After a relaxing summer, with long nights spent on vacation or stay-cation, returning to a routine that allows you to get the requisite hours of sleep in order to be fully functional at work the following day may offer a challenge to you. Despite the sun setting early & low enough for nights to have returned here in Canada’s North, sleep may be elusive to some. If you’re looking for a yogic solution, here you’ll find a paraphrased version of “Before Bed Routine” documented by Nirvair Singh Khalsa, CEO of the Kundalini Research Institute and author of several books. You may just have the answer, according to Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®.
Before Bed Routine
This routine will help you fall asleep more quickly, sleep more soundly and more restfully. It is also good for those that tend to wake up in the middle of the night.
1. Process your day – you don’t have to re-hash your entire day, but do take the time to go through what the pluses and the minuses of your day were. Use pen & paper as you wish! This is especially true if you’ve had a stressful day. Don’t take your cares & worries with you to bed.
2. Do some yoga & meditation – you’ll want to do some easy stretching that won’t over-stimulate the body but rather will prepare you for sleep by helping to clear your mind. Check out this Evening Routine.
3. Maintain a regular evening routine – get into your sleep clothing, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, comb your hair (downward, & with a wooden comb – great for the scalp & will cut down on static electricity!). Do your best to wait at least two hours after eating before going to bed. Wash your feet with cold water to help your energy field to separate from your day’s activities.
4. If possible, have your bed facing East/West. Start out on the right side of the body to enable you to have your left nostril up, which tends to clear in this position. Breathing through the left nostril tends to be very relaxing. After 3-10 slow deep breaths, roll over onto your back & feel free to practice a progressive relaxation technique of your choice (muscle tense/release; breath awareness; visualization).
5. Playing relaxing music very low; using music with mantra can be very soothing, especially if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night. If you do wake up, listen to the music and chant along mentally, keeping your mind on the music and avoid thinking about not being asleep. If you really are awake, then get up, do the Evening Yoga routine, then try to go back to sleep.