5 Evening Rituals To Welcome Slumber

A nourishing bedtime ritual sets the stage for a good night's sleep. Try one or more of these five practices to end your day on a good note and slip sweetly off to dreamland.

Breathe

Alternate nostril breathing, or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, brings a sense of peace and clarity to deeply relax both body and mind. Practice each night for about five minutes. This is an ideal pre-meditation breathing practice.

Meditate

Follow a guided meditation or simply sit still, allowing the mind to settle as you focus on your breath. Drop the shoulders and inhale "I am", exhale "deeply relaxed". Stay seated and when you begin to drop into a sleepy state, simply slip between the sheets.

Write

Take time at the end of each day to record three to five things you were grateful for that day. Or simply five moments of beauty that you experienced: from sharing a laugh with a friend to the pink clouds at sunset. Recall the sweetness of each day.

Sip & Soak

Prepare a pot of relaxing herbal tea, such as lemon balm or lavender. Pour yourself a cup and then add the remainder of the pot to your bath water. Sip the tea while soaking in the tub. This is an old herbal remedy to promote relaxation and longevity.

Leg Lifts

Lift the legs in one direction only: up. Legs up the wall, or Viparita Karani, is restorative and relaxing. Inversions are reported to improve circulation and relieve symptoms of depression. Enjoy the pose for up to 20 minutes. Breathe, relax, restore, then slide into bed.

Lullaby

One of the best ways to send a baby off to sleep is also beneficial for adults. Set the tone for slumber with soothing music. Enjoy during your pranayama, meditation, writing, sipping and soaking, legs up the wall, or simply as you prepare for bed.

Sweet dreams!

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