Sleep. Everybody wants it. Nobody gets enough of it.
BBA 2.0, Let's Get Woo, takes the last 18 months of life changes/new experiences/self-care and adds a layer of, well, WOO.
Sleep. Everybody wants it. Nobody gets enough of it. Seriously, though. When was the last time you heard someone say “Holy sh*t, I feel so rested!” Yeah, me either. Sleep and the feeling of rested rejuvenation is a lost art these days. That’s a problem. Sleep is so much more than just feeling like you can function well.
Sleep is everything.
In Ayurveda, sleep is foundational to every other thing in relation to your body, mind, and spirit. Sleep is when your body does its hardest, most important work. Your organs perform the vital job of keeping your body in good functioning order. We are made up of all three doshas (nobody is all one thing), and all three doshas are essential.
Supporting those times of the day when your doshas are doing their particular work is helpful if you can manage it. If you can’t, that’s okay. But please. Support your sleep. It is the foundation for all of the other work your body does. And babes, your body does an insane amount of work. Restoration is THE THING that you need more than quality food, stress management, exercise, vodka, etc.
So, here are a few ways to get better sleep for all doshas (and a few others for your specific dosha type).
Bed Time: Doshas are more active during different times of the day. In the early evening, Kapha rules. This is when your body naturally slows down and gets cuddly. That’s also why you want to tie your children to their beds at the stroke of 7:30 pm. Your body is smart. It knows when it’s time to shut down.
Ideally, you want to begin winding down by 9:00. Try not to laugh too hysterically. Do some relaxation breathing, have a rocking orgasm, read a book, whatever. Shut down those screens, chill on the Netflix, and put your phone away. The goal is to be snoring by 10:00 when Pitta takes the reigns from Kapha, and your body starts doing the crucial restorative work. Those two hours before midnight are especially important, because that is when your body sleeps the best.
When are the doshas most active? Here you go!
Staying up past ten might give you a second wind, and that wind will blow you to create, do housework, binge watch your shows, or fall down the Facebook rabbit hole. While tempting, you are missing a natural window for sleep that your body wants to crawl through. Your next window won’t appear until 11:30 or midnight, and by that time, you are already exhausted.
Sleep Help: So, I know what you’re thinking. “Your completely unrealistic sleep goals are cute and all. I’m willing to give it a try. But I can’t fall asleep that early, and I will wake up in the middle of the night and be awake for the day at 3:00 am.”
And you’re not wrong. It might be hard for you to fall asleep. So here are some sleep tricks to help you get on track for falling asleep earlier.
1. Feed your brain.
Take a spoonful of coconut oil before bed. You can even make a little coconut oil truffle if you want to. Here is why the coconut oil works. Your brain needs fuel, and while it is busy sorting the important stuff (like that amazing moment you had with your partner or bestie) and purging the unimportant things (like the 15 times you peed because you drank your water like a badass), it’s also repairing and creating neurological pathways. Fat fuels your brain because your brain is primarily composed of fat. Eat what it needs, and give it a shot of oily goodness.
2. Train your brain.
Melatonin is a fantastic way to train your brain to go to sleep. Take a low dose of it 30 minutes before lights out. Make sure you are in your bed when it kicks in, and don’t miss that window. Take it at the same time every night for one week and then 1/2 that dose for another week. Melatonin is a hormone so taking it on a regular basis can create other sleep problems, and you don’t need that. But for the short term resetting of your sleep clock, it’s a great tool.
3. Relax your body.
I love a glass of Natural Calm before bed. I get the one with calcium added because I’m a woman and my babies have quite literally leached the calcium from my bones while they grew in my womb and ate the milk my body provided. Calcium also helps magnesium absorb in your gut and maximizes the benefits. But be careful with your dosing. It relaxes smooth muscle, including your intestines. Go slow and see what your body can tolerate.
4. Wake up with the sun.
This is hard to do. However, when you’re going to bed earlier, it doesn’t feel painful to wake up at 6:30. There is a natural calm and creativity that is present early in the morning. And usually that blessed silence that you crave at the end of the night.
Here are some dosha specific sleep helps:
Vata — You might have a hard time calming your mind and body. Invest in a weighted blanket, something that will ground you. A thermal blanket folded several times over will also do the trick if a weighted blanket doesn’t work. If you wake up frequently during the night, keep a little lavender essential oil next to your bed and rub a drop over your heart. A few deep breaths, the weighted blanket, and lavender will do wonders.
Pitta — Establish a bedtime routine. Go to bed the same time every night and wake up about the same time every morning. Keep your room very cool while you sleep, and be sure to avoid electronics after 9 pm entirely. A brown noise machine, very dark room, and soft sheers will also help you rest.
Kapha — You love sleep, but chances are you don’t actually need a ton of it to function well. Crazy, right? And bonus, you most likely sleep like a rock. Allow the sunlight to filter into your room in the morning to wake you up, and avoid hitting the snooze on your alarm. If you find that you are tired in the morning, do an invigorating, quick-paced round of sun salutations.
Babes, GO SLOW. This is not a race. This is self-care. Self-care is part of self discovery, so experiment with what works for your specific needs. You and your sleep are worth it.
We decided to try something new this week. I'm (Joni) going to be keeping a video journal as sharing it with you that way! Let me know what you think.