Just garden variety stress is enough to keep us tossing and turning at night, but in the midst of a global pandemic, insomnia has become a major problem for many people. One of the key components of health and a strong immune system is a good night’s sleep.
Here are two great yoga exercises that can be done morning or evening that will help relax your body and mind. (And I’ve added 9 more Tips for Deep Sleep and Conquering Insomnia). Sleep tight!
Pranayama (or mastery of the breath) is an ancient technique for controlling your mood and your thoughts. Doing pranayama relaxes your body and mind to assist in falling asleep. It has other great benefits as well. It can help with focus, concentration, creativity, emotional balance and a feeling of connectedness to a higher power.
For falling asleep, LEFT NOSTRIL BREATHING*: promotes calmness and relaxation.
Sit with your spine straight. Place your left hand resting on your left knee, palm up, with your thumb and pointer finger touching. Bring your right hand up to your nose and close off your right nostril with your right thumb. Breath slowly and deeply through your left nostril, inhaling and exhaling in equal increments. Breath in for 8 counts, breath out for 8 counts. (This count can be adjusted lower or higher if need be, as long as the increments are equal.) Do this for 3 minutes every night.
For alertness in the morning, RIGHT NOSTRIL BREATHING*: promotes vigor and readiness-for-action.
Sit with your spine straight. Place your right hand resting on your right knee, palm up, with your thumb and pointer finger touching. Bring your left hand up to your nose and close off your left nostril with your right thumb. Breath slowly and deeply through your right nostril, inhaling and exhaling in equal increments. Do this for 3 minutes every morning.
One of the best ways to heal your sleep patterns is to do a meditation before bed. This will help regulate your glandular system, heal your nervous system and cleanse your subconscious of thoughts that cause emotional and mental turmoil. Try doing this meditation for 40 days and see the difference in your sleep patterns.
Click here for a Guided Meditation for Deep Sleep and Radiance
MORE TIPS TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER
· Eat lightly at night. Make dinner the lightest meal of the day and finish at least 2 1/2 hours before bed time. This way an overactive digestive system isn’t keeping you awake.
· Avoid consuming refined sugar, sugary drinks and caffeine right before bed. They stimulate the nervous system. In fact, eating a lot of sugar and/or caffeine during the day confuses the nervous system by artificially stimulating it when it may in fact, need rest and repair. Long-term, this could impair the thyroid and immune system.
· If you are waking up due to hunger, you may be suffering from low blood sugar. Learn how to eat correctly during the day to assist in balancing your blood sugar. For people suffering from low blood sugar, having a small snack before bed can help, one that contains some protein, non-refined carbohydrate and some good fat. (A cracker with avocado and goat cheese for instance.)
· To regenerate the body the most important hours to get sleep are between 10:00 PM and 2:00 PM so be sure to get to bed by 10 PM if you can.
· Remove all electronics away from your head. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can interfere with your sleep and at the very least, stresses your immune system. All electronics should be at least 9 feet from your head. If EMRs are a real problem for you, consider installing a “kill” switch in your bedroom to shut down all electricity in your room. Also, examine what is on the other side of your headboard wall. If it is a large electrical appliance or circuit box, try moving your bed.
· Look at the Feng Shui of your bedroom. A large mirror reflecting the bed keeps you awake. A ceiling fan over the bed can disrupt sleep or cause distress to the body part it is hanging over. TVs and work areas/computers in the bedroom make for energetic distractions from sleep. The bedroom is for rest and rejuvination, so keep your work and TV out of the room.
· Try massaging your feet with essential oils. My favorite oil for falling asleep is called Peace & Calming by Young Living. It smells delicious and calms the mind almost instantly. (To order Young Living oils, contact me through email and I can assist you with wholesale pricing.)
· Give some thought to the air quality in your bedroom. Mattresses off-gas toxic chemicals for years, as does new carpeting, rugs and furniture. Make sure your room is well ventilated (open the windows!) or at least run an air-purifier.
· Consider other elements that contribute to your sleep. Does the mattress need to be replaced? Do you need a blackout blind to block out a street light? Is your bedding comfortable?
· This is common sense, but I’ll say it anyway. Turn off your cell phone.
Let me know if these yoga exercises and sleeping tips help. I would love to hear from you!
Interested in improving your overall health and nutrition? Contact me for Health Coaching. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Fey, HHC, AADP, is a Certified Nutrition Counselor and Holistic Health Coach accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Nicole studied Eastern/Western nutrition at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is founder of The Master Your Midlife Program and True Nourishment Program, teaching men and women to prioritize and master their self-care.
Nicole specializes in detoxification, digestive disorders, and weight-loss through high-end nourishment in a way that is empowering, fun and do-able! Nicole is also a certified Personal trainer, Yoga Instructor, Feng Shui consultant, Reiki Master and Essential Oil consultant.
For more about Nicole Fey Wellness
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Midlife Health Coach, Juicing Expert and Kundalini Yoga Teacher