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How to start your day with Yoga

Yoga offers so many benefits, particularly in the morning. Starting your day with practice does wonders for your mind, body and spirit. Even a 10-minute session can help you maintain calm and balance—and kick off positive energy and intentions that will last well into the evening.

The best way to start your day with yoga is to ensure you wake up each morning well rested and vitalized. With today’s stressors and pressures, this isn’t always so easy to accomplish. Here are some great tips for ensuring you get the right amount, and right quality, of sleep the night before:

 

EAT AND LIVE RIGHT

Your daily habits play a big role in how well you sleep at night.

  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. A known stimulant, caffeine can interfere with your ability to sleep, as much as ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Similarly, nicotine is also a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep, particularly if you smoke before bedtime.

  • Be mindful at dinnertime. Avoid large portions and rich, heavy foods within two hours of going to sleep. Also, refrain from spicy foods if they cause digestion problems during the night.

  • Avoid alcohol & sleep aids. A nightcap or glass of wine sounds perfectly relaxing, except it will likely interfere with your sleep later in the evening. Also, sleeping aids are not a long-term solution for getting to sleep. They become less effective over time, and can actually deprive you of rapid eye movement (R.E.M.), which provides the deep, restorative sleep you need to wake up rested and revitalized.

  • Follow a healthy diet. You know the drill: avoid eating sugar and refined carbs, e.g., white bread, white rice, and pasta. Focus on proteins, fibers and good carbs.

SET BEDTIME RITUALS

  • 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. Set an alarm if necessary.

  • Don’t sleep in on your days off.  It is so tempting to sleep in later on weekends and holidays. But we recommend keeping the same schedule every day. This will train your body recognize when you need to be tired and when you need to be alert.

  • Don’t nap too close to bedtime. Quick catnaps during the day offer a great way to boost energy and revitalize memory. But try to avoid doing so too close to bedtime, as it can interfere with your evening’s sleep patterns.

ENFORCE BEDROOM RULES

  • Black out your room. The darker your room, the better. You may want to purchase a night mask or even  “black out” (light-blocking) window blinds. Also, if you’re easily disturbed by outside traffic and unpredictable sounds, you may want to invest in a  “white noise” machine — to diffuse unwanted noises. Even just a small fan can do the trick. Finally, make sure to turn off all your electronic devices before going to sleep.

  • Pick the right bed. Do you sleep on your side? Most people do. Make sure your bed accommodates your brand of sleeping, whether you sleep on your back, stomach or in the fetal position. Make sure you purchase just the right bed that suits your particular needs.

  • Reserve your bed for sleeping only. Do not work, watch TV, or use your computer in bed. Otherwise, your brain will associate the bedroom with activities, thoughts and, even, anxieties— all hampering your ability to sleep.

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