3 Ways to Start Sleeping Better Tonight

I find myself talking about the importance of sleep with everyone in my life. When I was the COO for a national association work was my priority. So much so that I stopped sleeping through the night and I found myself living on reds, Vitamin C and cocaine…justing kidding…relying on coffee and soda all day long just to keep going. I only used to drink tea before that gig! But 70+ hours of work each week and my overachieving nature took its toll on my health.

I learned I wasn’t alone. According to the American Sleep Association, there are 50 to 70 million Americans who suffer from sleep disorders. It took years to get my sleep back in order and it’s still a delicate matter. After years of searching for solutions beyond sleeping pills, my first point of entry into regulating my sleep was the discovery of 5HTP. And then, I found Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga.

In general, there are 3 main issues we might face when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. And luckily for us, Ayurveda has tools we can use in order to find solutions to all of them.

1 | Can’t Go to Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep, it could easily be the level of stress you’re carrying, too much screen time and overstimulation before going to bed, too much caffeine later in the day, and/or your bedtime is too late. You see, there are times during our days and nights that correspond to the elements. And after 10 pm at night you may notice you get a second wind. It’s due to the fact that the element of fire governs the hours between 10 and 2. So, if you have trouble falling asleep, here are some recommendations:

  • Ditch caffeine after 3 pm.
  • Go to sleep by 10 pm.
  • Unplug and shut down screens by 9 pm.
  • Set an automatic Do Not Disturb on your smartphone from 9 pm until the morning.
  • Use another alarm clock besides your phone to keep technology out of the bedroom.

2 | Wake Up in the Middle of the Night
Waking up in the middle of the night is quite common and can increase depending on the season. For example, have you ever noticed yourself waking up more often between the hours of 3 to 5 pm during the autumn months? In general, if you’re waking up during this time, you are most likely experiencing anxiety and your body is trying to tell you something. If anxiety is present, it will make it difficult to get back to sleep, too. Then, you just feel completely screwed and exhausted the next day. But did you know it could also be because your digestive system is backed up and overloaded? Yeah, you need to poop…a lot. So, here are some tips to calm your anxiety and get poopin’.

  • Eat more fibrous foods and greens.
  • Practice methods to calm your daily anxiety and stress {like meditation and yoga!}.
  • Breathe.
  • Practice yoga nidra.
  • Give yourself a foot massage or use a tennis ball.
  • Create a consistent bedtime and wake up routine.

3 | Do Not Wake Up Feeling Refreshed
Many of us think that we’re getting enough rest when we sleep every night. But you also know that you may not be getting quality sleep, especially when you were in bed for eight hours and don’t wake up feeling like you rested at all. I know…this totally sucks! According to Ayurveda, this is a Kapha imbalance. You’re not getting that deep sleep that you need and then when you decide to sleep in, you end up feeling even more tired and crappy. So, here are some tips to help you.

  • Eat lighter meals and at least two hours before bed.
  • Wake up before 6 am (and get up!).
  • Walk or do some movement in the morning.
  • Implement all of the suggestions in #1 and #2.

If you are intrigued by all of this and want to learn more, click here to enroll in my Calm Mind, Wild Body online course where we deep dive into the mind-body connection, regulating sleep and digestion and learn how yogic practices can help with mood management and more.