How the Doshas disrupt your sleep, and what to do about it


We’ve talked about how balancing the doshas is critical for health, and that includes sleep. Understanding the doshas and how they influence your sleep is the first step to restful slumber.

Vata sleep symptoms
• Body exhausted, mind won’t stop
• Cold hands and feet
• Insomnia between 2:00 and 6:00

Pitta sleep symptoms
• Intense mental activity
• Heat
• Heartburn
• Insomnia between 10:00 and 2:00

Kapha sleep symptoms
• Sleeps like a log, but trouble waking up
• Mental dullness upon awakening
• Wakes full of mucus

Vanquishing Vata
• Have a bedtime snack, to balance blood sugar (warm milk with sesame seeds is good)
• Stay warm in a cozy bed, in a dark, clean, and uncluttered bedroom
• Fall asleep when you are tired- don’t stay up (Kapha dominates from 6:00 to 10:00, when it’s easier to fall asleep)

Vata Vanquishing Diet
• Warm, cooked, moist, easy-to-digest foods such as asparagus soup, lentils and rice
• Eat foods with the sweet, sour and salty tastes.
• Minimize pungent, bitter and astringent foods, and raw salads
• Watch the caffeine, even early in the day. Use a warming, relaxing herbal tea in the evening.

Pacifying Pitta
• Eat a large enough evening meal, so you don’t feel hungry before bed
• Before bed- enjoy a blender drink of milk, dates and cinnamon, or a cooling herbal tea
• Keep the bedroom cool
• Fall asleep before 10:00 P.M. (pitta aggravation time)

Pitta Pacifying Diet
• Use sweet, bitter and astringent foods
• Avoid less sour, salty and pungent foods (especially chilies)
• Sweet, juicy fruits
• Cool temperature food

Clobbering Kapha
• Enjoy teas of basil, mint and clove
• Gradually decrease coffee consumption. Green tea is a good substitute.

Kapha Clobbering Diet
• Spicy foods invigorate the body and energize digestion.
• Eat cooked food, served hot.
• Light, easily digestible foods such as soups, beans and spiced cooked vegetables
• Eat bitter, astringent and pungent foods
• Avoid desserts and heavy, cold sweets, such as ice cream, fried foods, leftovers, and aged foods

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The Tea Talk Blog is written by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Yogi herbalist with over 40 years experience.
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