There’s always a reason behind why we can’t sleep; and that reason is almost always stress. In Ayurvedic terms, when we have excess Vata and our minds are hyperactive with too many thoughts, it’s impossible to relax. So, the obvious solution to this problem is to relieve the stress, but we all know that’s easier said than done! Try these simple bedtime rituals from ayurveda to help you relax, sleep better, and ultimately, live better.
Nutmeg is one of the best medicines for calming the mind. This common kitchen spice helps reduce high vata in the colon and nervous system and promotes sound sleep.
Remedy 1: Add up to 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg to a cup of warm milk. Consume it slowly before bedtime.
Remedy 2: Mix equal parts of ghee (clarified butter) and nutmeg powder into a paste and smear it around your eyes and across your forehead at bedtime.
WARM BATH WITH ROSE AND JASMINE
Rose and jasmine essential oils are particular for their calming properties. In Ayurveda, rose and jasmine are said to reduce stress, open the heart, and purify negative emotions. The purpose of all night time rituals is to prepare your mind to go into a different state, a state of relaxation!
How to use: Take a warm bath with jasmine and rose essential oils before bedtime. You may add these oils in your bathing water.
Another wonderful health ritual Ayurveda recommends for sound, quality sleep is the practice of oiling the soles of your feet, the top of your head, and the back of your ears with warm sesame oil. Doing so not only promotes healthy sleep; it also helps counteract the aging process and combats stress.
In Ayurveda, ghee is considered one of the best substances for self-massage. “It’s cooling and calming to the system. It gives you hydration and oleation [Ayurvedic oil saturation therapy]. Massaging the temples and naval with ghee before bedtime helps to balance the Vata by countering it’s dry properties and alleviates Pitta because it’s cool and sweet.
Mix equal parts of powdered tagara, valerian, and chamomile. Put 1/4 teaspoon of the mixture into a little warm water and drink just before bed. Tagara (valeriana wallichi) and valerian (valeriana officinalis) are vata-pacifying sedatives, and chamomile balances the emotions.
Put a few drops of oil on your pillowcase or on your wrist where you feel your pulse. In Ayurveda, breathing in essential oils is believed to help soothe the body and mind, open the heart, and encourage sleep. Orange, cardamom, jasmine, basil, and vanilla are the best picks. You could also use Brahami oil to cool your body and calm your nerves.
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING
Sit on your bed. Close your eyes. Close your right nostril and inhale through your left. Then, close your left nostril and exhale through your right. Inhale through your right nostril, close your right, and then exhale through your left. Continue this technique for 10 minutes. It will reduce the Vata. It also helps balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain.