Feb 24, 2024

Sleep is very important for our health on all levels, physically, mentally and spiritually. In an online talk, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche discusses 11 key points we can all follow to sleep better each night.

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The 11 points are:

  1. Go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day. A regular sleep schedule is key to sleeping well at night.
  2. Get regular morning exercise, at least half an hour per session. Even better is to combine exercise with sun exposure, such as taking a brisk morning walk, to set your circadian clock. Morning exercise plus sunlight is one of the two primary keys to sleeping better.
  3. Dim the lights in the evening. Just as morning sunlight received indirectly by our eyes is a wakeup cue, less light and lower light exposure in the evening prepare us for sleep.
  4. Reduce evening exposure to blue light from screens. Try putting your phone away and turning off the TV, or wearing blue light-blocker glasses 90 minutes to 2 hours before retiring.
  5. Avoid caffeine after midday, and alcohol in the evening. Both can affect our sleep quality.
  6. Skip dinner or eat a lighter dinner no later than about 3 hours before bedtime.
  7. Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature based on your physical needs. Our body temperature normally lowers as we fall asleep and rises as we awake. At night it’s generally recommended to keep the room quieter, darker, and cooler, around 65F/18C.
  8. Short power naps of 20 minutes or less can be good for our health. But longer naps can have a negative affect on our nighttime sleep. If you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, avoid napping and see if that helps.
  9. A regular sauna and cold shower or cold plunge are said to have a lot of benefits for both our health and our sleep. What works or doesn’t may depend on your physical condition.
  10. Meditate to help to calm your mind, balance your breath, and reduce stress and anxiety. Anxiety is the main cause of sleep problems, so meditation may help you to enter into deeper sleep and remain asleep.
  11. Choose delicious healthy meals rich in melatonin and having other sleep-promoting properties, such as a dessert of cooked rice, milk, goji berries, banana, pistachios, and jaggery.

Whatever steps you take to improve your sleep, be sure to apply them according to your own physical condition and to consult in advance with a medical professional.

About Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche