Do you find yourself feeling restless at night, tossing and turning in your bed as the thoughts from the day pace through your head and keep you awake?
Excess worry usually leads to a lack of sleep. Both of these problems are rooted in Vata dosha. It is the life force that governs movement in your body and controls your body’s natural rhythm. This includes everything from your respiration, your circulation all the way to the flow of your thoughts. Therefore an impaired Vata can lead to a rise in unusual anxiety levels and an overall restless feeling.
Here are a few diet and lifestyle changes to rid your mind of stressful emotions and promote better and peaceful sleep.
Eat Foods that Pacify Vata
The Vata dosha is dry and mostly cold in nature. To counter its influence, try warm and well-cooked foods such as soups, stews and steamng rice dishes.
You might also need to cut back on dry foods such as crackers, dried fruits and raw vegetables (stewed, boiled or soaked is the best way to go). If you’re preparing a lettuce salad for yourself, consider sauteeing it. Not only does it taste better, but it also ensures that your Vata is in check.
Dinner should be light
Make sure you have your dinner at a reasonable time, at least three hours before bedtime. Also make sure that you have something that’s light and easy-to-digest so that you don’t end up overtaxing your body’s digestive system during the night. If possible, avoid aged cheese , fried foods and other heavy meals during dinner.
Consuming caffeine, chocolate and other similar beverages and food items can interfere with your sleep,particularly if consumed during the evening.
A hot cup of milk is a much better alternative if you’re keen on gaining hours of healthy restful sleep. Try avoiding stimulants of any kind during the nighttime.
Allow your body to Unwind
As tempting as they might be, try resisting the pull of your TVs, smartphones and computers. Take an evening stroll while listening to soothing music to allow yourself to tune in to your body’s circadian rhythms.
Use sweet-smelling oils like lavender essential oil or jasmine, sweet orange etc. to imbue a pervading aroma in your home environment. This will help promote better sleep. Remember: A Soothing Scent leads to a deep and restful slumber.
Early to bed, Early to rise
The Kapha time, which falls between 6-10 pm is the ideal time to go to sleep. This can be a challenging habit to instill but well worth the benefits that come with it. Also try to wake up at or before the Kapha time’s next cycle in the morning (6.00pm). This will ensure that you feel fresh and active during the day and well-rested during the night. Ayurveda also strongly recommends walking in the morning sunlight.
Prioritise Practising Abhyanga Daily
The major cause of Night-time worry is the constant stress and toxic emotions you deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes its hard to relent. Your mind takes you through a wild train of thought that exhausts you at the end of the day but makes it all the more harder for you to rest. One of the best ways to combat night-time worry is a physical practice called Abhyanga (self-massage). Simply put, you apply warm oil on your whole body before or after shower.. It is a soothing activity that helps calm your mind and relieve all tensions and worries. As a result you’ll find it easier to drift off to sleep in a worry-free
Vata is the energy associated with movement. Taking a short walk, gentle exercises that require you to sneak in some light movement can be quite helpful to get your blood flowing and your stress levels on the low.