing in through the right nostril and putting your thumb over your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril — that is one round. Do a few rounds in your bed as you transition into sleep. Here is a video where I show you how to do it, if you want to follow along.
Going to sleep at a consistent time every night. This is when your body does important repair. During this time, human growth hormone is released to restore critical systems, balance hormones and reset the nervous system. any other essential functions follow throughout the night. 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐥𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐜𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟏𝟎𝐩𝐦-𝟒𝐚𝐦. 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐲 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭…𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐎𝐍𝐋𝐘 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟏𝟎𝐩𝐦-𝟒𝐚𝐦 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧 𝐜𝐲𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐬.
Rituals and Tools for Regulating Sleep⠀⠀⠀
Self-massage, An ayurvedic practice called Abhyanga, which helps to calm your nervous system but also helps with lymph circulation and with the dryness of winter.
A powerful adaptogen that helps alleviate stress and anxiety is Ashwagandha and Tulsi, both of which in are ORGANIC INDIA’s Peaceful Sleep supplement
Epsom salt baths as a part of a night ritual to relax your nerves
Teaspoon of raw honey with ghee — the honey raises your blood glucose while you sleep and puts in a deeper sleep state faster. Your brain uses the carb at night and the raw honey replenishes this supply. The fats keep your energy level stable for longer and that energy is used to sleep efficiently.
Calming herbal teas — my favorites are teas that have these herbs — passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm, ashwagandha, tulsi. my all time favorite is the ORGANIC INDIA –Tulsi Sleep Tea
Ensure you have Optimal digestion – I love having some Triphala nightly to support my digestion.
Stay away from sugar or processed foods and if you need help digging into the root cause of any digestive problems, connect with me for support and functional testing.
Try Amber light bulbs to block out the while light that can disrupt melatonin
Put your phone on airplane mode to avoid EMFs which can disturb sleep. I also switch off my wifi router for the same reason.
Hope you these tools help you transition into the season with rest and good sleep. If you need more support, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
ORGANIC INDIA Ambassador Radhika is the Founder of Holistic Prana where she offers Integrative Health and Life Coaching. She has had the honor of guiding busy professionals and entrepreneurs around the world to a superior state of wellbeing, cognitive performance, and inner bliss. Her approach seamlessly blends together science-based practices to improve the function of every aspect of the body, as well as resources along with accountability that uplift the mind and spirit.
Radhika was born in India and raised with yoga, consciousness and meditation. As a child, she was always intrigued in the workings of the human mind and that led her to pursue her bachelor’s in Psychology. Her former life involved hiring top management talent – CEO’s and C level professionals as an executive search consultant for banking and financial services companies across the globe. Even with achievements like being featured in a leading business magazine, and having several early successes –She felt like something crucial was missing from my life. She moved to the US in 2005 and after traveling across 12 countries, made US her home.
When her mom got diagnosed with cancer, she was inspired to re-evaluate her busy lifestyle and decided to trade in pulling all-nighters and boardroom meetings for health coaching and yoga. She was determined to help her heal. Her research returned her to her roots and led to a deeper understanding of mindfulness, yoga and Ayurveda–and the mind-body-spirit connection. Now, as a certified Integrative Health and Human Potential Life coach, she blends that ancient wisdom with clinical sensibilities, including neuroscience and biohacking.
She recently relocated to Colorado after living in Austin for a decade where she now lives with her husband, daughter and Shihpoo puppy – Mango.