Sleep

Relaxed Kids

Do your children ever have trouble falling asleep at night? Are they up and down after you’ve tucked them in? It’s so easy for kids to become over stimulated in the media-driven world we live in.

It can be hard for kids to wind down at night, I remember as a kid finding it hard to go to sleep and often lay awake for hours. We are not taught how to relax, so I’ve decided to share some yogic tips that have helped my family.

Massage for Tense Muscles
Become aware of your child’s body, are their muscles tight and tense, are they clenching their stomach. Just like adults, children can be affected by anxiety and stress for all sorts of reasons, starting new schools, family illness, financial problems even a change to their routine. This stress can be held in their body in the form of tight muscles.

A massage is a fantastic stress-buster. Giving your children a massage before bedtime will help them to sleep better as it is grounding and nurturing and will relax the nervous system. I would encourage you to use oil when you massage, try coconut oil in summer as it’s cooling and in winter you can use sesame oil* as it is warming. (If your child really feels the heat use a mixture of coconut oil and sesame oil in winter) Massage your children regularly and notice the improvement to their health and wellbeing.

*I like Melrose organic sesame oil as it doesn’t smell, you can also add a couple of drops of essential oil like lavender.

Breathing
Become aware of your child’s breathing. Is it shallow, are they breathing into their chest or are they able to take deep belly breaths. When kids […]

Bedtime Ritual: Foot Massage

If you’ve had a stressful day, a warm sesame oil foot massage is a wonderful way to help you relax and sleep well. Watch my short video (2min) to find out what to do…

When we are stressed our energy is contained in the upper body, tight shoulders anyone…. massaging your feet will help to ground this energy.

Use sesame oil to pacify Vata (wind and ether elements). Seasame oil is rich in vitamins (A,B and E) as well as the minerals iron, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, silicic acid and calcium. Sesame oil is also rich in antioxidants, linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid; its lecithin content is beneficial to the nervous system.

Sesame oil is warming so great to use in cold weather.

Have a beautiful sleep twinkle toes!

Justine

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Ref: Ayurvedic Massage by Harish Johari

Do you wear sunglasses at night?

I love screens, I love my phone, and I like playing computer games at night, and enjoy curling up in bed reading from my ipad. The problem is as I journey down the yogic path and tune more into cause and effect, I notice when I don’t use screens at night I sleep a whole lot better…

Why?

Exposure to light at night interferes with your circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin secretion. Melatonin is made in the pineal gland (connected to our third eye) and is the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles. Any artificial light at night can interfere with your circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion but the worst offender is blue light.

Harvard researches have now shown that blue light suppresses melatonin for twice as long as green light, red light suppresses it the least. Unfortunately blue light is the light emitted by backlit portable screens, as well as energy efficient lighting. How annoying!

The research also states, ‘Light at night is part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep…researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.’

I’m currently studying natural rhythms and how we evolve body habits so I’m really interested in this research. Adjusting your rhythms to adapt to the rhythms of nature is one of the best ways to increase your energy levels. Check out my post on amplifying your energy here.

What can you do?

I don’t fancy wearing those Bono style blue light-blocking glasses and I’m not going to stop using technology.

The most practical advice I can follow is to switch off screens one hour or even two hours if you can manage before going to […]