A good night’s sleep is essential for so many reasons. Without it, we often notice dragging on the surface – a foggy mind, lack of energy and fatigue. Missing out on deep, restorative sleep can also impact digestion, hormones, stress response, and more. Read on for five ways to ensure you get the best sleep you need.
1. Sleep Timing
It’s no secret that sleeping for 7-8 hours a night encourages our best self to activate. But did you know that the time you choose to get those hours actually matters? It’s hypothesized that falling asleep far before midnight actually helps the body to recover from damage and restore strength. This is due to the domination of non-REM sleep in the early part of the night, and because body systems like the liver regenerate around this time.
So, the earlier, the better! Sleep 9-5. OK, 10-6 if you must. That being said, not everyone’s lifestyle or sleep habits match an early bedtime. If you can’t force the early shuteye, this sleep article recommends becoming aware of when you are consistently the most tired, and making that your official bedtime. Consistency is key!
2. Sleep Herbs
Ayurvedic herbs have been used for thousands of years for a variety of health purposes, and sleep is a big one. Adaptogens are a classification of herbs that help the body adapt to stress, ultimately bringing the body to balance.
Less stress + more balance = better sleep.
We recommend taking adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Holy Basil on the reg for everyday stress support, and then adding in a sleep formula at night. We love our Tulsi Sleep tea, which includes three powerhouse adaptogens for mental clarity, relaxation, and stress-relief: Ashwagandha, Tulsi Holy Basil, and Gotu Kola.
3. Sleep Space
Take a look at your current sleep environment. Is it cluttered? Clutter can negatively effect our rest and relaxation vibes. According to Yoga and Ayurveda, and Feng Shui for that matter, sleeping in a clutter-free space that is used only for sleep will help ensure a deep restorative sleep. What’s your dream sleep space? Make a sleep temple for yourself!
Small changes make a big difference here. We recommend a 10 minute pick up to de-clutter, change the lighting, and bring out the essential oils!
4. Sleep Position
Another tip that we learn from Yoga, Ayurveda and Feng Shui is that if we sleep with our head to the South direction, we increase the depth and restorative facets of our sleep. The hypothesis here is that facing South aligns with the natural flow of Earth’s circadian rhythm, resulting in more time in deeper, restorative sleep.
In contrast, sleeping with our head to the North direction is better for a more shallow sleep, in the event that this aligns with a practice where deep sleep is not desired (i.e. Yoga Nidra, lucid dreaming, etc.)
5. Sleep Cessation
Are you really awake when you wake up? Another lesson from Yoga and Ayurveda is to create a morning ritual to integrate into the day. A short morning meditation followed by cold water immersion can help can help invigorate the body and mind for a vibrant, energetic day. If you can’t take a cold shower, try simply turning the water as cold as you can handle at the end of your normal temp. shower. You’ll be surprised how much this helps wake you up!
A morning ritual helps the body and mind transition from a tired, sleepy state to a refreshed, awakened state. Add some tea to the mix!
Above all, listen to your body and what it needs. In the words of the Zen master, “When I eat, I eat, when I sleep, I sleep.”