Studies have shown every other third person is suffering from poor sleep. Not many people manage to get the prescribed seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This lack of sound sleep then seeps into our daily lives and affects our daily lives. Add to this, the various electronics one has access to and staying up late at night binging the latest movie, more and more people are suffering from insomnia today.

Ayurveda taught at one of the recommended Ayurvedic institutes like Sri Sai will teach students how to work as licensed practitioners. They would also get to learn how to sleep better.

Ayurveda and Good Sleep

Ayurveda has three types of dosha, Vitta, Pitta and Kapha dosha. These doshas are a mix of the five earthly elements, Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Space. Ayurvedic texts say that these elements contribute to not just the physical but also the mental disposition of a human being. These doshas are taken into account to make recommendations for health, diet and also sleep.

Ayurveda says that, if done as per doshas, people would wake up fresh and invigorated for the day ahead. There are also fewer chances of getting diseases in the long run. Ayurveda has recommendations for when to sleep, how to sleep, when to eat dinner, napping and more. The relation between sleep and Ayurveda is taught in detail in one of the many BAMS college in Bhopal. All of these and more have been elaborated on below.

Types of Sleep according to Ayurvedic Dosha

Like with the Ayurvedic diet, for good sleep recommendations, one must look at the dosha of the individual. As per the description above, there are three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha. The sleep counsel for each dosha is as below.

Vata Dosha: Vata Dosha type of people are usually very alert, energetic and awake. These types of people will have a harder time falling back asleep if woken up during the hours of 2 A.M. to 6 A.M. They are light sleepers and must have blackout blinds in their rooms with earplugs, if necessary. Sleep talking, walking and teeth grinding also occur. Take short naps throughout the day and have a solid night routine where one is going to sleep between 9:30 P.M. to 10 P.M. Avoid caffeine later in the day and replace it with herbal teas.

Pitta Dosha: Pitta Dosha people have trouble falling asleep. They are generally night owls and have an abundant mental state. Pitta dosha people can also easily overheat with too many layers. The best advice for sound sleep for this dosha category is to limit distractions around sleep time and to sleep by 10 P.M. The room must not be too hot and the dinner must have less spices, alcohol and coffee. Like with Vata dosha, try herbal teas with chamomile, mint and rose.

Kapha Dosha: The Kapha Dosha individuals are the heaviest sleepers. They rarely wake up at the night. Instead, they could suffer from sleep apnea and have to wake up for urination. They could have a tendency to oversleep leading to issues in waking up. Soft beds with several warm covers are perfect for Kapha dosha. To sleep well, look to do exercise and more mentally stimulating activities so as to balance the dosha. Napping should be avoided and avoid sweet heavy food like cheese and yoghurt. Take a gap of at least three hours from dinner to sleep.

Ayurvedic Sleep Cycles

With the recommendations for optimal sleep described for the different doshas, let’s look at the sleep cycles as per Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic sleep cycle is similar to the natural sleep cycle and describes the best times to sleep, wake up and how long to sleep. On doctor consultation visits, the Ayurvedic doctor at all the best Ayurvedic hospitals in India will consider this sleep cycle to make recommendations.

Generally, one must wake up before the sun rises and go to sleep before 10 P.M. In addition, there must also be a gap of at least two hours between dinner and sleep time. There are six parts, to the sleep cycle, each of four hours and each governed by a dosha. These six parts are as below.

  • 6 A.M. to 10 A.M.: Kapha
  • 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.: Pitta
  • 2 P.M. to 6 P.M.: Vata
  • 6 P.M. to 10 P.M.: Kapha
  • 10 P.M. to 2 A.M.: Pitta
  • 2 A.M. to 6 A.M.: Vata

Dosha Imbalance and Sleep

Dosha imbalance is not a new concept and can occur for multiple reasons. Not only will the diet and health be affected by the imbalance but also the sleep cycle. It is possible for the individual to suffer from headaches and also insomnia as a result. Dosha imbalance can also be due to overindulging in the wrong foods like ice creams, crunchy foods and also because of staying up late and regular work stress.

If anyone is suffering from poor sleep they can head to an Ayurvedic college in MP for a licensed practitioner. They will recommend treatments and plans to balance out the doshas and achieve good sleep.

Tips for good sleep

Good sleep is hard to achieve as people get busy with their lives. However, there is no cause to worry. There are many tips and tricks that one can adopt at home and get good sleep. Some such tips are as below.

  • Napping is usually not recommended except for Vata dosha people. Napping increases the Kapha in the body. Also, musicians, travellers and new mothers must nap. Two hours after lunch and not more than 20 minutes are napping suggestions.
  • Set up a routine and adopt good sleep hygiene. Stick to the routine religiously and pretty soon it will become a habit.
  • Diet is a major player in sleep. Stop eating at least two hours before sleep time and drink enough water.
  • Yoga and meditation are also recommended for all doshas for sound sleep. Both will help deal with stress, insomnia and calm the mind down.
  • Exercising and moving the body around, preferably in nature, is also recommended for all. This will tire out the individual leading to deep sleep.
  • Keep the bedroom uncluttered. The room also should not be too cold or hot and should not have any electronics.
  • Look up the best sleep positions and directions as well to further aid in the sleep.

People can survive for some days without water and food but not without sleep. The ability to sleep deep is a skill many stressed and insomnia sufferers envy. Ayurveda, thankfully, can help people get the best sleep of their lives.