(Editor’s Note: It’s hard to beat Kundalini yoga for sleep support. Nihal Singh shares some recommendations on how to use Kundalini yoga to support your sleep.)
We have all been there before when you are lying in bed and cannot fall asleep. You toss and turn for what feels like hours. You lay there and cannot turn off your mind. It could be from a stressful day, an argument you got into, thinking about something great that happened, or anticipation of a busy day tomorrow; regardless you cannot get to sleep!
For many, the most important times to sleep are between the hours of 10:00PM – 2:00AM, so the ﬁrst step is to make every effort to go to sleep before 10:00PM on a consistent basis. Make sure you are eating lighter meals at dinner and
ﬁnish at least 2 1/2 hours before you go to bed, so that your digestive system isn’t hard at work while you are trying to sleep. Lastly, make sure that your bed is facing East-West so that it isn’t in the magnetic ﬁeld of the earth.
Here is a suggested routine that can help you get a better night’s sleep:
There are two great kriyas for sleep you can do right before bedtime:
Kriya for Achieving a Comfortable Happy Sleep, found in Inﬁnity and Me.
Kriya for Conquering Sleep, found in Sadhana Guidelines.
Meditation is a great way to quiet the mind and calm yourself right before sleep. It is also a good practice in general to clean the subconscious mind before sleep. There is a great meditation to practice before bed from the Praana Praanee Pranayam Manual:
You can also do Left Nostril Breathing as a meditation to help calm your system.
3. Recite Kirtan Soheila
Kritan Soheila is a Sikh prayer that is recited right before bed. It helps bring about peace and puts to rest the thoughts and tensions from the day. Simran Kaur and GuruPrem Singh have a wonderful album that you can chant along with before bed. You can play the longer version, “Kirtan Soheila~ Suite (tracks 1-7)” during a bedtime yoga set, recite the Gurmukhi version before bed and then listen to the beautiful “Ram Das Lullaby” while you are falling asleep.
3. Comb Your Hair
You want to use a wooden comb because plastic will create static electricity in the hair. Wood will neutralize this static. Combing the hair helps to calm and soothe you.
4. Bathroom Routine: Empty the Bladder and Brush your Teeth
Make sure your bladder is empty so that you are not disturbed in the middle of the night.
5. Drink glass of Water
Have a glass of water so that you do not feel thirsty in the middle of the night.
6. Wash and Massage Your Feet
Wash your feet in cold water by dunking them in the water for at least 30 seconds each. This will help calm the 72,000 nerve endings at the bottom of the feet. Then give yourself a foot massage with almond oil or any other calming essential oil. This is for total relaxation and stress reduction. Also massage the ear and put a dab of oil in the inner nose to help soothe the nerve endings in there.
To learn more about how to give a foot massage, check out Shakti Parwha Kaur’s book Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power. There is a great guide to foot massage on pages 259-262.
7. Lay in Bed on the Right Side
Laying down on your right side promotes Left Nostril Breathing which brings about relaxation to the body. Close your eyes and watch follow your breath in and out of your left nostril. Once you feel that you are dozing off, roll over to your back and enjoy a good night’s sleep!
See you at Sadhana in the morning!