BY GUY GABRIEL
Insufficient sleep has become a public health
epidemic. Whether sleeplessness is a side effect of
something more serious, a chronic imbalance or
related to lifestyle factors, the truth is that more
of us are either tossing and turning in bed – or
not spending enough time supine in the first place.
With our round-the-clock cell phone connectivity,
tablets that come to bed with us, the constant
announcements of email messages, never-ending
work schedules, or wide screen TVs in the bedrooms complete with 24-hour news, it’s no wonder we’re seeing an increase in wakefulness disorders, chronic sleep deprivation, and insomnia.
There are a variety of different types of insomnia, each with different symptoms and characteristics and the causes of insomnia can vary from
the serious and the chronic to those that can be
addressed by behavioral changes.
According to Ayurveda (the science of life), sleep
is one of the three important supporting pillars of
health and well-being along with diet and lifestyle.
The deep rest we experience in quality sleep rejuvenates body and mind and prepares us to meet the
varied challenges we face in our daily lives.
Ayurvedic Dinacharya (daily routine)
Dinacharya is the practice of Ayurvedic daily
routine, of organizing the rhythm of our day so
that we are in synch with the rhythms of nature.
Incorporating pranayama (breathing practices)
and regular meditation are important parts of
this routine, as is daily moderate morning exercise and choosing sleep-wake cycles that support
slumber. For example, it is considered beneficial
in Ayurveda for most of us to wake up before the
sun rises. My own routine that I share with others is to eat by 6-7pm, be in bed no later than
10:30pm, and then up by 5:30am. This schedule
offers a good seven hours of bed sleep, and has
benefitted many with the discipline to stick to it,
> Organize your evening routine to encourage the
body winding down before bed.
> Eat dinner early (around 6pm ideally), so the
stomach is empty by 9pm.
> To aid digestion as needed, take ½ tsp of tripha-la with warm water two hours after dinner and
one hour before bed.
> Slow evening walks taking in the setting sun
are beneficial to allow the body and mind to
drop into a state of rest.
> Engage in some spiritual reading before bed
to instill quiet, peaceful, reflective, and inspiring thoughts.
> Disconnect from all electronics at least 30 minutes before sleep. >>