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Night time Ritual

8 Jan 2017   Shanti Gowans

If you are looking for a way to radically change your life and your health, here is a wonderful start. Your body is a creature of habit. It appreciates structure, order and routine. Research has shown that throughout history, almost all successful people in their fields had some sort of daily routines. Creating daily and nightly routines is a simple yet effective way to increase your efficiency, stay balanced, focused and happy.

Having a healthy way to wind-down and reset at night, will help you get up and around the next morning, and may even be behind how much you accomplish during the day. 

A nighttime ritual or routine is a string of predictable activities you do every single night before you go to sleep. It 
  • Helps to nourish and bring rest to your mind and body
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Supports and enhances mindfulness
All of the things we work so hard to achieve!

In this article I share with you an incredible nightly ritual with which to end your day. It is a wonderful way to embrace sel love and self care. Even though you are doing this for you, you will find yourself being ready, willing and able to really show up for the people around you too. 

Your nighttime routine can be different from this one, just make it something that really helps you unwind and relax after a long day. 

Once you get in the habit of going through your routine every night, your body will start to recognise the steps as a sign that it is time to relax and rest. 

When you are first learning to implement this habit, set an alarm to begin your nighttime ritual so that you don’t forget. Once you have mastered your routine, you can keep the alarm if you like the reminder, or turn it off.

• Turn off all screens an hour before bed

Embrace a peaceful evening by turning off all screens and enjoying some quiet time. Power down your computer and TV, and set your phone on airplane mode. Establish your cut off-point for no more calls or answering texts. 

If you really need to use a screen after dark, be sure to place the screen in blue-light blocking mode.

•  Take a warm bath, hot shower or wash your face and hands/arms with warm water.

Studies on hydrotherapy have found that the warmth and pressure of water reduces swelling in the body and promotes relaxation. 

If you choose a bath, add some epsom salts, essential oils and so on. Epsom salts are full of absorbable magnesium, a mineral that 75% of people are deficient in. Magnesium calms nerves and anxiety, helps with digestion, relieves muscle aches and spasms, helps prevent migraines and is also helps regulate the levels of other important minerals in your body. 

• Gently massage your entire body. Anoint your entire body with almond oil or shea butter lotion with a few drop of your favourite nighttime (relaxing) essential oil, such as lavender, sandalwood or rose  Put on a silk or cozy robe.

A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter is considered to be anti-inflammatory. 

• Light a candle, or dim all the lights.

Create a dim, relaxing environment to wind down. This is a great cue for your body to start unwinding for the night. Lighting a candle could be a fun nightly tradition to start. It is also a great replacement for those screens you’ve been staring at all day. 

• Read or listen to a book while sipping a glass of Ayurvedic milk

Studies have found many benefits to turning off the TV at night and instead gravitating to a good book. Reading increases connectivity in parts of the brain responsible for language receptivity. Studies have also found that it only took participants six minutes of reading for their heart rates and muscle tension to subside!  Overall reading reduces stress by 68%.

So select your current book or turn it on audio. Many people like to listen to audiobooks because they can relax their eyes while they listen. Other 'listening aids' are my audio relaxation CDs, such as 'Samadhi', 'Deep Relaxation and Self Healing', 'Breathe for Health', 'Origins, Yedarnings, Destiny'. They are wonderful tools and learning aids to help you enjoy a calm, restful night. 

(Relaxing Ayurvedic milk recipe below).

• Journal your intentions and daily triumphs.

Acknowledge any breakdowns and instead of dwelling on this, see them as the catalyst to creating the breakthroughs you are working on in your life.  

Sleep Like A Baby Ayurvedic Milk Recipe

Sip this healing Ayurvedic milk to help calm your nervous and digestive systems. Additionally, it’s really just a delicious way to finish your day.

 

 

 

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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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