It’s one thing to know why you’re not getting enough sleep. It’s another thing entirely to be able to do something about it. Hopefully these guidelines can help sort some of that out.
The first thing you need to do is look after the root causes of why you’re not sleeping. There could be many reasons for this. It could be something as simple as a disturbed sleep because your dog or cat (or both) are also sleeping in bed with you and are restless (same could apply to a spouse who has a sleep disturbance of their own and keeps you up during the night). It could be something more difficult to solve such as anxiety about work or family life. But if there is one *thing* that you are aware of that is keeping you up at night that you can change, it seems like it’s worth giving that a try doesn’t it?
So, do you…
sleep with a pet?
sleep with a partner with a sleep disorder?
drink (too much) caffeine?
Drink alcohol? (it does not take much to disturb your sleep)
eat too much / too late / or food that is too hard to digest?
have stress in your life that makes it difficult to stop that brain chatter at night?
exercise? Too little, too much, or the Goldilocks amount (of just right)
meditate? (Did you know this can help with almost all health related issues?)
If you have a Vata Imbalance (DFA or Difficulty Falling Asleep), here’s some suggestions for a bedtime routine that may be helpful:
1. Before bedtime do an abhyanga (warm oil massage) with a vata pacifying oil (sesame oil is a good choice).
2. 10-20 minutes after the oil massage have a warm shower.
3. Drink 3/4 cup of warm milk with 2 pinches or nutmeg and 1 pinch of cardamom powder.
4. Take 2-3 tablets of Tranquil Mind (http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/prodinfo.asp?number=1101) or 1-2 tablets of Blissful Sleep (http://www.mapi.com/products/herbal-supplements/sleep/blissful-sleep.html).
5. Place 3-5 drops of Vata aroma oil or Slumbertime aroma oil (both from http://www.mapi.com) in an oil diffuser (or saucer of warm water, or if travelling on a cotton ball) by your bed.
If you have a Vata/Pitta imbalance of Early Morning Awakening (or EMA) consider the following:
1. Before bedtime do an abhyanga (self oil massage) with warm oil using a pitta pacifying oil (olive oil is a good option), or do a ghee foot massage.
2. After 10-20 minutes have a warm shower.
3. Drink 3/4 cup of warm milk with 1tsp ghee, 2 pinches of nutmeg and 1 pinch of cardamom powder.
4. Take 1-2 tablets of Deep Rest (http://www.mapi.com/products/herbal-supplements/sleep/deep-rest.html)
5 Listen to 10 minutes of soothing music while sipping on your milk (I love Bruce Becvar http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-BecVar/e/B000APJ1JG/works/ref=ntt_mus_teaser?)
6. Place 3-5 drops of Pitta Aroma (available from http://www.mapi.com) in an oil diffuser, in a saucer with warm water by the bed, or if travelling on a cotton ball.
7. Place 1 drop of Vetiver oil on each big toe (make certain you get a quality, pure oil. I suggest DoTerra)
For either sleep disorder it is important to be in bed by 10pm. This means 10 toes up, ready to sleep, not just getting ready for bed at that time.
Sleep is precious.
So is she: