Our days are filled with so much activity, it’s a wonder we can even sleep at night. With anxiety, insomnia and depression all on the rise, alongside stress filled days that involve longer working hours, a deep restful nights sleep has never been more important.
Given that 20 minutes of Vedic Meditation is the equivalent of 2-3 hours rest, naturally that is the key thing to help you get through the day with energy, clarity and focus. So if you are already meditating and want to ramp up the quality of your rest, or especially if you’re not meditating, and find you have troubled sleep, or simply feel like your not getting enough of it, follow these simple steps for a great nights sleep, to create the perfect Evening Retreat.
1. Eat Early
Your body cannot process all the food you ingested, and prepare you for an excellent nights sleep simultaneously. Dine earlier, so that you have at least 2 hours break before bed, so that your digestion has time to settle prior to your getting horizontal.
2. Two Hour Digital/Media Break
If your evenings are filled with television, your phone, Instagram, your computer, emails and Facebook, and potentially all these things happening simultaneously – STOP. Your brain is too highly wound up with digital input to relax, and release the natural sleep chemicals needed for you to rest and repair your mind and body over night. Give yourself two hours of nothing digital before bed. If this sounds impossible, give it 7 days to see the results and you will swear by it.
Instead read, relax, stretch gently, take a walk after dinner, listen to music, and have conversations. hardly a wild proposition, yet we still never seem to do these things. You will be sleeping so deeply and much less, you will be waking so refreshed and be more productive and as a result, those two hours in the evening before bed will become a necessity for you to achieve more the following day.
3. Create A Routine
When you teach babies how to sleep, you do the same thing night in and night out. A very strict little formula that triggers all the sleep patterns needed for the bub to understand its time to go to sleep. Due to lots of adrenalin/caffeine/sugar and stimulants during the day, we can be quite of touch with when we are actually tired. We fuel ourselves with stimulants both physical and mental (social media included) to push through the days, and then wonder why we are so tired in the day. If you can’t alter your days too dramatically, then take the time at night to create a little sleep routine. Mine looks like this…I shower and apply a beautiful body oil, I read a book, I drink a herbal tea or an Ayurvedic sleep remedy – recipe below. I then light a scented candle next to my bed, recap mentally all that I did in the day, what I could have improved on, where I wasn’t mindful, and what I would like to achieve the following day. I think about all that I am grateful for, and then lie in bed until I drift off.
AYURVEDIC SPICED MILK
1 cup of raw organic milk or organic milk
1/2 cup water
2 cardamom pods (crack open a little)
1/4 tsp tumeric
a tiny pinch of ginger powder
a tiny pinch of nutmeg
a tiny dash of cinnamon
either raw honey or coconut sugar
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil – and whatever you do don’t let it boil over! Simmer gently on low for 10 minutes and then add your sugar or honey. If you use honey, whatever you do don’t add it to hot milk as this creates ama (toxicity) in the body, and is a big no no in Ayurveda.
Images from The Broad Place Pinterest Page