The Big Sleep
Sleep problems vary by dosha. Depending on what’s going on with your body’s energy balance, you may have trouble falling asleep, find our self wide awake in the middle of the night, or be snoring like a bear when you should be a bright-eyed squirrel.
Take a look at how your sleep stacks up against some common problems, by dosha. It’s the first step toward getting back into balance.
For people with excess pitta, one of the most important ingredients for good sleep is to fall asleep before 10 p.m., before the pitta phase of night begins. If you stay awake past 10, your sleep will have the active, restless qualities of pitta, and it will be tough to rest deeply.
If increased vata is your plight, get to bed when you are tired, but certainly before 2 a.m., because creative vata types tend to get a second wind as the night rolls. Getting immersed in the latest project, prowling the halls, too tired to sleep-sound familiar? Going to bed during the slow kapha time, between 6 and 10 p.m., will help. (In fact it helps everyone sleep better, as it’s a more natural time for us to sleep, biologically.)
To balance vata, a regular routine is important. Create and keep habits of consistency and self discipline in your daily schedule.
Oil is the most respected treatment for vata. Have a warm foot bath, followed by massaging the feet with sesame or almond oil before bed.
For the kapha bear, the key is to sleep little, and to rise early. If he gets going before 6 a.m., during the vata time of morning, he’ll feel infused with the light, alert, energetic qualities of vata dosha, and will feel more alert and energetic throughout the day. Sleeping past dawn, into the kapha time of the morning (6-10 a.m.) causes toxins to accumulate and creates a tedious, tired feeling.
Vigorous exercise is essential for balancing Kapha. The best time to exercise is during the Kapha time of the morning (6-10 a.m.) when it will help wash away some of the dullness of the night and make you feel more energetic all day.
It’s remarkable what these few small changes can do. What’s worked for you? Leave a comment or drop me an email with your comments.