Ayurvedic Tips For Good Sleep: Follow Your Body Type
Email to Your Friends
Ayurvedic Tips On Sleep
Vatas should wake by 6 am, breakfast by 8 am, lunch b/w 11 am –12 pm, supper by 6 pm, sleep at 10 pm on your back. Pittas wake up by 5.30 am, breakfast at 7.30 am, lunch at 12 pm, supper by 7 pm, sleep by 11 pm on your right. Kaphas should wake up by 4.30 am, breakfast by 7 am, lunch by 1 pm, supper by 8 pm, sleep by 12 pm on your left.
Ayurvedic Tips For Good Sleep
Sleep is important for the effective working of both your physical and emotional well-being. Being well-rested means you will be able to focus better, process new information and be alert to learn new things. Sleep deprivation and insomnia are becoming common as humans have become more prone to burn the midnight oil, both individually and as a community.
Ayurveda does not advice a night-life intensive work or social lifestyle. The day is broken into four hour zones (a night and day zone) for each of the three doshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha, in total six divisions.
The Six Divisions
- 2 am – 6 am: Vata dominance
- 6 am – 10 am: Kapha dominance
- 10 am – 2 pm: Pitta dominance
- 2 pm – 6 pm: Vata dominance
- 6 pm – 10 pm: Kapha dominance
- 10 pm – 2 am: Pitta dominance
Vata type insomnia is associated with difficulty falling asleep and waking up too early in the morning, along with emotions such as fear and anxiety. A small cup of hot milk with Ashwagandha and nutmeg before bed can be helpful. Another helpful technique is to try a warm oil foot massage before bed, covering the feet with socks.
Staying In Sync With The Ayurvedic Clock
Wake-up before sunrise (i.e. 6 a.m) when Vata is predominant. Once the sun is up, we begin to be under the influence of kapha whose qualities are heavy and wet, making us sleepier (Kapha-dominant people will find it harder to wake-up after 6 a.m). Waking up during Vata dominant period instills vata’s mobile, clear, ether-like qualities, which, serendipitously will support your meditation and yoga practice.
Ayurveda encourages us to eat our primary meal in the middle of the day, when the fire of pitta dominates. Pitta is fiery and hot in nature. So eating a large meal for lunch can be easily digested by the fiery (agni) quality. Eating after the pitta period (after 2 p.m) will cause difficulty in digestion.
Ayurveda recommends a light supper so your body can finish digesting your food long before bedtime as it will not interfere with the sleep process.
Pitta type insomnia is associated with waking up in the middle of the night, often accompanied by sensations of heat or burning, sometimes with emotions such as frustration or anger. To prevent this, practice meditation regularly, use cooling and relaxing herbs such as Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica) and Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), and bathe the legs and feet with cold water before bed.
Preparing To Sleep
6 p.m in the evening is when Kapha is dominant- a dull, slow and stable energy. Usually, this is the time when we kick in the second or the biggest coffee or tea drink of the day. This usually interferes with the natural Kapha energy causing a crash later which is fueled by more coffee. Sleeping after 10 p.m which is pitta dominant causes restless sleep especially for pitta body types.
The body uses the four-hour period (from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.) to digest experiences, emotions, remaining food from earlier in the day, and to repair and renew itself. Because pitta is fiery and hot, if you fight through the drowsiness of kapha time and stay up late, you will end up staying up and feeling sleepy only after 6 a.m in the morning when Kapha time kicks in.
Although the time of each dosha dominance does not change in the day, every individual according to his prakriti or dosha can follow certain recommendations mentioned below.
Daily Schedule for Each Dosha
|6 AM||5:30 AM||4:30 AM|
|8 AM||7:30 AM||7 AM|
|11 AM to 12 PM||12 PM||12 to 1 PM|
|6 PM||6 to 7 PM||7 to 8 PM|
Sleep on your back
|10 to 11 PM|
Sleep on your right side
|11 to 12 PM|
Sleep on your left side
Exercise For Each Dosha For Better Sleep
Regular exercise, especially yoga for good sleep, improves circulation, strength, and endurance. It helps in relaxation and improves digestion and elimination.
Sun salutation x 12, done slowly; Leg lifting; Camel; Cobra; Cat; Cow. Slow, gentle exercise.
Moon salutation x 16, moderately fast; Fish; Boat; Bow. Calming exercise.
Sun salutation x 12, done rapidly; Bridge; Peacock; Palm tree; Lion. Vigorous exercise.
Regardless of body type, good sleep hygiene follows the natural rhythms of the daily cycle, making sure to retire shortly after the sun sets, or by 10 pm at the latest. The notion of someone being a “night owl” is a recent invention that followed the advent of electric lighting. Excess exposure to light before bed itself is a cause of insomnia.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.