Up Your Sleep Game: Ayurveda Style

I am here to spark an honest check in with yourself.How are you sleeping?

Cultivating solid and satisfying sleep is something we are all craving. We all try to get more. We all want more. And we all have had those days in the middle of the week we wish we could stay in bed for just a few more hours, if not all day. As we transition into fall, the nights are getting darker, the air is getting cooler, and it is a natural time for us to all hunker down and get cozy. Yet, we still struggle with sleep.

Sleep is when all the good stuff happens in our bodies. Sleep is the time for the body and mind reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate. Sleep allows for our memory and creativity to grow and restore.

After, we are bombarded with a full day getting input from all directions, going to work, caring for our families, running errands, feeding ourselves, trying to get in a working out, checking our Instagram account, refreshing our Facebook feeds, watching the most recent presidential uproar video, trying to keep up with what is happening around the world, staying connected and on the ground to the efforts of so many people doing good in this world in a time of so much inhumanity…we can be left feeling burnt, exhausted, depleted, raw, done.

So where is the respite? We always have sleep to reboot us and refresh us. But what happens when it is not? What happens we stay awake staring at the ceiling for hours, wake up at 3am and can’t go back to sleep, get woken up by sirens just after dozing off, or simply stay up on the computer or phone to get “caught up” and our racing mind keeps going long after the lights are out?

I am here to offer you some inspiration and reminders on nightly self-care. Perhaps some you know, perhaps some you forgot, and perhaps one will inspire you.

Before going to bed tonight, try one of these, two or even all four...

Warm Water
Let a warm shower or hot bath calm your nervous system, release tension in your body, and quiet the mind.

Golden Spiced Milk
Over a flame steam ½ cup whole milk (can start by replacing with nut milk if you are not a drinking dairy), ¼  cup water, and a pinch of turmeric, couple saffron threads,  fennel, cardamom, black pepper, and NUTMEG (induces sleep), with a bit of raw sugar or maple syrup to taste. A little night cap, if you will.

Massage Feet and Scalp
Warm the massage oil to a comfortable temperature either on an electric cup heater, or over a candle flame. Take a spoonful of oil, and rub it into the soles of your feed, and then cover with socks. Pour a tablespoon of oil onto the crown of your head and lightly massage the oil in a circular motion. Put a cap on your head, or a towel on your pillow to protect your linens. Perhaps offer this sweet treatment to your partner, child or family member.

Screen-less hour before bed
Just put them away. It feels awesome. If you must hold your phone, for fear of detachment, try downloading a calming meditation app and practice a 10-minute guided breathing meditation on HeadSpace, which offers a 10-day complimentary trial.

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Molly Russell: Molly has joyfully practiced Ayurveda for past 6 years and offers individual counseling, group classes and cooking workshops around the Bay Area. She graduated from a 3-year intensive Ayurveda Health Counseling program from Vedika Gurukula in Emeryville. After changing her diet and lifestyle, and seeing the effects of cooking with foods that were balancing to her body and mind in changing seasons, she is inspired to share this awesome toolkit of Ayurveda with her community.

Want to learn more? Stay connected for more information about personal consultations with Molly.

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