Ayurvedic Self Care Practices: Creating a Sleep Ritual

Ayurveda offers an ideal way for transitioning from the activity of the day into the sacred chamber of sleep. Following these routines will help you unplug so you can relax and rejuvenate every night, just as nature would have us!

UNWINDING THE DAY

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  • Turn off overhead lights after dinner. Low lighting helps tell your body it is time to go to sleep, while bright lights confuses your circadian rhythms and natural hormones that pull you into the “sleepy feeling.”

 

  • Turn off your screens (computers, cellphones, TVs), too! Research now confirms that screens are also disconnecting us from our circadian rhythms.

 

  • Be in bed by ten. Have you ever noticed that you get a second wind around 10:30 PM? That’s because the metabolic energy your body normally uses for detoxing you while you sleep gets diverted to mental energy, and we get activated. Our body detoxifies and rejuvenates from 10pm-2am so if you currently go to bed at midnight, use the fifteen-minute rule. Each night, try going to bed a mere 15 minutes earlier. Soon you’ll be snoozing by 10pm!

 

  • Take a bath to help orient the nervous system towards sleep. Use oils such as lavender, honeysuckle, chamomile or pure rose for a soothing, peaceful sleep.

 

  • Avoid too much mental stimulation right before bed. Avoid Netflix, planning your future or having intense conversations. Instead, read an uplifting novel, write a gratitude list or try this practice: Once in bed and lying down, mentally go backwards through your day in increments of 30 minutes or an hour. Try to register what was happening — what you were experiencing — without judgment. Notice your feelings, relax and try to let go. End with the image of you woke up that morning. Likely, you’ve already drifted off to sleep before you do!

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.