As the last part of the daily routine and one of the sub pillars of Ayurveda, sleep holds a lot of significance. Charak Samhita states that in human beings happiness and misery, nourishment and emaciation, strength and weakness, fertility and infertility, knowledge and ignorance and life and death depend upon proper and improper sleep. Ask one of your insomniac friends and you would know how blissful a good night’s sleep is!

Dosha follows a cyclical pattern in the day as well as night. A person who is in tune with this circadian rhythm is blessed with a good quality of life. In order to achieve a balanced state, one should try to follow this circadian rhythm with regard to diet and lifestyle, which also includes sleep. How can one work around the dosha and sleep? Here is the answer-

Vata – A Vata prakriti person survives on less sleep. They are light and superficial sleepers. Try to sleep in the Kapha kaal which is 6 pm – 10 pm. A Vata person should try to sleep before 10 pm. They should ideally wake up anywhere between 6 am – 7 am. Going to sleep in Kapha kaal will keep them grounded and stable. So, the before chances of interrupted sleep or light sleep get reduced. Soak the feet in warm water and massage with warm oil, especially shiroabhyanga and padabhyanga are very helpful for inducing good sleep. Any kind of overstimulation like using gadgets or watching TV, indulging in provoking conversations or thoughts should be avoided.

Pitta – Pitta prakriti people are moderate sleepers in terms of duration of sleep. However, they have sound and uninterrupted sleep. 6-8 hours of sleep is sufficient for them. They can sleep between 9 pm – 10 pm and wake up between 5:30 am – 6:30 am. Abhyanga with sandalwood oil, coconut oil , and applying brahmi oil on the center of the head helps them in grounding. Avoid any spicy and heated generated foods. Similarly, any heated arguments, violent content , or novels can agitate a Pitta mind and make sound sleep difficult. They are best avoided.

Kapha – Kapha and sleep are best friends. Kapha prakriti individuals have a deep and sound sleep. 6-8 hours is enough but sleeping more than 8 hours is no big deal for them. They should ideally sleep after 10 pm which is past the Kapha kaal and wake up between 4:30 – 6 am. They should not indulge in daytime naps. Dry brushing or light abhyanga with mustard oil is good for Kapha people. Favor warm foods seasoned with spices and warm drinks.

General recommendations:

  • There should be a gap of at least 2 hours between the last meal and sleep.
  • Create a pre-bedtime routine including – oil application on the centre of the head followed by soaking in a warm bath with Himalayan salt (optional) or a take a warm shower.
  • Burn dosha specific- essential oils.
  • Do some calming pranayam, mantra chanting , and meditation for 15 minutes. You may also practice visualization and affirmations. Journaling is also a great meditative practice.
  • Drink a cup of warm spiced milk or herbal tea.
  • Listen to calming music or mantras. Introspect and consciously release the happenings of your day, surrendering to this time of healing and rejuvenation.
  • Create a bedroom that is clean, uncluttered, comfortable , and peaceful without any gadgets – TV, mobile, laptops
  • Avoid sleeping during the day with a few exceptions like the emaciated, sick, elderly, infants; after trauma, fall, injury, a journey, and people doing strenuous work or physical activity. 
  • Sleeping during the day is advisable for everyone during summers but not more than a nap. Summer is the time of the year when a human body goes through energy depletion. Therefore, recharging the body with this power nap is not a bad idea.
  • Ayurveda recommends sleeping on your left side as it improves digestive function, blood circulation , and cardiac function.
  • While sleeping the best direction to keep the head is east or south and feet west. Avoid keeping the head  north or west.

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