When I first got into wellbeing myself I found a big interest in Ayurveda, and it’s been an interesting journey learning to apply some of it’s principles and practices into my life. One area which it can be applied to is sleep and I know that having truly restorative rest is what alot of us struggle with nowadays with our lives continually busy and our minds constantly on the go but, with a different approach it can be possible to have and that’s what this post will help you with… finding that restorative rest once again.
We all know that sleep is vital for us all and it has wonderful transformative powers that gently renews us, so that we are ready and at our best to journey through another day. Sleep, or nidra is a pillar of Ayurvedic healing but there is no one size fits all route to getting those sweet dreams, we are best guided by tuning into our own individual needs first. These needs will be determined by what your Ayurveda type is also known as your dosha; Vata, Pitta or Kapha. If you are unsure what your dosha type is there are many places online where you can take a dosha test to discover and find yours out.
Main Sleep Pattern For Each Dosha:
Vata (Air + Ether) – People with a Vata imbalance usually have disturbed and anxious sleep patterns. They usually sleep the least but benefit from it the most.
Pitta (Fire + Water) – People with a Pitta imbalance may find that sleep is quick but hot and so only a moderate amount of sleep is needed but that may lead to feeling exhausted faster.
Kapha (Earth + Water) – People with a Kapha imbalance usually sleep too much and are real heavy sleepers. Think of hitting the snooze-button types.
General Ayurvedic Sleep Practices For All:
It’s really important to firstly know your individual dosha so you can apply the correct practices which work best for you and the best practices that is in line with your own dosha’s needs. But there are also some more general practices to help prepare you for a better and good night sleep for all dosha types…
- Ayurveda recommends for all to keep the last mealtime light and to eat it early.
- Stimulation should be minimal an hour before bed.
- Lighting should be softer and more relaxing in the evening things like; candles or firelight and remember to have some fresh air too.
- Include some calming practices into your evening routine as they will help to give you that ‘wind down period’ before sleep, you could incorporate things like; drinking some calming chamomile tea, rubbing the soles of your feet or your scalp with sesame oil or lying out in the moonlight before resting with your feet pointing North (according to ancient wisdom.) See what you find most beneficial to your evening/night time wind down routine.
- It’s also important to go to bed at the same time every day and sleeping before 10pm is when it’s best according to Ayurveda principles. This is because the best quality of sleep happens between the times of 10pm and 2am so being asleep before or at around 10pm will ensure that you get the most vital sleep moment. Waking up at the same time every day is also ideal between the hours of 6am-7am, this will be after roughly around 7-8 hours of sleep. Doing this will support your healthy daylight cycle.
By focusing more awareness on our sleep routine and making little tweaks we will find ourselves getting that restorative rest that is so vital to us. This will also help us to find that ‘morning person’ within us to rise up refreshed with daybreak… all ready for a fabulous new day. As always I would love to hear all of your thoughts and feelings on this post and please feel free to add any other suggestions that help with getting a better night sleep.