Alternative and Integrative Therapies
According to ayurveda, the amount of sleep you need depends on your mind-body constitution or body type. People with Kapha constitution need the most sleep - about eight or nine hours in order to feel rested. Pittas are next, with a need of seven to eight hours. Vatas can manage with six to seven hours of sleep.
Ayurveda considers childhood to be the Kapha stage of life. Adulthood is Pitta time, and old age is the Vata stage of life. So the same principle applies here as with body types: we need the most sleep during the Kapha stage, the least during Vata time.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Your sleep needs are largely determined by your Ayurvedic body type:
Causes of Insomnia from Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda recognizes two main causes for insomnia:
1. Aggravated Vata.
Vata governs movement everywhere in the body. An unbalanced Vata creates the environment conducive to the initiation of insomnia - the inability to sleep well.
Signs of Vata aggravation include anxiety, worry, fear, and restlessness. Each of these can also cause disturbed Vata. Stress, excessive exercise or sexual activity for your body type, eating a too- light diet, fasting, staying up late all create agitation in the central nervous system and throw Vata out of balance. (You don't even have to have a Vata body type to have an aggravated vata.)
See Also: Signs of Vata Dosha Imbalance
2. Disturbances of Routine.
When you break your own regular habit patterns, you are prone to get insomnia. Examples are: crossing time zones when traveling or staying up late working several nights in a row. These disturbances in our daily routine puts us out of synch and it seems we cannot get back into our usual rhythm and then can't seem to get back into synch.
According to ayurveda, nature also has its own rhythm. Insomnia can result when we are out of harmony with nature's regular patterns. The natural cycles run through phases of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We are healthiest when we organize our lives in tune with nature's rhythms.
Both of these causes - vata aggravation and disturbances of routine - can easily be corrected by Ayurvedic methods.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Insomnia
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