Since we were young we have been taught the value of getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep does everything from helping us to rejuvenate our minds to ensuring that the cells in our bodies repair themselves. But while many of us are familiar with the benefits of sleep, what if there was a way for us to enhance those benefits with just a couple of tweaks to our daily routine?
One way to enhance the benefits of sleep is to nourish the brain tissue and its associated activities during slumber. When we sleep, the brain strengthens the connections among its many cells that in turn helps us improve our retention of memories and perform other mental functions at a more efficient rate. By combining the drinking of an herb known as gotu kola with a basic breathing exercise, we can promote more beneficial sleep as well as foster greater alertness at the beginning of a new day.
The herb gotu kola has a lengthy tradition in systems like Ayurvedic medicine and is used by herbalists through other modalities as well. This herb is often used to help people to relieve stress, develop their intelligence, and even relieve congestion. Before you go to bed, combine about two teaspoons of dried gotu kola leaves with hot water and consume it as an herbal tea. This will stimulate your brain’s restorative processes and help you to wake up feeling more rested and alert.
We often feel lethargic and harried when we wake up in the morning, especially if we’ve woken up to a blaring alarm clock. Once you’ve woken up in the morning and evacuated, take some time to practice slowing down your breath. Take a comfortable seat either on the floor or at the edge of a chair with your feet on the floor. Inhale through your nose as you count to about three or four and then exhale through your nose for about twice as many counts. Repeat this cycle for between three and five minutes.
By ending one day with herbs and starting the next day at a slower pace, you’ll start to feel calmer, more alert, and more centered throughout the day. As obstacles show up, you’ll find yourself experiencing greater clarity as you work to overcome them. Generally, your brain will continue to function at higher and higher levels.
Restful sleep doesn’t have to be dependent on pharmaceuticals, and alertness in the morning doesn’t have to start with caffeine. By introducing herbs like gotu kola and some basic breathing into your routine, you will take a significant step toward lessening the stress in your life.