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Ayurveda: Sleep

by skating tomato (follow)
Sleep Naturally (13)     
We all know just how vital sleep is in maintaining optimal health and well-being, yet we often don't prioritise or fully understand the hygiene surrounding it.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions as taken from ancient Ayurvedic wisdom. For more information about Ayurveda, find our previous posts on the three doshas (kapha, pitta, vata).

courtesy of Free Great Picture


Optimal time
According to Ayurveda, adults want to be aiming for a minimum of 6-8 hours sleep each night. This will differ between individuals however, and some may find they need slightly more or less.

The hours before midnight are believed to be more rejuvenating than those after, so most Ayurvedic sleep patterns involve early nights and early mornings.

courtesy of Free Great Picture


Preparation
In the lead up to sleep, try to minimise any strenuous or excessively exciting activity. Instead, eat a light meal to aid digestion, and go for a leisurely walk or sit down to read an easy book.

Minimise time spent in bright light, and if possible, use scented candles as your light source. Candles are both relaxing and comforting, and much less taxing on the senses and brain.

Having a warm bath is another great evening option, as is enjoying a soothing herbal tea in place of alcohol or other stimulants.

If you have an over-active mind, 'brain-dump' your thoughts, worries, feelings onto a piece of paper or journal, so as to ensure you aren't going to bed with these troubles in mind.

courtesy of Free Great Picture


Bed
Avoid - wherever possible - doing work or watching TV in bed. The bed is said to be for two things only - neither of which are these!

Listen to calming music or an appropriate guided meditation to encourage the mind and body to let go. If this is still too much, gently scan your body and watch your breath until you drift off to sleep.

Related
How to sleep well naturally
Ditch the alarm clock
How bedtime reading can help you sleep

#Sleep Naturally
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