According to Ayurveda, sleep is a basic instinct of life and is necessary for all living things. It is necessary for our physical, mental, and spiritual renewal and resurgence.
Sleep is one of the three foundations of good health in Ayurveda or nidra. Food (ahara) and sexual energy regulation follow (brahmacharya). For a healthy existence, these three factors must be appropriately balanced.
TYPES OF SLEEP
According to Ayurveda, the three constitutional types, or doshas, govern sleep and other physical activities. There are three doshas:
- vata (wind)
- pitta (fire)
- kapha (water and earth)
The heavy feeling of exhaustion is a result of the substantial influence of kapha during sleep.
Six different types of sleep are mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit book Charaka Samhita on Ayurveda. The passage suggests that sleep may result from:
- natural slumber without outside disturbances
- increased kapha due to consuming too much fried, chocolate, cheese, or other high-kapha foods.
- fatigue of the body and mind brought on by a persistent illness, an imbalance, or a physical injury
INSTRUCTIONS FOR VARIOUS DOSHAS
Depending on your main doshas, Ayurveda offers various lifestyle adjustments to optimise sleep.
Ayurveda provides a number of lifestyle changes to improve sleep depending on your primary doshas.
It’s important for individuals with aggravated vata to eat foods that increase kapha in the body. This will increase the qualities of heaviness, stillness, and smoothness.
People with high vata should consume heavy and rejuvenating food, says Lineesha K.C., an Ayurvedic physician at Greens Ayurveda in Kerala. This can include:
- coconut milk
QUICK RECIPIE– Boil high fat milk on medium high flame. Let the milk settle down then add a pinch of nutmeg, 2 teaspoon cardamom.Add some sugar, jaggery or honey according to your convenience.
Also eating hot steamed rice and meat can help in achieving reduced vata. Having a disturbed sleep also indicates having bad vata.
Your body requires nutrition to calm the vata.
Better sleep is aided by foot massages or full-body abhyanga massages using calming oils like Mahanarayan Thailam or brahmi oil. Sesame oil or Dhanwantharam Thailam should be used for head massages.
A lot of activity may promote the vata. Avoid exercising in the evening if your vata is high and try to avoid using your phone and watching television an hour before bedtime.
Keep your bedroom dark and well-ventilated for restful sleep. Using scented candles with scents like eucalyptus, chamomile, lavender, or sweet orange might also be beneficial.
INSTANT STEPS TO CALM DOWN YOUR VATA
- Head massage with luke warm oilfor 15 minutes.
- Drink warm milk or water.
- Turn down the electronic activity before sleep.
- Pace down your physical activity before a few hours of sleep.
- The bedroom should be well ventilated and scented.
Pitta literally means , “fire”. Pitta is the heat developed inside the stomach. Due to this, metabolism is affected due to it. During the process of digestion the food is passed through the mouth, trachea, stomach the into small intestine and later on into larger intestine – pitta plays a major role.
Pitta can become out of balance when exposed to emotional stress or rage, extreme heat, heavy alcohol use, meat, sweets, and white flour. As a result, the body is far less effective in utilising food. As a result, individuals with Pitta disorders frequently experience heartburn, diarrhoea, and upset stomachs.
Their emotional sensitivity, frequent bowel movements, perspiration, and hyperacidic metabolism are all clear signs that their internal bio-elements are out of balance. Headaches and inflammation are some additional typical signs. People who are workaholics frequently have a Pitta problem.
Eat cooling items like fresh fruits and dates and have a moderate to hefty dinner if you’re calming pitta. If you go to bed without eating a good meal, you can wake up hungry in the middle of the night because pitta-dominant people have powerful digestive fires.
A light snack of puffed rice or a glass of buttermilk is advised for pittas who have an early meal and still feel hungry before night. A spoonful of Jeevantyadi Gritam or medicinal ghee in an eight-ounce glass of warm milk is what Yanamandra advises.
Yanamandra advises pitta individuals to go to bed a bit later, at 11 p.m.
Warm ghee foot massages are advised for better sleep. Use sweet, calming essential fragrances like rose and jasmine while you sleep, and wrap yourself in a light blanket. Sleep in a cool, well-ventilated room.
For a head massage, a cooling oil such as bhringaj or amla might be utilised.
QUICK STEPS TO CALM DOWN PITTA
- Drink warm milk before sleep . The milk should be consumed with ghee.
- Massage the foot with warm ghee.
- Eat food that are cool in nature like watermelon, grapes, orange. One can also include dates.
- Try and go to bed before 11 pm.
Kapha means the energy of water as well as earth. The kapha consist of the growth, noursiment and ability to feel contentment. If there is imbalance in this one might feel drowsy and sleepy , mind may feel heavy and dull also there might be in motivation and energy to perform new tasks.
If you have an disturbed kapha one may experience the following symptoms.
- Excessive sweating
- white layer formed on the tongue
- Improper bowle movements
- Increase in body weight
- Difficulty in waking up early in the morning
Inorder to balance out the kapha , Ayurveda has many such strategies along with a rate of zero side effects on the body. Here are a few techniques;
DIET FOR BALANCED KAPHA
- To reduce these symptoms , the follow food may help;
- Chillies, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cumin
- Corn, canola, sesame, sunflower oil, or ghee in your daily diet.
- Inhaling a deep breath after swallowing the last morsal of the food and setting off to the next activity.
- Drink room temperature warm tea or herbal tea.
SLEEP DISORDERS AND REMEDIES
One of the main causes of sleep imbalance is the body’s dosha imbalance. According to Yanamandra, sleep disruption can result in headache, migraine, and even insomnia. Vata and pitta are exacerbated, which may be brought on by:
- eating too many salads and other dry, crunchy foods
- eating ice cream and other cold foods in excess
- staying up too late and being stressed out by work
- Shirodhara, a process in which oil is slowly poured on the forehead, can be used to cure chronic cases of sleeplessness.
For pitta pacification, try shirodhara with netra tarpana, or eye nourishment therapy, and shiro lepa, or an herbal pack for the head. A certified Ayurvedic practitioner should administer these remedies.
THINGS TO AVOID WHILE NAPPING
For those who suffer from vata-aggravated conditions, there are certain exceptions, such as:
- joint pain problems involving the nerves
- generalised concern about the muscles
- People frequently use their vocal chords
Other exclusions consist of:
- Those who are breast- or chest-feeding
- Those who travel frequently
It’s advisable to take a nap two hours after lunch so that the meal has time to digest. Sitting on a chair that has been reclined, sleep for 20 minutes. This keeps pitta from building up in your skull.
Ayurveda advises against taking naps if you fall under one of the following categories:
- persons having a constitution predominating kapha
- individuals who are obese those whose diets are heavy in fried or oily foods
- people who don’t have an underlying disease and are usually healthy
- However, in the summer, when the heat makes it impossible to get a full night’s sleep, naps are advised.