How to Get Better Sleep, According to Your Ayurvedic Dosha
You're probably aware that we go through different sleep cycles and phases each night - each of which vary in how much rest and rejuvenation they afford your brain and body. Sleep problems are on the rise, with insomnia and the inability to fall asleep at night being the most common. As a result, valuable night time rest in which deep sleep is attained - and cannot simply be made up for with short power naps - is drastically shortened. In an earlier article on universally beneficial Ayurvedic sleep tips, we discussed key rituals and habits that can help you get better sleep.
However, Ayurveda recognizes that not everyone is sleepless for the same reasons. Hence, we are here to help you identify how to fall asleep easily according to your dominant dosha type. Doshas are energies that circulate in the body and constitute your unique physical and mental make up.
To better understand your dosha beforehand, we recommend starting with our dosha quiz.
People who are predominantly vata typically suffer from irregular, light sleep. Because vata minds are highly active, they find it difficult to detach themselves from thinking about events during the day. They often wake up during the night and find it difficult to fall back asleep.
People with vata dosha types are better supported with more sleep than less. The key to falling asleep is to reduce tension and release problems. To do this, try practicing the alternate breathing technique to help quiet the mind. For detailed instructions, please refer to our post on how to meditate, according to your dosha. Alternatively, try a foot massage. Rub some cold pressed sesame oil on the soles of your feet before going to bed. Remember to wear socks to prevent staining your sheets! If you prefer something with a milder fragrance, try one of our wellness oils! They all contain natural essential oils for a luxurious aromatherapy experience. Lastly, try drinking some chamomile tea about half an hour before bed. Chamomile is commonly regarded as a mild tranquilizer, so it should help induce sleep. We also love chamomile essential oil as a natural sleep time aid.
Pitta types generally don't have difficulty falling asleep, but face difficulties going back to sleep when awakened at night due to a running mind. In fact, due to their highly productive nature it is common for them to forgo sleep when they are occupied with a project or work.
One of the steps to address the sleep issues of pittas is to eliminate the habit of work, or reading anything too mentally engaging, before bedtime. Although some may find it beneficial to unwind with a good book, if the material is too thought-provoking for pittas, it is likely to get their intellectual juices going, making it harder for them to fall asleep. Pittas are instead guided towards reading something of a spiritual nature, or journaling, leading up to bedtime. Besides that, try drinking a glass of warm milk with nutmeg before bed. This acts as a natural sleep aid because milk aids in the release of serotonin and melatonin which help the body adjust to night time and induce serenity. The added flavor of nutmeg helps you end your day on a sweet note.
People who have kapha doshas rarely have trouble falling asleep. In fact, they sleep very well and are not easily awakened. However, despite more than sufficient amounts of rest, they usually rise feeling sluggish and tired.
This may come as a surprise, but kaphas actually require less sleep than vatas and pittas! In fact, excessive sleep can cause sluggishness and lack of energy in kaphas. Instead of sleeping in, kaphas should practice the habit of getting up at the same time everyday. It is best to wake up by 6am because the kapha element is elevated from 6-10am, making it harder to get up. Rising before the sun may seem like a tough feat, but it doesn’t have to be. Start adjusting your bedtime so that you can wake up at a consistent time! It will be best to hop into bed by 10pm because the kapha is elevated from 6-10pm, enabling you to harness that slow and heavy energy to slip into a peaceful slumber. Kaphas should ideally fall asleep by 11pm to ensure they're able to wake on the earlier side. Alongside sleeping habits, also try to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. It will help you lighten up and feel much better throughout the day.