Updated: 11 hours ago
Explore sleep issues by dosha type. Evenings are for relaxing, but instead it’s often the time we try to knock off more from the endless to-do list. Pitta time is also when our minds and brains become more active. Thoughts that keep spinning and the mind keeps talking. But we need to take a break every evening for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Learn how to make use of this supportive Kapha time to unwind, relax, ground, and let go so you can sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed.
Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.
11 Ayurvedic Tips to Help You Fall Asleep
"More than 50 million people in the United States have a sleep disorder. In addition, more than 100 million Americans of all ages report that they don’t get an adequate amount of sleep." according to the Cleveland Clinic.
These are eye opening statistics and we need to pay attention.
There is no single tip that is best for everyone for a good night’s sleep. It's our approach to our daily life that influences the quality of our sleep. It's when we wake, when we go to bed, how we breathe, when and what we eat, using the correct herbs, and how we navigate our day, that creates good sleep. In other words, it's about keeping Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha balanced.
For example, which Ayurvedic herbs are most supportive for an individual depends on their prakruti (constitution) and vikruti (current state), stage of life, and the overall health picture.
"While there is an endless supply of information about herbs available, having a deep knowledge of the herbs, and a systemic, holistic understanding of each person, and then determining which herb will best support the person overall to balance the doshas the root cause, is what people need." -Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
The Three Dosha Types in Ayurveda
What Is a Dosha?
Dosha is a Sanskrit term that literally means “that which darkens,” "that which accelerates aging," because when the doshas are out of balance, it accelerates aging, leads to health issues and disease.
Vata Dosha – Air + Space
Vata types tend to be thin and lanky. They are mentally and physically active and have active imaginations. Vatas are creative people who often think outside the box. They tend to be easily distracted and have moods that are influenced by the weather, the people around them, and the foods they eat.
Vatas do best when they follow a consistent daily routine that allows them to manage their stress through mediation, pranayama breathing, or calm activities. Vata types or those with Vata conditions frequently get cold hands and feet and can benefit from maintaining a warm body temperature. Keep digging in: Wild List of Vata Imbalances.
Kapha Dosha – Water + Earth
Kapha types are strong, thick bones people with slow metabolisms. They are innately stable, compassionate and loyal, and often act as a support system for others. Kaphas rarely get upset and tend to think before they act.
Because of their slow metabolism and tendency to gain weight, Kaphas do best when they focus on regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and keep to a regular sleep routine.
Pitta Dosha – Fire + Water
Pitta types are strong-willed individuals who are highly motivated, competitive, and goal-oriented. Pitta can be intense and aggressive in their drive to attain their goals, but their drive makes them natural leaders. When a Pitta is out of balance, they can easily get irritated and frustrated. Learn more: Hot List of Common Pitta Imbalances
We all have some amount of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and the doshas dominate certain times of day and night, as well as certain stages of life. Where once we may have slept like a log, perhaps as we age we find ourselves sawing more logs!
Sleep Issue by Ayurvedic Dosha:
Vata: Sleep issues are most common with airy Vata types. Prone to overactive nerves, highly aware and sensitive Vata can have difficulty calming the mind to fall and stay asleep.
Pitta: Passionate Pitta types are prone to burnout and stress, which can burn out the mind and nervous system.
Kapha: Stable Kapha types rarely have sleep issues, but may feel sluggish when out of balance. These issues tend to pop up in the springtime, when earth and water are in transition.
The following Ayurveda tips are helpful for most:
1. A full stomach at bedtime keeps your body busy digesting food instead of winding down. Eat your largest meal mid-day, and a lighter meal several hours before sleeping. A brisk walk after dinner aids in digestion and soothes the mind.
2. When we’re tired, we’re more likely to reach for sweet treats for a quick energy boost – but sugar can backfire at bedtime. Prioritize fresh and seasonal organic food, eating as close to how nature grew those foods. (Example: eat an apple versus sugary apple pie.) Mother Nature knows what she’s doing–we benefit when we follow her wisdom. Follow an Ayurvedic food program customized to you based on an Ayurvedic consultation.
3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, which can all disrupt sleep patterns. Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant and what we seek is energy. Avoid the spikes and crashes and focus on good, healthy, home cooked meals. Saumya Ayurveda was selected top Ayurveda Recipe Blogs. Click here and start cooking these easy, healthy meals guaranteed to give you the energy you need and the vitality you want.
While it may feel like a drink or glass of wine can help you unwind, alcohol is linked to chronic insomnia and aggravates Vata dosha and Pitta dosha.
4. Dinacharya, or Ayurvedic Routines. Today started yesterday. What we do, what and how we eat, how we move through the day, all affects how we will sleep. Good sleep starts with an Ayurvedic morning routine (dinacharya) that fits your life. For a healthy Ayurvedic version of the night cap, create your own Ayurvedic evening rituals.
Pick a few items for morning and evening choosing those that you enjoy and will provide you with the greatest return on your energy and time investment.
“Some people, especially those with a higher Vata dosha, cringe at the word “routine.” Vata is free form and does not want to be caged in. I get it. I explain to my clients that morning and evening dinacharya, not as routine, but rather as following the natural rhythms and surfing those waves. For Vata type people, that really resonates.” - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
5. Wake at the correct time for you. Often when we are exhausted, we want to sleep more and later, and yet rarely does that seem to improve energy, in fact, it tends to make people less energetic (more confused and even demoralized.) Knowing what time is ideal for your wake up is key to having good energy and focus.
Vata governs the early morning hours; wake before sunrise to harness its light, fluid, moving energy. Fresh air and exercise after waking help reduce stress throughout the day. Waking up later in the morning, is waking up in the heavy, dense qualities of Vata, and it's hard to get going.
The Ayurvedic Clock:
Wake Up Times by Dosha
Vata: People with a Vata constitution need more sleep and do best sleeping until 6 a.m. Pitta: Those with a Pitta constitution are supported by waking by 5:30a.m. Kapha: People with a Kapha constitution are invigorating their energy by waking by 4:30a.m.
“As I constantly emphasize, what is correct for a specific individual, it depends. For example, someone who has endured insomnia for years and is just starting to establish a healthy, restorative sleep pattern—I say—‘let them sleep!’ They’re healing and sleep is necessary. Once they are feeling vital and energetic again then, we circle back to what is the most supportive time to wake up.
The wake up times by dosha is not a black and white matter because people are healing, or they are sick, or so often exhausted, and we live in a go-go-push-push world. The opposite quality (key Ayurveda principle) of pushing and doing, is letting go and resting. Sleep is one space in the day designed for just that. When the body is in need of rest-it needs to rest.
Working together with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner is incredibly helpful because the personalized guidance is there and the client’s progress and shifts are closely and compassionately observed and guidance is provided each step of the way."
-Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
What is the best time to wake up in the morning according to Ayurveda?
It depends, but understanding the times of the day the doshas are dominant and knowing with cystal clarity your doshic constitution (prakruti) and current state (vikruti) is key to knowing how to apply Ayurveda wisely and compassionately, goes a long way to getting a good night's sleep.
"Sleep is essential. Quality rest is necessary for maintaining good physical and mental health throughout your life. How you feel when you’re awake is partly determined by what happens during sleep; the body is actively engaged in restorative processes during this time." according to Yale Medicine.
“I have seen Veena at Saumya Ayurveda for several years--in fact, my family sees her. She has helped me with blood pressure and cholesterol management as well as helping me reduce overall inflammation. I sleep better, my stress has reduced, and my energy has improved. During a period of high stress, I was waking with a racing heart and the herbal and lifestyle recommendations reversed it.
I recommend Veena--she will stick by your side and be there when you need her. She is responsive, comprehensive, and effective." -- Bryan Stenlund, Licensed Psychologist, Stenlund Psychological Services, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
6. Gain two fundamental skills that are life-changing. TLearn how to move from fight, flight, freeze mode, to rest, restore, and relax mode. How? In just two clear steps, you cancreate a new sense of calm to help you fall and stay asleep.
2. Use our free daily guided practices
“Veena has been an incredible resource to help me get aligned on food, herbs, and mind, body, and soul exercises to feel more grounded and present. I love the daily guided practices, a routine that feels EMBODYING. She has made an outsized impact on my life in a short amount of time.” –Mark F., Boulder Colorado
7. Herbal Support to Help You Fall Asleep
Many of the best Ayurvedic sleep remedies harness the power of Ayurvedic herbs. These bedtime habits help bring stillness to the mind and balance Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the body.
Drink a soothing lavender or chamomile tea when you begin your evening routine.
"Not only does warm milk and spices help us sleep, it rejuvenates and nourishes our tired nervous systems which helps us fall asleep and stay asleep." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
Apply a few drops of sandalwood or lavender essential oil inside your pillowcase, a nightstand oil diffuser, or a soothing nighttime bath.
Oil the soles of your feet before bedtime to calm and ground Vata energy. Sleep in socks or wipe off after 15 minutes to avoid messy sheets and slipping.
As with all herbs, the tenet of Ayurveda is that what works well for one person may be incorrect for another. To know what herbs are correct for you, schedule a consultation with a seasoned Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. (Herbs are listed for informational purposes only.)
8. Establish and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
One of the most powerful Ayurvedic sleep remedies is, simply: maintain a regular sleep schedule. When your doshic picture is assessed through an Ayurveda consultation, you can further refine your wake and sleep schedule, and optimize your energy.
"Consistency is key to balancing the doshas, and a consistent sleep schedule is a game changer. When our being knows it can count on something, that provides security, safety and comfort and we naturally relax." -Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
While an earlier bedtime is better, head to bed between 9pm and 10:00 pm to align with your circadian rhythm and the rhythm of the doshas. Your ideal sleep and wake time depends on your constitution, current state, location and stage of life.
A consultation with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner is needed to gain insights and clarity about your doshic picture. (An online Ayurveda quiz may fall short. Book your free phone consultation, here.)
Explore More: The Three Ayurvedic Doshas and Their Impact on Your Life.
“Vata dosha is dominant from 2:00-6:00 (a.m. and p.m.). This is the time to start letting go, slowing down, taking it a bit easier. Avoid scheduling the hardest work of your day during Vata time, favor eaasier tasks. We need to start slowing down, just as we downshifting a car. We’ve been in high gear, perhaps since we woke up, now it’s time to shift to a lower gear so we can slip into state of relaxation in the evening and to prepare ourselves to fall asleep.
Around dinner time, it's time to enter relaxation mode. When we follow the natural rhythms of the doshas, we will much more easily fall and stay asleep. When we are in high gear from the moment we wake up until the moment we put our head down, we won’t be relaxed and that will affect sleep.
The heavier, slower qualities of Kapha time (6:00-10:00p.m.) naturally help us settle down in the evening and that is key to falling asleep. It's time to let go of the day, of doing, and embrace being.” -Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
9. Ayurveda lifestyle habits are a powerful ways to tips to help you fall asleep.
Nasya oil, Abhyanga massage, and guided meditations bring you back to the moment, and improve overall well being. When we calm our minds and nervous systems, we are preparing ourselves for restorative and refreshing sleep.
Think of it this way, it's difficult for the body and mind to go from sixty miles per hour all day, to zero in one move. By applying the knoweldge of Ayurveda and the time the doshas are dominant, we know to start easing up in the afternoon, and by dinner time, to settling down and into the calming, grounding, energy of Kapha time.
"The support we need from nature, from the universe, for a good night's sleep is there for us every day and night. We simply need to align and operate in harmony with it from when we wake up until we go to bed. This is what Ayurveda routine (dinacharya) is really about and why Ayurvedic lifestyle is powerful and has only positives side effects."
-Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
Feeling stressed lately? You’re not alone. Our whole society is operating from a state of agitated intensity. Work demands too much of us. Life is getting more expensive, but salaries are stagnant. We feel overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated.
Yikes. It’s no wonder 89% of people who left their jobs last year said they felt burnt out and unsupported.
It’s clear, our work culture isn’t working. We’re burnt out, tired, and we’re feeling it. From an Ayurvedic standpoint, this means we need to restore balance in our minds, bodies, nervous systems, emotions, and our entire lives.
Avoid answering emails, scrolling the internet, or watching TV after dinner. Screen time keeps our mind on hyperalert, and inhibits melatonin production.
11. Keep your bedroom dedicated to sleep and tranquility.
Create a nourishing environment for meditation, reading, journaling, and winding down. (Get a traditional alarm clock instead of using your phone.) Keep work and screens out of your sleep sanctuary.
11 Ayurvedic Tips to Help You Fall Asleep will help you sleep like a baby and wake refreshed.
What’s The Best Temperature for Sleeping?
Believe it or not, temperature makes a big difference. Too hot or too cold influences if we get a good night’s sleep or not. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “…keep your bedroom at 60 to 67° F (15 to 19° C) and to think of your bedroom as your ‘cave.’ “It should be cool, dark and quiet to enhance your sleep.”
There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.
"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."
- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.
3. Ayurveda Daily Routines: Ayurvedic Morning Routine | 6 Rituals for a Calm and Centered Day
"Choose a couple of practices from the routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life."
- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
"Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”
-Molly Rossini, Minnesota
Explore More: Ayurveda Breathwork Pranayama
“I was tired of seeking advice from mainstream medical professionals, even my beloved midwives. I have long had heavy periods, but it took a turn a couple years ago, getting even heavier. As a result of so much blood loss, I had become highly anemic, irritable, sleeping restlessly, hooked on morning coffee, and suffering through bloating, craping, and spotting for a good chunk of the month.
With Veena’s help, things are getting aligned. I am now a firm believer that: A.) She definitely knows what is talking about and B.) Ayurvedic medicine can be trusted. I am grateful to have found Veena!” --Angie D., -Minnesota
“Veena is experienced and caring. Her knowledge is astounding. She took the time with text support to help me get into habit of taking the herbs on time. She picked me up when I didn’t have energy to keep going. My A1C numbers quickly went from 6.3 to 5.7. As a fitness and wellness professional, I strongly recommend you take the first step with Veena.” –N.L., Corrales, New Mexico
“I had come back from India searching for a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner to help me continue my Ayurvedic journey and I was so grateful to find Veena! During our first consultation, she asked all the right questions to truly understand the underlying causes of my sleep and digestive issues.
Veena was very thorough in her questions, research, and follow-up to determine the right treatment plan, recommend the right activities, and practices along with special spices and herbalized oils to help me feel better and restore my energy. I continue to meet with Veena seasonally to reassess and guide me with Ayurveda tools that keep me in balance year-round. Thank you Veena.” -B.S. Minnesota
Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way
We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.
Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.
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Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.
She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.
Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.
These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.
She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.
An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.