For maximum rejuvenation, we recommend a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night, keeping in mind that the hours before midnight are generally the most rejuvenating. For example, if you sleep eight hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., you’ll feel more rested than if you sleep eight hours between midnight and 8 a.m.
To promote restful sleep, try this evening routine, or at least parts of this routine:
- Eat a light dinner.
- Take a leisurely stroll after you eat.
- Minimize exciting, aggravating, or mentally intensive activities after 8:30 p.m.
- About an hour before bedtime, run a hot bath into which you place a few drops of Relaxing Abhy oil.
- Diffuse relaxing aromas in your bedroom.
- As your bath is running, perform a slow self-administered oil massage, or Abhyanga, and then soak in the warm tub for 10 to 15 minutes.
- While soaking, have the lights low or burn a candle, and listen to soothing music.
- After your bath, drink a cup of warm relaxing herbal tea.
- If your mind is very active, journal for a few minutes before bed. “Download” your thoughts and concerns so you don’t need to ruminate about them when you shut your eyes.
- Read inspirational or spiritual literature for a few minutes before bed. Avoid dramatic novels or distressing reading material.
- Do not watch television or do any work in bed.
- Once in bed, close your eyes and simply “feel your body.” Focus on your body and wherever you notice tension, consciously relax that area.
- Then, simply watch your slow easy breathing until you fall asleep.
Each week at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, we teach an Ayurvedic restful sleep routine at our Perfect Health program.