There are few things in life as restorative as a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is an essential element to holistic health as it gives our bodies the space to do important tasks like repairing muscles and storing memories. It’s also deeply renewing for our spirits. For these reasons, it’s widely recommended that adults sleep for at least seven to nine hours every night.
And yet—for many people, great sleep remains an elusive dream. Sleep deprivation has become so common, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 adults struggle with both the quantity and quality of their sleep.
Thankfully, there are simple steps that can lead to deep, restorative rest. The next time you’re headed to bed, consider incorporating these six meditation rituals into your bedtime routine.
- Turn off your devices.
A great night’s sleep actually starts at least 30-minutes before you plan to go to bed. That’s the time where you should turn your electronic devices—yes, even your phone—off for the night. The blue light that these electronics emit throw off our natural circadian rhythm and trick our bodies into thinking it’s still daytime.
Fill that time with something that will help you wind down instead, like a hot shower or a good book. Picking a pre-sleep activity, and doing it consistently, helps the mind to associate that activity with sleep. The next time you pick up a book in bed, your body will know it’s time to for rest.
- Have a relaxing scent by your bedside.
Aromatherapy has the power to change moods and shift energies. That’s why we recommend keeping aromatherapy tools in your bedroom to help unwind the body and induce rest. Look for essential oils in calming scents such a lavender or try a candle, like our Dream Catcher soy candle.
- Add an eye pillow.
Poor sleep is usually due to one of three things: noise, heat, or light. Take care of the latter with an eye pillow. In the same way that blue light tricks our bodies into wanting to stay up longer, regular light is highly disruptive to sleep. Eye pillows eliminate stray light by blocking it out completely, allowing you to fall into a deep slumber.
(Yoke tip: Consider using an aromatherapy eye pillow to combine rituals two and three. Made by Yoke makes a lavender pillow that our whole team loves.)
- Try breathwork.
Rasa represents the ranges of energies within human emotion. These energies course through our bodies and directly affect our health. Vira rasa refers specifically to the energy used to control the mind, body, and breath. Focusing on vira rasa is a fundamental step on the path to better sleep.
If you’re tossing and turning, activate vira rasa with dedicated breathwork. The benefits are two-fold. First, counting your breath physically slows down your heart rate and relaxes your body. Secondly, it helps to focus the mind on a simple, easy activity and eliminate racing thoughts.
- Massage your hands or feet.
Connecting physically with your body can be an especially soothing way to settle down from the day. Try using an oil or a lotion to massage your hands or feet. Start by warming a few drops in your hands before applying gentle pressure and slowly working out any tension in your muscles. You'll be surprised how connected your body is—targeting small muscles in your feet or hands can impact the entire body.
- Count your blessings.
If you’ve ever tried counting sheep, you probably know how uninspiring it is. While that may be the point, science has shown that counting your blessings is just as effective at promoting sleep. (One study even suggested a gratitude practice could lead to an additional half an hour of quality sleep!)
When we focus on what we are grateful for, we eliminate the space for worry, dread, and other emotional debris. And with that weight, albeit temporarily, off our shoulders, we can be at peace.
If you’re struggling to sleep, or could just use a more restful slumber, consider adding these six rituals to your night. You’ll thank us in the morning.
WRITTEN BY VERONICA