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Ayurvedic self-care practices for a good night sleep

Getting a good night sleep is one of the most important aspects for our overall well-being. This is the time when the body completely relaxes and rejuvenates. During sleep, the body and mind are being restored and refreshed so that we can wake up feeling good and energised for the day ahead. 

As the body is naturally in a resting state during a healthy and deep sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system can work to regenerate the cells, digest the food, restore the mind into a calm and sharp state etc. When our sleeping patterns are irregular, then these processes happening internally during sleep cannot be completed to their fullest. 

Here are some helpful practices to consider for getting a good quality, evening rest. These are actually some of my favourites and for me they work so well.

Ayurvedic self-care practices for a good night sleep - foot massage

Oil application to the feet and shoulders

A gentle self-massage on the feet and shoulders using warm oil can work wonders before sleep time. I love using lavender oil at night, but any natural oils can be used such as almond, sesame, jojoba, olive oil etc. In Ayurveda, it is said that the feet are related to the mind, so when we focus on practices that relax the feet, we are essentially also promoting mental relaxation. The shoulders are one of the main areas in the body where usually mental stress and worries get stored. Heaviness/pressures in this area can be from physical tension created by physical exercise or lack of it, incorrect posture but also from overthinking, stress, emotional factors etc. So massaging these areas gently with warm oil may help to relieve some of the tension. The warm oil will also provide a comforting and cozy sensation.

Herbal foot bath with salts

Another beautiful way to relax is to treat your feet to a soothing warm bath with salts (Epsom, sea salts or Himalayan) and some herbs or essential oils. My favourite essential oils for this are lavender of course, eucalyptus and sage. These can also be used as herbs if you have eucalyptus leaves or even dried chamomile, sage or lavender plant. Soaking the feet in warm water provides a calming effect on our nervous system. From a holistic healing perspective, this practice is also useful for removing any unwanted energy exchanged throughout the days. Salt is known for its absorption properties and in some healing traditions it is considered a way to flush out toxins accumulated from unwanted energy. Sage is known as a purifying plant, which was used by shamans and healers also for removing toxic/unwanted energy. 

Ayurvedic self-care practices for a good night sleep - acupressure mat

Acupressure mat

This next practice is not particularly an Ayurvedic one, but it does fall into a more holistic care category and it’s wonderful. Without a doubt, this mat is one of my top relaxation products. The Prana mat is the brand I have, but you can find others. It is essentially an acupressure mat, that can help to relief any sort of tension experienced in the body and provide a relaxing sensation overall. It is said that it may also promote blood circulation and prana flow. I particularly love using the small, rectangular sized one which is thicker. I use it for my neck, the back of my head and top of my shoulders. The acupressure mat can also be used on the feet. These mats come in different shapes and sizes and can be used daily. Generally I use it for 20-25 minutes either before sleep, and also in the morning. 

Ayurvedic self-care practices for a good night sleep

Mantra recitation/Japa

Japa meditation is know as the repetition of a mantra in Sanskrit. It is a spiritual yogic practice which works on the vibration of sound (if done out loud) and also by invoking the qualities of the mantra. Sanskrit is a powerful vibrational language said to have many soft sounds which are said to create an even stronger and lasting vibration. Traditionally japa is done 108 times using mala beads, although you can chant as long as you want to. Mantra is a powerful practice that is said to remove negative energy and clean/purify the mind. Japa is also a meditation technique as the mind becomes focused on mantra. It’s essential to note that this practice should be done intentionally, with awareness.

Ayurvedic self-care practices for a good night's sleep Herbal teas

Relaxing herbal teas

There are so many incredible herbal teas that can help promote mental relaxation. My go to ones for the evening time are chamomile, lavender and rosebud. Chamomile and Rosebud have a soothing effect to the digestive organs, anti-inflammatory properties and help to relax the nervous system. You can learn more about different teas and their benefits here.


Brahmi is a popular Ayurvedic herb said to be a powerful brain tonic, which can help with sharpness of mind and overall cognitive functioning. I take it at night in powder form, but capsules are also available. It is also said that Brahmi helps with getting a good rest by supporting the nervous system, and for this reason it is generally taken at night. Ayurvedic herbs are very much considered medicinal, so it’s very important check with a qualified Ayurvedic professional and your GP before taking this to see if it is suited for you and the dosage/duration.