Let's talk about sleep.
If there is one piece of consistent feedback I receive from Reiki, Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidrā clients it's this: "I slept like a baby after my session". Some even feel like having a NAP after one of these rejuvinative practices - and that's ok! It's their body telling them that they need more of this thing, called restful, quality sleep, that they've been missing.
Modern Westernized people have lost 20% of the required amount of sleep time to maintain good health. As human beings, we require 7- 9 hours of sleep to properly nourish, restore, and replenish mind (eg., memory, emotions, psychological health, mollify painful memories) and body (eg., restock immune function, regulate appetite and cravings, maintain healthy gut microbiome, fine tune blood sugar, and more). At different life stages, we require different amounts of sleep. Did you know that the circadian cycle during the teen years shifts, and that the optimal sleeping hours for teens are 12am-9am?
For thousands of years, Ayurvedic practitioners have known the effects of adequate and inadequate quality/duration of sleep, and now scientific research is catching up!
Proper sleep results in:
Improper sleep results in:
Can you relate to any of the above? Where are your sleep struggles? Here are 5 tips to support you in soaking up a more replenishing sleep experience.
1) Quiet the mind; reduce stress in the evening
Yoga Nidrā, Gentle Yoga (yin, restorative, gentle hatha), qigong, meditation, self-Reiki, walk in nature, reading a book, warm bath with Epsom salts and essential oils.
2) Sleep in a cool room
Support your slumber by sleeping in a cool room. I know this can be challenging in the summer months if you are without air-conditioning! If your body temperature tends to cool during the night, keep an extra blanket handy.
3) Not to hungry, not too full.
Can't kick the nighttime craving? Warm milk or plant mylk flavored with cinnamon and honey or try a "golden milk recipe" made with turmeric. Warm milk is a nourishing night time drink that supports sleep.
4) Lights down/screens off.
Turn your devices off/dim your room 2 hours before sleep. This may be a BIG stretch at the moment, so start small, and build up to 2 hours.
5) Give yourself an 8 hour sleep opportunity.
Sleep as darkness falls. Rise with the sun. Be consistent.
And remember, progress not perfection!
I hope this message finds you rested and well. To support you in your journey, I am offering you a Yoga Nidrā practice to try. This is a meditative practice that will support deep relaxation and ultimately enhance your sleep.
Take good care and stay close.
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