Written by Navjot Dhaliwal
Let’s talk slumber! Do you ever have a hard time falling asleep? How about staying asleep? Getting a good night’s sleep plays a huge role in your health. Rest is required for our bodies to recharge our energy, keep our hormone levels balanced, and keep our internal organs healthy. Deep Sleep is also beneficial for our mental an emotional health. Here are 5 Ways to insure quality sleep every night:
1. Set a Routine
The first step in creating a better night’s sleep is setting a routine. Our body’s internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, can be thrown off by stress, anxiety, and many other factors in life. Falling into a pattern every evening can help bring this sleep and wake cycle back to normal. When we set a nightly routine, we let the mind know that it is time to relax now. Self care rituals before bed promote relaxation, whether they are physical or mental. An example of a healthy night-time routine could be:
- Going to sleep around the same time each night – Brushing your teeth or hair
- Taking a shower or bath
- Reading a book
- Drinking herbal tea
Meditation is extremely helpful before bedtime. Deep breathing promotes relaxation and aides in releasing the stress from the day. It is important to clear the mind before bed for a restful slumber. One way to meditate before bed is to take five to ten deep breaths to get started. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. When you continue this breath, it calms down the nervous system, sending your body and mind into a deeper state of consciousness.
3. Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is a powerful meditation technique used specifically for sleeping. It is a yoga practice that anybody can perform, from children to seniors! It is done by laying flat on your back, either in your bed or on the floor, and generally consists of a body scan combined with breath awareness. Yoga Nidra is best when it is guided, which is why Meditation.Live provides guided Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) classes in the evenings. This meditation is very accessible and can be used easily in your daily life, as it does not require movement. Yogic Sleep practices generally help redirect your mind to focus on specific body parts to promote deeper relaxation all throughout your being.
4. Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga is similar to Yoga Nidra, except this practice uses the assistance of props (such as pillows and blankets) to help promote light stretching before bed. The props are usually placed in specific areas, for example, a pillow underneath the knees to help support the lower back. Once the props are set, breath awareness begins in order to dive into a deep, relaxed state. Restorative yoga is great for the heart, as it supports healthy blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
Last, but not least, a daily gratitude practice can help promote deep sleep. Studies show that gratitude can rewire the brain, especially when we are stressed. At the end of an evening, if we focus on the good aspects of our day, we are more likely to relax deeper when we sleep. Gratitude reminds us that everything is okay and we have a lot to be thankful for. Rhonda Byrne gives a great example of daily gratitude practice in her book, The Magic. The practice is simple, yet very effective: Before going to sleep, write down ten things you are grateful for and why. Each day add a new list of ten things and watch as your perspective on life changes!
Join us every evening and unwind with sessions like Yoga Nidra and Deep Relaxation.