Kates Sleep Story
Kate smiled at me with bright eyes, self-assured and at ease. She looked healthy, vibrant and was very different from the anxious, frightened, overwrought young woman who for 6 months had slept 2-3 hours a night at times (and sometimes not at all). I asked her if she would be okay to share her story so that her experience may in some way serve others, and she was happy to do so.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Kate explained, “I’m sleeping 8-9 hours a night now; going to bed when I get tired which is usually 9.15-9.30 PM and waking up 6-6.30AM. I have trust and faith now that I do have the ability to sleep. I have worked out a wind-down routine and bedtime routine that works for me. I am feeling so much better!”
What went wrong with Kate’s sleep cycle?
The cycle of rest and activity is seen throughout all of nature. It provides a time when our senses are able to retire within and to let go, allowing internal balancing and healing. This daily reset allows us to process the experiences of the day, lay down memory, digest, and metabolize our food into nourishment for our tissues, support cellular cleansing, and rejuvenation and prepares the waste for release upon waking, and much more. Deep and rejuvenating sleep is essential for good health, and lack of it does create imbalance and eventually disease.
How our symptoms of imbalance manifest depend on our innate mind-body type. Kate is a Pitta Vata Profile, so her symptoms were localized in her stomach and small intestine. She experienced disturbed menstruation, intense emotions and an inability for her mind to switch off at bedtime, along with waking in the night.
A closer look at Kate’s imbalance
Unknowingly Kate had severely aggravated Vata dosha in particular and specifically Prana Vata with a diet of primarily cold and raw foods during the winter season, mental pressure of study and an irregular pattern of living. As her inner balance started to drop away it gave rise to a lack of inner stability, her natural rhythms became impaired leading to skin breakouts, menstrual problems, head pressure, anxiety and panic along with terror when she thought about sleeping.
Prana Vata is located in the head, brain, and chest. It is upward moving and enlivens the nervous system, sense, emotions, and intellect and was behind Kate’s racing mind and inability to settle for sleep. It is enlivened and can be overstimulated by computer work, mental pressure of exams or deadlines, mental work in the evening and lack of oils in the diet, irregular daily routine and lack of Vata settling warm food and drinks.
What Kate did to fix it!
Kate turned to Maharishi AyurVeda to understand what was happening and to find a way to sleep better, soothe her digestive discomfort, mental pressure, menstrual problems and to reduce her terror and anxiety.
When asked what she would say to someone with a sleep concern she said “know it is your birthright to sleep and if it’s not happening, then something needs to be addressed. Find out what it is and address it, then the normal rhythm of sleep can be restored once again. If I did it, then you can too!”
Key choices Kate made were to
- Favour warm Vata balancing food and drink. She stopped favouring cold and raw foods as she understood they were aggravating the Vata qualities within her, especially as it was winter time.
- Adopt a regular daily routine of bedtime between 6-10 PM when the heavier qualities of Kapha help to ensure a deep sleep, and rising time 6-6.30 AM.
- Drink and eat at regular intervals through the day. Drinking Vata tea through the day had a deeply settling effect for Kate.
- Eat with full attention, without reading, or using the phone, computer or tablet.
- Practice Transcendental Meditation in the morning before breakfast and late afternoon.
- Have a full body oil massage using Vata Massage Oil as often as you can. Daily is ideal before the morning shower.
- Have your main quantity of food at lunch and eat a smaller evening meal by 6.30 PM.
- Pay attention to when you feel drowsy in the evening. Settle for bed earlier than 10 PM when feeling drowsy.
- Take Good Night tea at bedtime along with 2 tablets of MA686 Ashwagandha/Indian Asparagus formula. Also, Kate took 2 tablets of Herbal Digest MA927 prior meals and 2 tablets of Peace of Mind MA1401 after breakfast and evening meals.
- Allow time for the changes to work their magic while she adopted a gentle, kind and loving attitude towards herself. If I have a night of disrupted sleep, I let it go as everyone can have that sometimes.
Kate says, ‘now when I wake, I feel fresh, clear and alert. I open the curtains and see the sun, I feel gratitude without actually trying to be grateful. It just arises within me naturally. I have a good sleep most often now, and I appreciate it so much more. My other physical symptoms have resolved too!”
When I first looked at Kate when she came for a follow-up consultation, I saw the rejuvenating effect of good sleep sparkling in her eyes and beaming through her smile. I was reminded that 8 hours sleep provides the most rejuvenating beauty sleep, when the rest starts before 10 PM. Kate had noticed that she feels more fresh and energetic now when she wakes, and I could certainly see the difference in her face in the morning. Indeed her beauty sleep was working!
Wishing you the bliss of balance
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant.
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our health articles. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
Mobile: +64 212237525