Daily Disciplines

  • Daily Discipline

    1. Wake up, do prayers and pranayama. It's breathing exercises that - over time - help with sleep (and a million other things like body pains, mental health...etc). Here's a link to the exercises: http://www.atmabodh.net/2015/06/pranayama.html?m=1 If I can't do prayers and pranayama because Aly wakes up early or something else happens, I'll do most of them in the shower (yes I’m pretty committed :-). 
    2. Limit coffee, no caffeine after 12 pm.  
    3. Outdoor time (at least 30 minutes of sunlight daily). Even if it’s raining I still try to get out if I can.   
    4. Work out. Everyone is different. Some do best working out in the morning, some in the evening. Though experts say working out too close to bedtime can also interfere with sleep, I know a number of people who do it late without any problems. What works for me is doing cardio about 4-5 hours before bed. This article explains why:  http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/basics/how-to-fall-asleep1.htm.   But no matter when you do it, exercise, especially cardio, just helps with endorphins, which keeps us happy and our chances of anxiety at bedtime are lowered significantly.  
    5. Yoga.  I do it about twice a week, but I hope to do more.  It really helps keep my mind calm (and the key is to synchronize your breathing with the movements to give your body oxygen).  
    6. Limit alcohol. A 4 oz glass of wine with dinner is fine, but try not to drink too much or too close to bed if you can (this was the hardest for me, I love my wine!)
    7. Limit liquids after 5 pm.  So you don’t wake up to go to the bathroom all night.
    8. Consistency.  Try to sleep at the same time everyday, if you can.