Despite most of us living a busy and hectic life, sleep is one of the most important essentials for wellbeing. Most attention is usually paid to diet or exercise, and often times the power of a good nights sleep is often neglected. Sleep is your time to unconsciously process all the impressions and experiences from our day, allowing us to deactivate and decompress.
Most of us have a natural decline in energy mid-afternoon – you know, the time you hit up the closest Starbucks for a caffeine fix. But instead, try to do 5 minutes of meditation or get in a quick yoga session. A sun salutation is a great way to re-energize your body mid-day as a pick me up. You’ll calm down your nervous system and feel more relaxed, allowing you to wind down easier when it’s time for sleep.
If you have time, you could even try to fit in a yoga class over your lunch break!
A recent study showed that a 45 minute yoga practice before bed showed significant improvements in sleep efficiency – allowing you to get a better, deeper sleep because you’re falling asleep quicker and in a more relaxed state. Those that practiced regular yoga wake up fewer times in the night.
There’s a foundational Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, that says,
“Happiness, misery, nourishment, emaciation, strength, weakness, virility, sterility, knowledge, ignorance, life and death — all these occur depending on proper or improper sleep.”