In Sanskrit an afternoon nap is known as “Vama Khukshi”. Charaka, in Charaka samhita, gives specific recommendations on catnaps for people of different prakruti’s or body natures. The ancient Ayurvedic text specifies that day sleep causes Kapha and Pitta imbalance.
Ayurveda recommends an afternoon nap only for these cases:
- Anyone (irrespective of the doshas) can take an afternoon nap ONLY in the Grishma Ritu (summer season) of the year, when vata dosha increases causing dryness and nights are shorter (less sleep), and due to fatigue and energy drain in summer.
- People who are involved in strenuous physical labor or activity.
- People with excess Vata Dosha who drain themselves through excesses.
- Students or people who are involved in memorizing, analytically or in focused activity.
- Exhausted, angry or grief-stricken individuals, old people, and children.
Even while having an afternoon nap, Ayurveda recommends NOT to sleep on full stomach immediately but to walk a little to help digestion and refresh one’s body better.
Ayurveda strictly refrains people, NOT falling in the above categories, to AVOID SLEEPING during the daytime. Especially those who are obese, diabetic, depressed, suffer with insomnia are refrained from having an afternoon nap. People with existing Kapha and Pitta doshas can see increase of kapha leading to weight gain and aggravate ailments (diabetes, obesity etc.) associated with it.