I Share My Bedtime Routine On The Ayurveda Experience website
MY BEDTIME ROUTINE
1. What do you do in the evening to unwind before bed?
After a long day at work, I take my shoes off and change my clothes. My environment needs to be comfortable and very cocooning. These actions are a signal for my body and mind to slow down, as Kapha time (6pm-10pm) is around the corner. The goal is to leave my problems and concerns at the door and focus on household and self-healing rituals.
I burn some incense to purify and nurture my first chakra and Kapha dosha. This helps provide more grounding as Vata time is finishing up its cycle. I make sure that all my devices are on f.lux software which removes the blue colors from my computer screen to help the body unwind before bed. I try to minimize the use of electronic devices in general.
I continue the purification with a warm oil self-body massage and a steaming hot shower (with the intention to let go of the day). If I have been excessively stimulated, I add a foot bath (lavender essential oil and salt), followed by a Kansa bowl massage with coconut oil or ghee (kansa bowl is perfect to balance the air element and stimulate reflexology points which relax the organs). In the case of too much thinking and obsession, I use karna purana (warm oil dropped into the ears). Then, I focus on my cooking rituals. It’s important that I arrive in the kitchen with a quiet and focused mind.
I do slow-paced yoga rituals to unwind and relax. They may be restorative postures, pranayama, mudra, chanting, reading scriptures… anything that feels right to help digest the impressions of the day. It’s really important to do activities that will help that process physically, physiologically, emotionally and spiritually. This is the time to consciously self-connect. Kapha is all about forgiving, loving and nurturing, so I will practice anything that goes in that sense for myself and for my loved ones.
2. Do you follow any night time ‘food rules’ for good health?
I love finishing my last meal before 6 pm so the body has 3 – 4 hours to digest before the next big regeneration. This gives more space and time for the body to focus on its big daily cleansing during sleep.
If I have to eat later, I keep my meals, even more, light (soups, kitchari, and manda rice gruel are perfect, as they are great digestives and very easy to assimilate). My evening meals are mostly vegan as Kapha dosha is not very good with dairy and animal products. I make an exception if I have a particular healing that requires milk. I finish with a digestive tea, with ginger, fennel, cinnamon or saffron, with or without vegan milks. My favorite chai includes nutmeg + vegan milk + coconut sugar, which is very grounding and helps fight insomnia.
3. What home remedies do you use for a good night’s sleep?
I choose remedies according to my body needs and the imbalances I observe.
As I am vata dosha, I tend to be constipated and love using a Triphala decoction before bed. I also love amla juice to help for purification and rejuvenation (rasayana) of the body. I do also a shatavari sweet milk decoction; I boil Shatavari roots in a rice milk, add some sugar, freshly grated nutmeg and lastly some ghee. It’s delicious, very nourishing, it builds the immune systems, the vitality (Ojas), and it’s excellent for the female reproductive system.
I also try connecting with the stars and the moon to nurture my feminine side. I finish with my meditation (or yoga nidra) practice right before bed which help me to have a peaceful night’s sleep.
About Dee Leborgne
Dee Leborgne is a certified massage therapist and lifestyle consultant in Ayurveda, helping people balance their body and mind. Also a qualified yoga teacher, Dee uses these ancient sciences to assist her clients’ draw on their own inner resources and experience self-healing.