A lot of people find it hard to fall asleep at night and some people even suffer from insomnia (a sleep disorder). This can be due to various reasons like improper sleep schedule, erratic sleep timings, stress, anxiety, medical illnesses etc. Sleep is very essential to our bodies as it is the time when the body rejuvenates and repairs worn out tissues, muscles, cells and organs. It is also very important for immune system building.
So for those of you who find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep on a long term basis, below are six Ayurvedic rituals you can follow, which will help you get a good sleep.
Drinking a cup of milk before you sleep:
Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan which can help promote sleep. You can also add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon powder, as these ingredients too can help relax the muscles, reduce tension and help your body move towards a restful state. If you like to add a sweetener, honey is another ingredient which can promote better sleep. So these ingredients are a powerful combination to have together.
Here’s how you can make it:
- 1 cup nut milk
- Cinnamon powder – 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg powder – dash
- dates – 2
In a heating pot, add in the milk, pitted dates and bring it to a boil. Then, add in the cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder and stir well. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn of the flame, add in honey to taste, mix once more and it is ready to consume.
Rubbing ghee under the feet:
Finish up all your night time activities before you can use this method. This method will help promote blood circulation and relax the muscles and the body, in turn promoting better sleep.
Step 1: Keep your feet washed and clean. Be seated on your bed, keep your feet in the cross-legged position and then take very little bit of ghee on your little finger (as much as a pinch will do) and rub it along the length of the sole of your foot.
Tip: Keeping a small container with little ghee at your bedside, which is taken out from your main pantry container will be more advisable and make it easier for you to use once you are already in bed.
Step 2: With the palm of your hand, rub the ghee under your feet in upward-downward motion. Make sure you rub it hard enough so your palm begins to get heated and both the palm and sole feels warm. This should take a few minutes.
Step 3: Repeat this same method for your other foot.
Remember to do this as the last thing before you go to sleep.
Following the practice of pranayama:
Pranayama is the practice of breath control in yoga. It helps relax the body and take your body to the restful state.
Step 1: Be seated in the cross-legged position, with your back upright.
(For those who cannot sit in the cross-legged position can sit with their backs upright, on a chair).
Step 2: Close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out through your nostrils. Do this two to four times. Then, using your thumb, close your right nostril shut and breathe in through your left nostril very slowly, while concentrating on your breathing. Then, using your index finger, close your left nostril, hold your breath for a few seconds and then slowly breathe out through your right nostril.
Do this 4 to 6 times. Give it a break of two to three minutes and then repeat this process using your other nostril.
(First time – Inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right.
Second time – Inhale through the right nostril, exhale through the left nostril).
Caution: Do not over do. As some are first timers at pranayama, you can do it a couple of times, see how you feel and then continue it. If you feel any discomfort in breathing, do not continue. Remember to slowly work your way up. READ MORE- Overnight hair growth natural treatments for faster hair growth
Meditating before you sleep:
Meditating can help calm your mind and body from any sort of stress or anxiety. So find a quiet place, sit in a cross-legged position with your back upright and your hands on your lap. Then, close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Do not drift off into your thoughts or engage in them, but simply focus only your breathing. You can start off doing this for five minutes before you go to bed and then over time you can slowly increase the time, if you find it benefiting you.
Massage your scalp and feet:
You can give yourself a scalp and foot massage before you go to bed. You can do it for 5 to 6 minutes and then massage your feet for another 5 to 6 minutes. Massages help to relax the body and relieve the body from stress. You can massage your scalp in small circular motions using your finger tips with our without oil for 5-10 mins every night before bedtime. Massages are known to trigger a neurotransmitter called serotonin that induces calm feelings and the state of sleep.
Essential oils, scented candles and incense sticks:
A lot of people like the smell of certain fragrances. The scent of these fragrances can be very calming and helps the body to prepare itself for the restful state. So you could put a drop of essential oil on your wrist and rub your wrists together or light a scented candle by your bedside or light up two to three incense sticks in your room. Lighting of candles and incense sticks in your room can be done an hour or an hour and a half before bedtime, so it can prepare the room giving it a calming effect. READ MORE – HEALTHY MORNING DRINKS for weight loss, clear skin and more
Caution: Remember to put off the incense sticks and blow out the candles before you go to bed.