Do you dread the hours of the night? Or look forward to them? Do you wake up on cue during the night as if your body has set an internal alarm clock? You're not alone.
During my work with teens over the years, sleep has been flagged as an issue numerous times. When we can't get a good night's sleep it can be a huge source of stress. It doesn't have to be the way. As yoga teaches us, there are many tools to calm down our bodies, minds and nervous systems to prep for our overnight recharge. Sleep is a sacred thing in my house and we create an environment that makes it easy to wind down.
So, here are my top 10 sleep tips:
Shower or have a bath before bed. It's purifying. It releases the days stress. You may even visualise the water rinsing the day away.
Sleep 3-4 hours after your meal. Drink plenty of water after to help it settle.
Use lamps instead of over head lights.
Set a bed time (and wake up time) and stick to it!
Get off electronics and read a book. If you do need to be on a device at least turn the brightness down. If you can't switch off your mind, try Tradeka (candle gazing) - instructions under photo.
Avoid coffee and caffeine from afternoon onwards.
Hide your clock so you don't wake up and stress if you see it's the middle of the night.
Wear socks. It may feel like your feet are strangling but research shows that your body directs the blood flow to your torso. Cold hands and feet can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Drink chamomile tea. Relaxes nerves and acts as a mild sedative.
BREATHE. If I wake up in the middle of the night I breathe myself back to sleep. IN, EX, hold the breath out. Repeat.
Below is a kit I create for the teens during our recent yoga session on sleep.
Silk face mask, sock, essential oil for the bath, tea and a candle for Tradeka (ancient art of candle gazing to switch off the mind- watch flame for 1 min, close eyes and imagine flame in the forehead like a movie screen for 1 min. Repeat twice)