top of page

Getting Better Sleep


quick tips to help you sleep better

Sleep is essential for us to be the best version of ourselves on every level. It is one of those things we take for granted until we start having issues with it! Lately, I have been having occasional doses of pitta insomnia. It has served as an inspiration to write this for you in case you need to sleep better too!


In Ayurveda, there are three different sleep issues people can have and they depend on the elements at play. Although your dosha can determine what sleep problems will be most common for you, any type of imbalance of the elements can contribute too. The three main sleep issues are not being able to fall asleep, not being able to stay asleep, and sleeping too much.


Vata is the combination of air and ether.


This is the one dosha that doesn't have water contributing to its make up so it tends to be very dry. A vata imbalance will cause you to have insomnia where you struggle to fall asleep at night. Your mind will continually spin with ideas, worries, or random thoughts.


For this specific issue, there are several different things you can do. Go with what resonates with you first, but try them all if you need to!


The main effect we are looking for to solve this problem is grounding. We need to take you out of the air and ether and tether you back down to the ground! This can start with what you eat for dinner. Eating heavy, grounding foods like root vegetables, roasted veggies, stews, and soups will help a lot. Light foods like raw vegetables, salads, popcorn etc are NOT what you want to consume as your final meal.


Before you go to bed you may want to try journaling. Journaling looks different for everyone. For some it will be a to-do list, for some a gratitude list, for others they will pour their heart out with what is troubling them. You will have to decide how it feels best for you to empty your brain. The thoughts won't be spinning in your head if you release them onto paper.


Create a nightly ritual that helps settle you down and signifies that it is time to sleep. Brush your teeth, wash your face, and empty your bladder. Using essential oils can be super helpful for shifting your energy. Applying lavender or chamomile will help your body and mind shift. You could apply it at the base of your skull or in your belly button where there are lots of nerve endings or massaging it into your feet can also help. Take three deep breaths from the bottle or your hands to signify it is time for you to let go of the day and for your energy to shift.


Once you are in bed, I highly recommend trying a guided visualization, relaxation, or bedtime story. Guided relaxations are very powerful for a variety of reasons. For this sleep issue, we are using it primarily to ground you down and relax your body and mind completely. If you need one, I have one I recorded for you.



If you are intrigued by listening to a bedtime story, Spotify has tons available for free. Be careful you don't get lost in the scrolling process of looking for one! Scrolling on your phone will only contribute to sleep issues. Once you pick your bedtime story, deeply listen and your thoughts will calm down and hopefully you will drift off to sleep.


Pitta is the combination of fire and water.


Pittas tend to burn the candle at both ends so they generally fall asleep quickly without effort. The problem is from 10 pm - 2 am is pitta time, it is when our body metabolizes everything and we tend to get up to go to the bathroom when the energy shifts at 2 am. From 2 am to 6 am we are in vata mode, when sleep is lighter. When pittas have sleep problems they can't stay asleep or get back to sleep. It will be ideal for you to go to bed before 10 pm so the pitta hours don't suck you into being a night owl that is working away until 2 am!


Personally, I first decide what I am going to commit to. Do I want to go back to sleep or would I rather just use this energy, get up, and be productive? I have the flexibility in my days that I can always nap later so I tend to just start my day at 2 am on occasion! The reason I do this is because this is strong energy. I would rather get up and be productive than lie in bed wrestling with this energy and trying to subdue it. If this was happening regularly it would be unsustainable so let's look at other options.


This is a sign you have too much fire in your body so we have to look at ways to cool you off first. This could be done with a cool shower, a restorative yoga session, or eating more cooling foods and fruits. If you are in a cold climate and want something warm before bed, focus on teas with cooling herbs like mint or fennel and avoid ginger, cinnamon, and other warming herbs.


I would also consider...You could also try oiling your body with coconut oil as it has a cooling effect. Jasmine and rose are essential oils good for cooling and sleep too.


Kapha is the combination of earth and water.


Kaphas generally don't have any issues sleeping, their issue is that they don't want to get up!! When you mix earth and water you get mud. This energy is heavy and can make it harder to get moving in the morning. 6-10 am are the kapha hours of the morning and this can make it much harder to get up during this time. Getting up at 6 am or earlier will make life easier for you.


Kaphas need more stimulation. You can start to address this through diet. Eating heavy or fried foods isn't ideal for you and neither is dairy. They will just make you feel more lethargic. It is better to add more foods that are light, dry, and warming into your diet.


Instead of a guided relaxation I would recommend taking yourself through a guided activation or do a breathing practice like kapalabhati. A guided activation is simple. Start by thinking about your toes and feel the energy in your body flowing to your toes. Imagine filling them with circulation and happy energy. Work your way up body part by body part until you get up to the crown of your head. Then it is time to get up and drink a nice glass of water.


You could also use a mindset technique like Mel Robbins' 5-second rule. Count down from 5 and when you get to 1 jump out of bed. It may seem simple but it works quite well!


It will help you to get your body moving in the morning. You could do this by doing some stretching, working out, going for a nice walk, any movement practice that resonates with you. If you find it hard to get moving in the morning then try listening to a motivational talk on YouTube or through a podcast when you get up. You can listen right in bed but let it inspire you to get up!


I highly recommend making dry brushing part of your shower routine if you are a kapha. It is such an easy way to get rid of any lethargic energy. It is beneficial for every dosha but I find it can be a game changer for kaphas.


That sums it up for an Ayurvedic perspective on sleep issues! Ayurveda is such a beautiful system that can prevent you from becoming ill by keeping the elements in your body balanced through lifestyle choices.



*Side note! After I wrote this I googled it to make sure I didn't miss anything vital. Upon reading a plethora of other articles I found mixed opinions. Some people say not being able to fall asleep is a pitta problem and not being able to stay asleep is a vata problem. I am sticking with my education and personal experience with these sleep issues and the way I described them. I just wanted to share this because perhaps you have experienced them differently. I would love to know your thoughts on this! Email me at hilery@healingwithhilery.com or leave a comment if you feel like sharing.

1 comentário


Great article! So true!

Curtir

Buzz...

Listen to the Podcast with Major League Nutrition Part 1
Listen to the Podcast with Major League Nutrition Part 2
Read the Interview with MysticMag

Subscribe to get exclusive updates

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page