Good Sleeping Habits

by Ayurveda Therapist on July 5, 2011

Sleep in Prakruti

1. Vata – Persons who are mainly Vata in nature tend to have light, restless sleep that is variable in quality. Often they will only sleep for a short period of time (4-6 hours/night). Vata are enthusiastic by nature and thrive with the love of excitement. As such, they can easily overextend themselves. Vata may need to include a daily nap, relaxation, and meditation to supplement sleep. If you are Vata try relaxing and recharging with a warm oil massage and a frangrant warm bath.

Sleep Herb for Vata – Ashwaganda: helps to improve sleep pattern

2. Pitta – Pitta people usually sleep easily, lightly, and wake up alert (6-8 hours/night). Of all of the Prakrutis, Pitta can sacrifice sleep a few nights in a row and still maintain energy. Nevertheless, their hardworking nature and concern for acheivemet may interfere with both the quality and quantity of sleep. Anxiety and worries about family, finance, and global concerns are the main causes for their insomnia. Taking a cold shower, sipping a sweet drink (milk), and meditating in the moonlight (moonlight reflecting rays onto a glass indoors if cold out) unwind high Pitta energy.

Recommended drink/herb: Milk, Brhami (Bacopa Monerii)

3. Kapha – Kapha people love to rest and take life easily. They rarely have difficulty sleeping and enjoy long, deep sleep (>8 hours). They awake feeling refreshed with stable energy. Kapha Prakruti need to make sure that they don’t sleep too much as excessive sleep may lead to weight gain and mental heaviness. Early to bed and early to rise will help kapha types be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Recommended: No herbs needed, but if necessary nutmeg can be given.

General Recommendations for Healthy Sleep:
It is possible to eliminate many sleep problems by:
1. Creating a nurturing sleep environment, maintaining a healthful balance of nutrition and exercise, and partaking in relaxing activities before bedtime.
2. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends, to maintain the body’s internal clock and allow you to fall asleep and wake up more easily.
3. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep
4. Making your bedroom a comfortable sleep environment
5. Establishing a calming pre-sleep routine
6. Going to sleep when you’re truly tired
7. Sleeping without a clock visible to you at night
8. Using light to your advantage by exposing yourself to light during the day and limiting light exposure in the evening (darkness increases the release of Melatonin into your body which increases sleepiness).
9. Avoid napping too close to your regular bedtime
10. Avoid eating and drinking more than one glass of water within an hour to two hours of bedtime.
11. Exercising regularly (but not within 2 hours of bedtime as exercise is a stimulating activity)

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