Sleeping Duty – A Monk’s Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep

In the monastery where I grew up, all monks were masters of peace and relaxation. Everyone always had a smile on their face and everyone looked much younger than they really were. There were three things that all monks swore by in bringing such happiness in their life. First being practising meditation, second being eating satvik food and third would be having a blissful, meditative sleep. Today I am going to discuss simple changes that you can bring in your life that can add quality to your sleep and life.

Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. But by following these sleeping duties, you can enjoy better sleep at night, improve your mental and physical health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.

Sleeping Duty 1: Sync with your body’s natural cycles
Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. All monks would wake up and sleep without the help of watches and alarms. Discipline of schedule is the first step to health.

Avoid sleeping in late. Sleeping late is the first mistake, getting up late is the second mistake. Both of these are sure shot ways to feel jet lag symptoms without travelling. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.

Sleeping Duty 2: Avoid light pollution
Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert. However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm.

Here’s how to influence your exposure to light
During the day, expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. The closer to the time you get up, the better. Have your morning cuppa outside, for example, or eat breakfast by a sunny window. The light on your face will help you wake up. All monks would start their day with salutations to the sun.

Spend more time outside during daylight. Take your work breaks outside in sunlight, exercise outside, or walk your dog during the day instead of doing so at night.

Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, and try to move your desk closer to the window.

Say no to screens for at least 2 hours before sleep. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive. You can minimize the impact by using devices with smaller screens, turning the brightness down, or using light-altering software such as f.lux.

Say no to late-night television. Not only does the light from a TV suppress melatonin, but many programs are stimulating you into wakefulness rather than relaxing. Try listening to music or audio books instead.

When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. Use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or try a sleep mask. Also consider covering up electronics that emit light.

Sleeping Duty 3: You are what you eat
Limit caffeine. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Try to live a life stimulant free.

Drink the golden nectar before sleep. Try drinking warm nut milk or organic cow milk mixed with turmeric. Turmeric has many healing properties that may aid your sleep.

Avoid big meals at night. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Spicy or acidic foods can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.

Avoid alcohol before bed. Or better yet avoid alcohol altogether. Your own body, if trained correctly, has the power to bring relaxation, creativity on demand. it is seen that the body’s internal capabilities are greatly decreased as dependence on external substances increases.

Sleeping Duty 4: Start a meditation practice
Do you find yourself unable to sleep or waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well.

If anxiety or chronic worrying dominates your thoughts at night, there are steps you can take to stop worrying and look at life from a more positive perspective. The more overstimulated your brain becomes during the day, the harder it can be to slow down and unwind at night. During the day, many of us over-stress our brains by constantly interrupting tasks to check our phones, emails, or social media. Try to set aside specific times for these things, and focus on one task at a time. When it comes to getting to sleep at night, your brain won’t be accustomed to seeking fresh stimulation and you’ll be better able to unwind. The most powerful tool in combating stress, fears and anxiety is learning to meditate. Millions of people around the world have been benefitted by the techniques of. Mindfulness and meditation. You can try some free meditations at www.ishanshivanand.com

2018-10-10T13:44:07+00:00October 10th, 2018|Healing Humans, Healing Nature|

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