• Dr. Patty Hlava

Tips For Better Sleep

How to work with the rhythms of nature.



WHAT HELPS:


  • Start the day with water

  • Include movement/exercise during the day (morning is optimal!)

  • Enjoy 5 or more minutes of meditation somewhere in your day

  • Make lunch your biggest and most satisfying meal of the day

  • Enjoy a short walk after lunch

  • Enjoy an earlier, lighter dinner

  • Close your kitchen after dinner

  • Fill your evening with activities that are physical and connecting (aligning with kapha energy)

  • Feel your fatigue - Let it really sink in and cue you for deep rest

  • Reflect: journal for 10 minutes or sit in silence

  • Start dimming lights and sounds 1-2 hours before bed

  • Enjoy a yin or restorative practice--or a single pose

  • Practice foot massage before bed

  • Enjoy a golden milk or herbal tea before sleep if needed

  • Diffuse essential oils (lavender, cedar wood, vetiver)

  • Yoga nidra

  • Aim to be in bed and asleep before 10:00pm


WHAT TO MINIMIZE and/or AVOID:


  • Snacking throughout the day

  • Caffeine intake after late morning/mid-day

  • Continuous screen-focus throughout the day

  • Heavy meals at night (meats, dairy, breads, sugary foods)

  • Engaging in work or excessive mental activity in the evening (this is stimulating, and borrows energy from the next day)

  • Sleeping in late


The Rhythms of Nature follow the Dosha Clock:

USING THE DIGESTIVE FIRE TO SUPPORT SLEEP


Between the hours of 10:00 and 2:00, our digestion is at its peak. Mid-day, this digestive fire is primed for breaking down food and transforming it into energy. When we eat our biggest meal here, we are giving ourselves the energy we need to get through the remainder of the day with clear thinking and steady energy. The evening hours of 10:00pm - 2:00am are the time when our body and digestive fire is primed for detoxification and rejuvenation. When we miss this window, or use this fire to digest food, we are impairing the quality of our sleep and borrowing energy from the next day. Over time, this leads to a breakdown in our immune system.

The Daily Rhythms

The primal energies and the times of day


Kapha: A grounding, downward moving energy. What we do during this

time, sticks. Digestion is weakest at this time. Morning is great for

exercise, task lists, & productivity. Evening is great for nurturing

relationships and intentional relaxation.


Vata: A variable and creative energy--a time of the mind. What we do

during this time expands. Morning is great for meditation, afternoon is

great for study & creative projects.


Pitta: An active and upward moving energy. Concentration & digestion

are strongest here. What we do here transforms. Daytime is optimal for

eating your largest meal and intellectual work. Evening is for detoxification

& emotional integration during sleep.


To optimize your sleep, optimize your daily rhythm.

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