There is an age-old saying in Ayurveda: “sleep is the nurse of all living beings”.
Studies have shown that sleep is not only important for the brain, but also for the immune system, for hormonal balance, for learning and even for weight loss.
During sleep your system has the chance to repair the damage done to it during the day. It is, effectively, the main rejuvenating mechanism for your mind and body.
Insufficient quality or quantity of sleep can increase your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, obesity, and even cancer.
Many of us get six hours of sleep, or less, even though research has found that we need seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
The deep rest we gain from sleep is the basis of dynamic activity, clarity of mind, heightened sensory awareness, longevity, a radiant complexion, and inner and outer beauty.
Sleep patterns and body-types
Patterns of sleep can vary from person to person. Some people sleep very deeply and rarely wake in the night. Other sleep more lightly and wake up periodically.
According to Ayurveda, these differences, including even the types of dreams we have, are due to our individual body-type. Ayurvedic body-types are based on the three principles that underlie our psycho-physiology. These three principles are called the three Doshas – Vata (movement), Pitta (change and transformation) and Kapha (structure and stability).
Having a different style of sleep – deep or light or full of vivid dreams – is fine, as long as you get sufficient sleep, and feel fresh and rested in the morning. The problems start when this is not the case.
Ayurveda sees that poor quality of sleep is associated with imbalance between the three Doshas (and their sub-Doshas) that rule our body and mind.
Vata sleep problems
When the principle of movement, or Vata, is out of balance, you may find it hard to get to sleep. You might try to fall asleep but find yourself thinking about all the events of the day. You may find your mind reproducing the feelings and emotions that accompanied those events and unable to detach from them. Even if you do get to sleep, your sleep will tend to be light and restless and you’ll wake up tired.
Pitta sleep problems
When Pitta is out of balance, you will usually have no problems falling asleep, but you will tend to wake up in the early hours and find it hard to get back to sleep. Pitta is often put out of balance when there is some emotional trauma in your life. Pitta imbalances can be due to other causes, such as eating too many spicy foods, or being in a hot environment for a prolonged period of time.
Kapha sleep problems
If you find you get plenty of deep sleep at night, but wake up feeling listless and exhausted, you have a Kapha-related sleep disorder. Those who have the structuring and stabilising element called Kapha out of balance, can sometimes find this lethargic and dull feeling continues throughout the day.
Different Ayurvedic strokes for different folks
Maharishi AyurVeda have created different formulations that help with the range of sleep disorders.
Once you have identified what type of sleep disorder you are suffering from (Vata, Pitta or Kapha), it is recommended to combine Blissful Sleep Basic (MA1778) with the appropriate Dosha-specific Blissful Sleep formula.
Another formula, called Peace at Night, is particularly good at soothing a busy mind, and can be combined with Blissful Sleep.
* Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2