Top 10 Ayurvedic Sleep Rituals
Beauty sleep is no joke! When it comes to self-care routines that will provide lasting beauty, adequate shut-eye should be at the top of your list. Ayurveda considers proper rest to be one of the 3 Pillars of Life necessary to living healthy and harmoniously. It’s just as important as food and sex! Without enough sleep we decrease the ability of our body and mind to function optimally. And we deplete our ojas, the substance responsible for the foundation of our immune system. Plus, our body is not given the proper time needed to detoxify and repair, both crucial to maintaining that healthy glow. To ensure that your beauty sleep game is on lock, Ayurveda has some helpful nighttime rituals to help your body and mind unwind, relax and let-go before drifting off into dreamland. Try these 10 Ayurvedic Sleep Rituals.
1. Decrease Stimulation as a Sleep Ritual
We take in a lot of stimulus throughout our day. Too much right before bed can put us into overdrive, making it a challenge to turn off the mind. About an hour before you start winding down for bed, turn off your screens (i.e. computers, televisions, tablets, and yes, even your phone). You can also dim the lights in your house or light candles for an old school vibe, to help signal to the body that it is time for sleep.
2. Drink Herbal Tea for Beauty Sleep
Think twice before ordering that afternoon chai or having that bite of chocolate for dessert, as the effects of caffeine can last up to six hours. Instead, choose some herbal tea with calming, nervine sedative herbs like chamomile, ashwagandha, or passionflower to soothe the nervous system while calming the body and mind.
3. The Benefits of Pranayama and Breathing Practices
Breathing techniques like alternate nostril breathing, or anuloma viloma, are simple yet profound breathing exercises. These can literally be done anywhere and help to quickly balance and relax movement in the mind.
4. Practice Relaxing Asana
Resting and forward folding postures like bālāsana (child’s pose), paschimottanasana (seated forward fold), or supta baddha konasana (reclining butterfly) can relieve tension in the body and slow the mind, especially when practiced before bed.
5. Meditate for Beauty Sleep
Meditation is a beneficial tool for allowing the mind to intentionally let go of any stress from the day. Journaling can also be helpful at moving thoughts out of the mind.
6. Incorporate the Ritual of Abhyanga
Oil the body through the practice of abhyanga. This is a traditional Ayurvedic self-massage offered with warm oil to cleanse the lymphatic system, calm the nervous system and beautify the skin. Abhyanga is loving ritual that is a beautiful way to nourish and ground yourself, relieving any tension leftover from your busy day. Use calming herbal infused body oils made from high quality, organic ingredients to support your ultimate sleep goals.
7. Take a Candlelit Bath
Romance yourself! Add essential oils of lavender, jasmine, or rose when drawing your bath. These are some oils that can to heighten your relaxing, aroma-therapeutic experience, and prepare your body and mind for sleep.
8. Love Your Feet as a Sleep Ritual
Massaging oil into your feet at night can not only help to relieve the stress from your day, but your feet are also major absorption points of the body. The feet are excellent places for applying grounding, resinous essential oils like jatamansi, vetiver, or sandalwood to help promote a heavy, sound sleep.
9. Drink Warm Milk
Sip on some organic, warm, milk of your choice with ¼ tsp nutmeg to put your mind at ease.
10. Go to bed at the Same time Every Night
Going to bed preferably before or around 10pm is ideal. This will allow your body to get into a healthy circadian rhythm of sleep. A regular bedtime helps the body internally know when it is time to wind down.
Tips for Implementing Sleep Rituals
Although tempting, resist immediately incorporating this entire list tonight as you don’t want to overwhelm your evening. Remember, this is about relaxing the body, not pushing yourself to do more in your day. Start by choosing just a few practices to infuse into your night.
Once you have taken a liking to a practice and it becomes a non-negotiable part of your evening routine, like brushing your teeth, consider adding on more. You may find that you only need to incorporate a few of the suggestions, or you may find yourself slowly wanting to weave in more. Get creative and start with the routines that you feel called to do.
Soon, your Ayurvedic evening rituals will guarantee you not only catching adequate ZZZs, but also have you falling asleep looking and feeling like a queen.