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 Sleep  Holistic-online.com

Alternative and Integrative Therapies

Ayurveda

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. 
Your requirements of sleep also depends on what stage of life are you in. Babies can sleep as much as 15 or 16 hours out of every 24. Children frequently sleep 10 hours or more. At the other extreme, elderly people rarely enjoy a sound, unbroken sleep of more than four or five hours. 

See Also: 

Sleep Pattern and Aging

Amount of Sleep as we age

Deep Sleep as we age

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:

Vata = 6-7 hours
Pitta = 7-8 hours 
Kapha = 8-9 hours

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

General Remedies

Warm oil massage

Meditation

Breathing exercise

Dietary Remedies

Herbal Remedies

Using Nature's Rhythms

Other Recommendations

Ayurvedic Remedies for Excessive Sleep

See Also: Ayurveda Supercenter in Holisticonline.com

Yoga for insomnia

Breathing Exercises for insomnia

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