In the same way that a solid morning routine sets us up for success all day, a good evening routine can set us up for a successful night’s sleep. After a long, highly stimulated day, getting into deep, relaxing, soul-quenching rest can actually be a struggle.
The mindful makers of the Yoga Wake Up app just launched bedtime meditations, yoga nidra, and sleep monitoring programs to help users craft the ultimate restorative (and totally sustainable) evening routine. The app also offers convenient, audio-guided yoga or meditation sequences for the morning and they literally begin in bed (genius).
Tantric meditation teacher Hilary Jackendoff leads the app’s evening yoga nidra programs. Her Ayurveda-inspired, calming rituals might be just what you need for a blissful night’s sleep…
As someone who has struggled with insomnia off and on since childhood, I need a bedtime routine. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of nighttime rituals, but lately, I’ve been feeling pretty good about my current combination. Everyone can benefit from a good nighttime ritual. It is a great opportunity for self-care and can really help you let go of the tensions and activities of the day.
After a hot shower, spend about five minutes or so doing some self-massage with warm sesame or avocado oil. This is the ancient ayurvedic practice of abhyanga and is a key component of holistic health. You can use a variety of oils, depending on what is recommended for your dosha (ayurvedic mind-body type). Not only is abhyanga great for circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system (which helps to detoxify the body), but it also really soothes the nervous system.
Restorative or Yin Yoga
Because you will definitely have to wait a few minutes for the oil to be fully absorbed (unless you want to get your sheets a little greasy), take about ten minutes to practice a couple of restorative or yin yoga poses. Nothing wild, just try a seated forward bend, a supported child’s pose or supta baddha konasana. If you’re looking for inspiration, you will find hundreds of ten-minute restorative audio-guided sequences on Yoga Wake Up.
Tea, Lists + Yoga Nidra
After relaxing your body, it’s important to take some time to relax your mind. Try making a cup of tea with sleep-inducing herbs like chamomile or ashwagandha. While you drink your tea, make a list of everything that’s on your mind and could conceivably keep you awake during the night. Write it down with a pen and paper – not on your phone!
Then get cozy in your bed and settle in for the night! If you often have difficulty sleeping, continue winding down with a body-scan meditation or a yoga nidra (yogic sleep meditation). You can wind down with three different offerings of yoga nidra on the app, including a brief 15-minute sequence or an extended 40-minute one for ultimate relaxation.
TCM Special Offer:
Yoga Wake Up is giving Chalkboard readers 25% off a subscription! To subscribe, simply download the app here and enter “TCM” for special pricing. The download itself is free.
Want to win a free three-month subscription? Tell us your favorite morning ritual in the comments below. We will select a winner at random by Friday June 29th.
What’s your best hack for better sleep? Discover a few of our faves here.