In winter, nights are colder and much shorter than the summer months. This change in season tends to wreak havoc to our internal clock making us more lethargic throughout the winter months. Winter is the overall time that we need to really focus on our self and help our internal clock so that we don’t impact our sleep.
Below are a few practices or routines known as “Dinacharya” in Ayurveda to help with feeling more restored and sleeping better this winter.
Rise with the Sun
Try waking and rising each day with the sun. It may seem a little hard at first but it all comes down to routine. Once up, practice sun gazing which can help to regulate your cortisol levels. Regulating cortisol levels helps us to feel more relaxed and less stressed throughout the day as sunlight is said to increase the brain’s release of the hormone called “serotonin” which makes us happy. Exposure to sunlight helps also with vitamin D, with the right levels of vitamin D this can also help to regulate our sleep.
Ensure that you are being active and exercising daily. Even if it is a 20-minute walk. Using your energy throughout the day helps to tire the body out which in turn can help us to fall asleep and stay asleep at night
Walking barefoot may help to reset the body’s natural electrical currents. When walking barefoot on the Earth, there’s a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body that spread throughout your tissues.
It is normal for all of us to experience insomnia or sleep disturbances throughout the night. Sleep is a state of consciousness and therefore it is important to try and be mindful of what you are thinking. To let go try relaxing before bed or even try and write down all your thoughts in a journal. The more at peace your mind is, the more rested you will be and sleep will become more available.
Blue Light Blocking
Purchase a pair of blue light blocker glasses to block out blue light from all screens and electronics two to three hours before bedtime. Blue light suppresses melatonin production, which is a hormone that assists in falling asleep.
Deep breathing can help with calming your heart rate, ease anxiety, and prepare you for sleep at night. Try these breathing practices before bed.
- The 1:2 breathing practice—progressively increase your exhales until they are twice the length of your inhales, this helps with calming the nervous system, reducing anxiety and sleep disturbances.
- Try practicing alternate nostril breathing – 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.
As mentioned before, a routine is so critical for great sleep. Which is why it is important to go to bed at the same time every single night. At night whilst we are sleeping our bodies are repairing themselves, therefore it is vital that we are giving our bodies the essential time required to restore
CHEAT SHEET TO REGULATING SLEEP
- Self-massage all over for 10 minutes each night, this ayurvedic practice which helps to calm your nervous system but also helps with lymph circulation. Really focus on your lymph nodes all over your body.
- A powerful adaptogen that helps alleviate stress and anxiety is Ashwagandha and Tulsi, both of which in are ORGANIC INDIA’s Tulsi Sleep
- Epsom salt baths as a part of a weekly ritual to assist with sleep. Try not to do it more than twice a week as it can cause a drying effect on the skin
- Teaspoon of raw honey with ghee— the honey raises your blood glucose while you sleep and puts you in a deeper sleep state faster.
- Calming herbal teas, ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi Sleep or Tulsi Honey Chamomile
- Stay away from all electronics and screens half hour before bed to help your brain wind down
- Put your phone on airplane mode or on silent so that you don’t have any disturbances