How many hours of sleep did you get last night? And the night before that?
Did you know that adults need 7 hours or more of sleep each night - but more than a third of Americans regularly sleep less ?
A quality night of sleep has unfortunately become a precious commodity. However, restful sleep is one of the most important things you can provide for your body and health. When we sleep well, our bodies can repair and rejuvenate, leading to better immunity. Not to mention, quality sleep is known to promote longevity, support weight management, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity .
Some other benefits include:
- Boosted energy levels
- Mental clarity
- Emotional balance
- Better athletic performance
- Weight control
What Does Ayurveda Say About Sleep?
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of circadian rhythms and melatonin in relation to sleep. The alignment of our daily routines with the natural rhythms of nature, including the cycles of day and night, helps optimize our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
According to Ayurveda, each dosha has a specific time of day when it is dominant, and our sleep patterns should align with these doshic cycles for optimal rest.
Vata dosha dominates during the hours of 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. This is the ideal time to wake up, as the mind is naturally more active during this period. Waking up early in the morning allows us to harness the clarity and freshness of Vata energy, promoting a focused and productive day ahead.
Pitta dosha dominates from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This is the time when our bodies undergo natural detoxification and cellular repair processes. It is recommended to be in deep sleep during this period to support the body's healing mechanisms.
Kapha dosha dominates from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is the time when our bodies naturally begin to wind down. Ayurveda suggests engaging in calming activities during this period, such as gentle exercise, meditation, or relaxation practices, to prepare the body and mind for restful sleep.
10 Morning and Evening Rituals for Good Sleep
By incorporating Ayurvedic-recommended morning and evening rituals into your life, you can align with the natural rhythm of your body and enjoy the benefits of a good night's rest.
Ayurvedic Morning Rituals for Better Sleep
Rise with the Sun
Ayurveda encourages waking up early, preferably before sunrise, to synchronize with the natural rhythm of the day. Greet the day with gratitude and positivity - perhaps start a morning journal to rid yourself of any negative emotions carried over from the night before.
Use a tongue scraper to remove the coating that accumulates on the tongue overnight. This practice helps remove toxins and promotes oral hygiene by getting rid of harmful bacteria that can wreak havoc on your oral microbiome.
Drink a glass of warm water first thing when you wake up to hydrate and stimulate your digestive system. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a dash of ginger for an extra health boost! For a pure hydration ritual, try using a copper cup to kill harmful bacteria and introduce antioxidants to your system.
Before showering, indulge in an invigorating dry brushing routine, which is a type of massage that involves using a dry, coarse brush. Your skin will thank you for the glow-up, and you will feel the difference with decreased stress and an energy boost.
Gentle Movement or Yoga
Engage in gentle stretching, yoga, or pranayama (breathing exercises) to invigorate the body, enhance circulation, and prepare for the day ahead.
Ayurvedic Evening Rituals for Better Sleep
Disconnect from electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and televisions, at least an hour before bedtime for a digital detox. The blue light emitted by these devices disrupts the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Plus, when circadian rhythms are disrupted too often, people are more prone to chronic issues .
Dim the Lights
Create a relaxing ambiance by reducing the intensity of artificial lighting in your home. Opt for softer, warmer lights or candlelight, which signals the body to prepare for rest.
Sip on a cup of calming herbal tea in the evening, such as chamomile, ashwagandha, or lavender. These herbs possess natural sedative properties and promote relaxation.
Engage in a short mindfulness or meditation practice to quiet the mind, release accumulated stress, and promote a sense of inner calm before bed.
Avoid Heavy Meals and Caffeine
Refrain from consuming heavy, greasy, or spicy meals close to bedtime. Digestion requires energy and can interfere with your ability to fall asleep peacefully. Caffeine from coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks can also disrupt your sleep patterns and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try some caffeine alternative recipes instead!
Good sleep is not only essential for rejuvenation but is also a fundamental pillar of health and immunity. Start prioritizing the power of deep slumber!
Detoxing is one of the best things you can do for your body to give it the best sleep possible. If you’re interested in trying some simple, yet effective detox practices that will leave you feeling oh-so-good, we have you covered!