The 3 pillars of Ayurveda: Sleep


Sleep can feel so elusive at times. Especially when our minds are working overtime.

Do you regularly have a solid 7 or 8 hours sleep a night? Do you feel well-rested in the morning?  Perhaps you have trouble falling asleep at night? Or waking up in the wee small hours and having trouble getting back to sleep?

100 years ago people were getting 9 hours – this is no longer the norm.

Sleep is one of the three pillars of life in Ayurveda.
And the teachings don’t mince words; health is not possible if sleep is not adequate.


A majority of the clients I work with have difficulty with sleep – and so many factors impact our sleep. What you may not be aware of is that sleep on its own isn’t relaxing.

Restful, restorative sleep is result of calming down the body and the mind first. Our mind frequently takes us on detours that we don’t need to go on. Rather than searching for a remedy outside of yourself, restful sleep is the result of having a quiet mind. And that the work takes place, internally.

To improve your sleep you must first ensure you arrive in bed feeling relaxed, settled and ready for sleep. If you’re not relaxed before your head hits the pillow – you’re stealing from your tomorrow.

Your body and brain have work to do while you’re sleeping. The deepest and most restorative sleep cycles occur between 10pm-2am, so you want to aim to get a big chunk of your sleep between 10-2. If you stay up after 10pm, you get a second wind, often get hungry again, and lose out on the deep cell repair that happens when you sleep earlier in the night.

Your reward for the end of a day well lived is a wind-down routine before bed that feels good, lands you in bed by 10pm and a well-deserved rest.

Good sleep hygiene begins with preparing for bedtime by relaxing in the evening. One hour before bed, give yourself the ultimate five star turn down service. Your senses, body and mind will thank you.

Try one of the following before bed and notice how you feel when you wake:

  1. Massage sesame oil onto your feet before going to bed – calms the nervous system and helps you relax before going to sleep. Put socks on after to not stain your sheets. We’ve just released our range of hand-crafted dosha massage oils by Soma. The Vata massage oil is supportive for sleep. You can purchase or learn more HERE.
  2. Take a break from screens in the evening to allow your body to feel it’s fatigue and start to relax BEFORE you go to sleep. Turn off screens at least one hour before bed. If you can’t do one hour, start with half an hour.
  3. Go to sleep by 10pm latest (earlier if you have fatigue, dis-ease or immune issues). If you go to bed late, wind back your bedtime 15 minutes earlier in your schedule until you end up feeling consistently well-rested upon waking.
  4. Don’t eat after 6pm – going to sleep with undigested food in your stomach is a recipe for poor sleep. Your digestion should rest while you sleep.
  5. Don’t give up! Quality sleep is crucial for you to put your best self forward every day – it’s the foundation to everything else working well AND it is achievable for everyone.


If you’re depleted or have trouble sleeping, here’s a great sleep tonic recipe. It’s a lovely alternative to hot chocolate that is nutritious and tasty AND helps improve sleep. Try this before bed for a week and observe the quality of your sleep.

1 c of milk* from nut, bean, grain or animal
2 dates (medjool are particularly tasty)
3-5 almonds (preferably soaked overnight)
1 tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
1 tsp ghee
pinch of saffron
pinch of cardamom
pinch of nutmeg

Warm milk in a saucepan. Add any or all of the ingredients below, except honey. Stir. Do not boil. Turn off heat and allow to set for 10 minutes. Add black pepper + honey to taste. *If this sounds like too much milk, dilute 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup water.

Sleep and good sleep hygiene is just one of many topics we experience in my Good Change online health-coaching programme. Join me and an incredible group of women for Good Change – a 12-week journey exploring Ayurveda, Behavioural Science, Nutrition & Mindset. 

We each get to decide if life becomes more easeful and enjoyable. The small decisions you make every day add up to big outcomes in your health. Through the Good Change programme, I give women the experience of how it feels to be balanced in mind and body – how to get back on track and how to stay there.

Good Change is not for everyone. It is designed for coachable women who want to be in a supportive community and practice lifestyle micro-changes in their days that make a big difference in their lives. 

Does this sound like you? Would you like to get on a Discovery Call to see if Good Change is a good fit for you? Please see the links below:

Book a Discovery Call here:

Learn more on the Good Change programme here:

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