Updated: Mar 23
A good night sleep not only puts us in a good mood with plenty energy for the day ahead, but is also important for our detoxification & rejuvenation processes.
Most of us are familiar with the basics of good sleep hygiene such as avoiding technology and stimulants such as coffee, eating your dinner early to allow time for digestion, exercise during the day and ensure your room is dark and not too hot or too cold… perhaps you have all this in place but a restorative sleep eludes you, what else can you try?
According to Ayurveda, we can have trouble with sleep due to excess Vata or excess Pitta Dosha, let’s explore the two…
Vata is pacified by warmth, stability, sweetness & oiliness, so grounding practicing such as massaging the feet with warm oil at bedtime is a beautiful practice. As is applying a couple of drops of oil to the crown of the head to calm the system. Consider a warm drink at bedtime such as warm milk with Nutmeg or Ashwagandha
Excess Pitta Dosha leads to a restless night, the tendency to overheat, hot flashes, hot or sharp digestion, agitated mind or disturbing fiery dreams. It can present as difficulty getting to sleep or being a ‘night owl’ because the energy of pitta creates ambition, a desire to achieve and be productive, these energies are active between 10pm – 2am, that second wind we get. That’s why it’s wise to get to bed before Pitta time sets in!
Pitta is balanced by cool sweet slow qualities, so massaging the feet with a cooling oil for example coconut oil and a couple of drops of peppermint or lavender essential oil. Try a cooling pranayama such as Sheetali. Another beautiful practice is Yoga Nidra which translates to yogic sleep, you can download an audio of this guided meditation and you will be in the land of nod in no time
Excess Kapha tends to make us feel heavy and lethargic resulting in us getting too much sleep, going to bed too early and sleeping in will compound the effects of Kapha making us feel tired and sluggish. Kapha dominates between 6-10pm & 6-10am meaning Kapha types need the least amount of sleep, can stay up a little later but need to be up and at ‘em before 6am.
Ayurvedic tips for a good nights sleep;
1. Apply a few drops of oil to the crown of the head & massage feet with warm oil, Sleep Easy Oil works a treat.
2. Sip a warmed spiced milk before bed, Nutmeg or Ashwagandha are particularly good for Vata.
3. Try Yoga Nidra, a guided meditation that translates to yogic sleep.
4. Consider a supplement such as I Sleep Soundly.
5. Diffuse some essential oils such as Peace & Calming, Lavender, Valor or Frankincense.
Want some sleep support? Shop Sleep Easy Oil & I Sleep Soundly from Banyan Botanicals.
Live Wisely, Abbie x
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