How to sleep better? An expert suggests 9 effective ways
- From breathing exercises, Nasya to sipping warm milk at bedtime, here are some effective Ayurvedic tips for a good night's sleep.
We all know that getting a good night's sleep can have so many restorative benefits for our heart, digestion, nervous system and mental well-being. Yet when it comes to practicing good sleep hygiene, we find it hard to achieve it being unable to leave some toxic habits that prevent us from getting a restful sleep.
From being glued to our screens, eating spicy and heavy meals in the night, not being able to relax the overactive mind and stressed muscles can be some of the reasons we stay wide awake till late in the night. Experts emphasize on the importance of sleeping from 10 pm to 5am for maximum recuperative benefits.
Ayurveda expert Dr Dixa Bhavsar gives tips to sleep soundly on her Instagram page:
"If you're someone who finds it difficult to sleep early and have a sound sleep at night (since forever or just post covid), try following these tips and soon you'll be sleeping like a baby," she wrote.
1. Try waking up early in the morning: Getting your sleep cycle right is the first step towards achieving better sleep. "Starting your day with the sun can help you sync with nature, it'll be easier for you to sleep with the moon," says Dr Bhavsar.
2. Drink warm milk/tea at bedtime: A lot of times the mind is still in the work mode or overactive with thoughts. It is important to relax your mind before you attempt to sleep. "Turmeric milk or chamomile tea is soothing to the gut as well as mind," says the expert.
3. Practise Alternate Nasal breathing: Also known as Nadi Sodhana pranayama, the breathing exercise involves breathing from one nostril at a time. The technique is deeply relaxing and helps you calm down.
4. Avoid using screens (phone) in bed: The bright light of your gadgets can play havoc with your sleep. "Staying away from screens helps in secretion of melatonin (sleep) hormone," says Dr Bhavsar.
5. Have a relaxing shower: To soothe your tired muscles and overworked brain, taking a shower is a very effective way to feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
6. Massage your feet: Apart from relieving the stress and anxiety, it can also trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that induces calm feelings.
7. Practice Journaling: Your racing thoughts not letting you fall asleep? Dr Bhavsar advises you to get into the habit of maintaining a journal so that to get the stress out of your brain. She says it could take away so much weight off your heart.
8. Nasya (Instill nasal drops): A very effective Ayurvedic technique, Nasya involves putting few drops of cow's ghee in each nostril. Apart from sound sleep it also helps to cure headaches.
9. Prayer/Chant/Gratitude: The best way to begin and end your day is through prayer. Practicing gratitude improves your overall well-being.