Ayurveda and Sleep
According to Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine)a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing, there are 3 pillars of good health: food, relationships, and sleep. In the Western world the pillars seem to be: exercise, diet and sleep.
Sleep are one of the pillars in both – a very basic need that needs to be satisfied to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It’s pretty essential – the world record in staying awake is for 11 days, most people can go with food for much longer.
I have not been writing about sleep and Ayurveda much before but I have always been interested in finding out as much about health as possible from as many people, books etc. as possible. And obviously, I come across Ayurvedic medicine, – The Science of Life, from time to time.
Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.
There are many online quizzes that you could take that will tell you what Dosha(s) you are (see below). If you would like a proper diagnosis go to an Ayurvedic practitioner who will be able to give you a more accurate reading.
This morning, I found a newsletter from What’s Your Dosha? and it spoke about sleep so I thought….this sounds interesting. How can I find out more? Before I embark on sleep & Ayurvedic medicine I am going to share the newsletter with you.
Vatas get worn out easily, and need lots of sleep to renew themselves after a long day. Vatas do best on 9-10 hours of sleep a night. Yet, because the Vata mind is so restless, Vatas often have difficulty getting to sleep at night. One solution is to take a warm bath and time to settle down before bedtime.
Pittas need an average amount of sleep, 7-8 hours is fine. When Pitta has difficulty sleeping it is because they are thinking of work. It’s a good idea for Pittas to take a cool shower, and relax before bedtime.
Kaphas have a large reserve of energy and do not require as much sleep. They can get by on 6-7 hours of sleep a night. Kaphas tend to sleep soundly, and they may have trouble waking up! Set the alarm to some uplifting music to help get the day started for sleepy Kaphas.
I did the quiz below and got Pitta as my basic nature. It’s a bit of a surprise but perhaps it has changed as I have improved my overall health but I will be going to the Ayurvedic Practitioners stand at the Yoga show at Olympia to ask what they would recommend a narcoleptic. So watch the Ayurveda space!
Find a Practitioner in the United Kingdom:Ayurvedic Practitioners Association