Deep Sleep Tonic

deep sleep tonicThis is one of my basic staples ~ great for calming Vata, or any space-y, scattered, restless, anxious, busy, can’t settle down sort of energy. It is such a basic staple that for years I’ve had it on the Basics page. But people were always asking me for the recipe and not finding it there, so I’m posting it here for all to see, share and enjoy.

Rod Stryker of Para Yoga described it to us many years ago, tossing it out casually as something Pandit Rajmani Tigunait gave him after too much work, too much travel, and too much of an overwhelming need for the land of nod.

In translation and over time the recipe may have been modified, so I can’t promise you it is exact according to Ayurvedic tradition (which likes its exactitudes). What I do know is that it is resoundingly, deliciously potent, and seems to work for everyone.

Try taking it an hour before bed for a night of sweet dreams and deep slumber.

As this extraordinary, whole food, medicinal drink came without a name, we nicknamed it Ojas Rasayana. Here’s why:

Ojas is the Ayurveda word for deep nourishment, our underlying reserves of energy. Ojas gives patience, contentment, longevity,  stamina, endurance, strength, stability. In the Autumn, when Vata dominates, Ojas is available to us through seasonal foods like root vegetables, grains, ghee, nuts and seeds, dates, raisins and sweet Autumn fruits.

Rasayana is a grand word used in many contexts, including an entire branch of Ayurveda. Generally it means rejuvenative, and more modernly, anti-aging, stress-reducing. According to Ayurvedic Dr. Vaidya Mishra, “Rasayana is the designation given to special herbs, fruits and spices, or combinations of them, that are particularly renowned for the positive influence they have on overall health, vitality and longevity.”


The ultimate nourishment, of course, is love, and a delicious tonic like this is a rich reminder that food is a nourishing love story.


If you do not know what ghee is, where to find it or how to make it, check out this post with a video demonstrating how easy it is to make.


Gentle Yoga is wonderful in the evening to prepare you for a deep sleep, or any time you want to unwind and come home to yourself. I offer you this gift of a 10 minute, simple practice that can be done any time, any where, and hope it brings you peace.



Photos and Illustrations: Getty Images

Please note:  If this tonic does not seem to work for you, it may be a sign of a deeper imbalance, which you might want to take to your health practitioner.

81 thoughts on “Deep Sleep Tonic

    1. You could always go for sesame oil or blackseed oil… they are packed with nutrients! I added some vanilla powder to this, tasted delicious. You could try that!

  1. I will be making this to lull lull lullaby- feeling the effects of vata season and being swept away in the wind lately. Many thanks to you! Kisses and love!

  2. Just told Scott tonight how much I have been enjoying this-delish and the sleep benefits are wonderful! Thanks Laura!

  3. This might be a stupid question, but is this safe to give to kids? My 5 yr old is very hyper and has a difficult time calming down at night and still doesn’t sleep through the night. Desperate for anything.

    1. When it comes to our kids, there can’t be a dumb question. Yes it is safe and okay for a 5 year old. We’ve been giving it to ours since that very age. Nutmeg and milk are very soothing, helping with sleep. The Tonic is very nourishing, too, providing strength to growing bodies. Please let me know if it helps. Good Luck!

  4. This sounds so yummy, as well as helpful! Thanks to Ann for telling me to take a look! Thanks to you Laura for your wonderful and natural ideas!! Hugs ❤

  5. Rex and I tried the Deep Sleep Tonic last night! It was delicious and worked well! I had my best sleep in weeks! Thank you Laura for all you do for so many!! Hugs, C

  6. Well, after all that pep talk, I believe I will make myself up a batch. I am a musician and more often than not, I have music stuck in my head, harmonies and such well into the early morning, especially after a long rehearsal or concert/gig…Music is my prayer, but it, too, must rest the brain. I suppose it’s time for yoga. I’ve been putting it off for 40 years, and my sister feels and looks pretty good since going to y’all. Do you have a good natural prune mixture that can work magic on the digestive system? I saw the fasting idea, but is there a marvelously tasty concoction out there?

    1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for connecting. Sleep is a marvelous concoction that can heal the digestive system, and this delicious Sleep Tonic can also be a digestive aid so it has a double potency.

      Beyond that, you might want to join our upcoming Autumn Cleanse as we offer foods and tonics that heal and strengthen digestion, and physiology all round.

    1. hi debra, thanks for asking. i haven’t found that, nor ever heard anyone say so. it is there to help balance the heavy wet of the main ingredients, and does seem to give it just the right digestive boost. but if you think it is too much for you, you could replace it with a generous pinch of clove.

  7. Laura, this recipe look fantastic. I am brand new to ayurveda, so this might seem like a dumb question, but do I use ground spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and nutmeg) for this?

  8. Hi Laura. I’m new to Ayurveda and as I sometimes have trouble sleeping I thought I’d try this drink. It tasted absolutely divine but unfortunately I slept worse than ever. Could it be the richness that I’m not used to? I used raw milk sourced locally here in Yorkshire UK. My digestion is quite sensitive at times. Thank you.

  9. This Rasayana is the most delicious way to end the day. I am making it almost every night and have a restful revitalizing sleep. Thank you for sharing it. Claire

  10. So glad I read all the great comments! I wasn’t even sure what ghee was….but I love and have coconut oil. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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