How Doshic Imbalances Play A Role In Your Sleep
We find strength and vitality when we become aware of the subtle changes that occur in our bodies when we heal from a place of wholeness. To me, this is Ayurveda. When working towards balanced health it is very important to consider all of our senses, as a whole, to heel: Touch, Taste, Sight, Sound, and Smell.
The sleep routine that I am going to to share with you encompasses all five of our senses and plays a key role to a well deserved nights rest.
There are two main Doshic imbalances that can be the root cause of incongruent and broken sleep: Vata and Pitta. Vata imbalance will cause anxiety and worry making it Difficult to Fall Asleep (DFA). Pitta can cause an excess of heat in the body that will, in turn, create Early Morning Awakenings (EMA).
*Note that you may or may not fall within these specific Doshic imbalances and it is very important to know and understand what your root imbalance is. This Sleep Routine contains general guidelines
“Happiness and misery, growth and wasting, strength and weakness, virility and sterility, knowledge and ignorance, life and death all depend upon sleep.”
Start this Sleep Routine a half-hour before bedtime. If you have the time, this routine – I like to refer to this time as a ritual – can take upwards to an hour.
Getting to bed as early as possible (Before 10 PM) is very important, but not always achievable. If you are someone that usually falls asleep after 12 PM, try getting to sleep 15 or 30 minutes sooner. Small steps!
Touch: *This step should come before the others.
Abhyanga [Ab-he-yang-a] is a full-body, light massage with warm oils specifically recommended for your doshic imbalance with a hot shower afterward.
Alternatively, you can rub coconut oil on the bottoms of your feet. You can also add essential oils like lavender. Lavender is very gentle and generally can be used by most. Coconut oil is very cooling and a good oil to use in the summer for my Pitta friends.
Be aware when using essential oils topically as some may cause a reaction. It is important to accompany your essential oils with a base oil like coconut, jojoba, sunflower, sesame, etc. Again, be cautious when using anything on the skin. Do a test spot on the inner wrist first.
Milk is a prominent healer in Ayurvedic medicine. Milk only takes 24 hours to penetrate the subtle levels in your body compared to a month for all other foods. Ayurvedic Medicine sees that having just a little something in your stomach when going to bed is a good thing.
Take a half glass or so of warm milk (can substitute with alternative milk) with a pinch of spices like cardamom and turmeric. Slowly heat your milk and spices to the first boil on the stove. Enjoy this drink in bed with music, dim lighting, and calming scents to relax your mind.
As the sun sets and the sky grows dark so should your bedroom. Turn off overhead lighting and bright bed-side lighting. I like to cover my lamp with a blue or red scarf. Be careful with bulbs that will overheat and catch on fire! I also use my Himalayan Salt Lamp which gives me the perfect amount of dim lighting.
You are preparing your mind to rest. If you are using this Sleep Ritual to truly create better and deeper sleep, refraining from writing and reading is a must – for now! Activities like writing and reading will engage the mind. Try Yoga Nidra or listening to calming music.
As we walk throughout our day we hear sounds, or frequencies, which can be measured in Hertz. It is proven that music played in specific Hertz can influence our brain and bring us to states of relaxation. When in bed and settling your mind, play
The nose is the quickest route to the brain. When you stop to smell a rose, all of your attention is collected and the sweet smell is everything in that moment. Do you have some fresh basil? Take a whiff! Your mind silences and that beautiful aroma holds your attention. Use your diffuser at night with aromas like lavender. Try Floracopeia’s Vata blend to truly relax you into blissful sleep.
Diffusers: There are many out there. Pay attention when you are purchasing yours. Look for the amount of water it can hold, timing options and whether it lights up. If light bothers you, you will want one that has an option for no light. Your room should be as dark as possible when you sleep.
No diffuser? That’s okay! Pour hot water into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oils.
Starting Something New
Whenever we start a new routine or ritual it can seem daunting and frustrating. It can also be rewarding and fun. Take what works for you now and leave the rest. Come back when you are ready for more!
Want to know which oil to use? Interested in self Abhyanga and Couples Abhyanga? Want a Sleep Routine that’s specifically designed for you?
Much love, Alexandra
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The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.