Let's talk sleep. Do you wake up most mornings feeling refreshed, ready to the start the day? Or do you often wake up feeling groggy and exhausted? If the latter is true, it would make sense to work on your evening routines first, in order to have the energy to add anything new to your morning! What time do you usually tuck in for the evening? If you are not getting enough sleep at night, you are missing out on the most healing part of your day, sleep restores your muscles, detoxifies your body, balances hormones, relaxes the mind. If you are trying to lose weight, you are much more likely to overeat when you are tired, due to an increase of ghrelin, an appetite increasing hormone. When you get a good night's sleep you just feel happier, calmer and more focused too. "If you sleep better, you live better".
Did you know that the sleep you get before midnight is the most healing, highest quality and most productive of the night? We naturally get a burst of energy around 10:00pm (beginning of Fiery Pitta Time) which is a time of activity (and appetite) so if you aren't in bed before 10, you'll may get another rush of alertness and perhaps appetite as well. So be sure your are tucked in bed before your fire reignites at 10:00pm, or you may find yourself reaching for those late night snacks, or trying to finish your to-do list! During Kapha time (Peaceful Energy Time - 6:00pm - 10:00pm) your body starts to naturally prepare for sleep, but unfortunately our mind doesn't come with an off switch. Engaging in soothing self-care rituals before bed can greatly encourage your mind and body to slow down. Eating a light dinner, spending time with family, going for a short walk, listening to relaxing music, diffusing calming essential oils, taking a bath, a gentle yoga or meditation practice, light reading, abhyanga (warm oil massage) are some examples of what we can do to wind down for the night. Do you find yourself normally plugged in until right before bed? The light from devices is "short-wavelenth-enriched" meaning it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light. This blue-tinted light shifts your body's natural clock and can actually reduce your natural levels of melatonin (the sleep inducing hormone) Try to schedule a technology-free period at least 1 hour before bed. As a side note, I recently read because of the stable energy of Kapha, it is easiest to establish more enduring habits during the Kapha times of day (6:00am-10:00am and 6:00pm-10:00pm). So our morning and evening routines can be the ones that really stick!
As for waking up, Ayurveda suggests waking right before the sun, so if you can, enjoy sleeping in a little later in the winter, your body will get that extra rest we all need! Here's a link with suggested sleep times according to your dosha! http://svasthaayurveda.com/ayurvedic-sleep-report-part-1-why-is-sleep-so-important-to-our-health/