Let’s face it, no matter what your age, there are times when it’s hard to fall asleep.
Anxiety can cause disruption to our sleep patterns, like worry about the first day of school for instance. For students, parents, or teachers having an effective bedtime routine can can make the difference between a bright and chipper morning or feeling like cranky old so-and-so. So what do the yogis recommend for a serene slumber?
First of all, it is always helpful to do a few yoga poses before beds and you can check out my favorite pose for sleep here.
But if you want a quick routine try incorporating these yogic tidbits that shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to get you relaxed and ready to doze off.
Bedtime Routine for Children or Adults
- Wash Your Feet in Cold Water (5 minutes): Stand in the tub, turn on the cold water and stick one foot under the water and then the other. Do this at least 3 times per foot. Better yet, sit on the side of the tub and rub both feet under the frigid flow. Let the worries of the day wash away and bring your attention to the present moment – namely your feet. When the cold cascade is finished, rub your feet vigorously with a towel to stimulate all the 72,000 nerve endings in your tootsies. It should feel like a wonderful foot massage. If you’re helping someone else have a good night sleep, giving them a foot massage while they lie in bed is a sure fire way to show how much you care AND get them ready for sleep.
- Vision the Perfect Day (5 minutes): One of the purposes of learning yoga is to help you think about what you want to think about, instead of thinking about what you don’t want to think about. Once you are in bed and feeling relaxed from your foot massage, spend some time thinking about what kind of day you WANT to have. Vision that you wake up feeling refreshed, put on your favorite clothes (laying your clothes out in advance can also save time), have a great breakfast. Imagine all the details you can in a positive way, like getting up a few minutes early (often doing this will help you wake up a couple minutes before your alarm goes off). See yourself getting to school smoothly, a few minutes early so you are not rushed and frazzled. Imagine greeting people you see with a smile. If a worry crops up, then transform the worry into a wish of what you want and how you can handle problems that arise. Many yogis find that when your vision of the future is clear, it is easier to achieve.
- Turn on Your Right Side and Breathe (Left Nostril Breathing – 5 minutes): Now you’re ready to fall to sleep. Lie on your stomach and turn your head to the right so that your right cheek and nostril are smushed into the pillow. Closing your right nostril will mean you are breathing through your left nostril, you can even put your hand under your cheek and use a finger to block the right nostril completely. Breathing through the left nostril is the cooling, relaxing, calming side. See if you can slow your breath down so it is nice and slow. Try to reach 4 or less breaths per minute. This also helps the mind slow down and get into a relaxed state. Continue this long deep breathing listening to your breath or silently saying a mantra as you breathe in an out, like inhaling “Sat” (truth) , exhaling “Nam” (name/identity) or inhaling “Calm” and exhaling “Happy” or simply inhale and think “inhaling” and exhale and think “exhaling.”
These yogic steps can help you get really sleepy and when you are about to drift off you are welcome to change positions and fall asleep as you wish.
A little yogic wisdom can go a long way especially when it comes to a good night sleep.
Wishing you all a great night’s sleep and a great day ahead! You’re invited to leave your Sleep Stories in the comments.
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