Sleep can be elusive, especially during the peak of vata season. Having struggled with both falling and staying asleep, I have found that when I apply Ayurvedic principles to my life, sound sleep comes easier. Creating a nighttime sleep ritual is key, and since we are creatures of habit, our bodies will willingly begin to prepare for sleep once they learn the signals.
Here are seven ways to help your body and mind get ready for bed.
1. Create an electronic curfew; nighttime is not social media time. Having technology-free time before bed benefits the eyes, neck, shoulders, and mind.
2. Keep the lights low. Try to avoid direct overhead or ceiling lights and opt for low lighting or table lamps. This type of lighting mimics the light of the setting sun and helps set the stage for rest.
3. Drink a cup of relaxing tea, or warm milk, around the same time every night.
4. Moisturize hands and feet with a nourishing oil, like Brahmi Oil, to bring a sense of calm and grounding.
5. Read a soothing or inspiring book. Keeping the thoughts calm and pleasant before sleep helps to encourage more peaceful dreams throughout the night.
6. Practice Bhramari Pranayama. This is a calming breath that quiets the mind and induces sound sleep. Bhramari is practiced by creating a humming or buzzing sound at the back of the throat on the exhale. Try this pranayama for 3–5 minutes before bed.
7. Go to sleep at the same time every night. A consistent sleep schedule will not only help you to fall asleep, it will also support you to wake up feeling rested and ready for the day.
Setting up, and sticking to, a healthy evening routine is a key way to get through vata season without losing too much sleep! Start to think of sleep as part of your nightly ritual of self-care, and try incorporating a few of these Ayurvedic tips this fall and winter.