Nighttime is the best time to sleep. Around 6:00 p.m., we naturally start to wind down as the energy of The Earth (Kapha) settles over your region of the world. Our mind settles during this time. This period lasts from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Intend to be in bed by 10:00 p.m.
To understand the Ayurvedic take on sleep we must first understand the concept of tridosha. The word dosha can be translated as conditions or qualities, of which there are three. These qualities are manifestations of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether (also called space). According to the Ayurvedic system, not only are these elements present in our environment, but also within everyone to varying degrees. In fact,everyone is influenced by their body, their mind and their environment and this includes the time of day, time of year, the food we eat, our actions etc. Although there are only three basic types of constitutions, everyone carries a unique combination of these three conditions. You are which type take your prakriti quiz!
Ayurveda offers some helpful tips for a good night’s sleep. According to Ayurveda, the right side of our body is infused with vibrant, positive, solar type energy whereas the left side is the subtler lunar type energy.
Therefore, if one is accustomed to sleeping on their left side it will be suppressing the lunar type energy and fostering the solar energy. This may not be conducive if one is of a pitta nature because it may affect an imbalance of pitta causing overheating, irritability, and when taken to extreme, obsessive compulsive type behaviours. So, pitta people are advised to sleep on their right side and suppress this abundance of solar energy. Vata and kapha people however are advised to suppress their lunar side which would calm the restless nervousness of the vata people and would encourage a lift of sluggishness in the kapha people.
Another Ayurvedic tip is to never sleep with the head to the north. In this position, there is a subtle repelling of the magnetic energy of the earth which causes imbalances, in fact it is advised in the ancient texts that sleeping with the head to the south or east creates strength and wellbeing whereas the head to the north or west will bring disease!
So, the Ayurvedic advice is get to bed between 9 and 10 pm and get up before 6 am,sleep on your right side if you are of pitta nature and on your left if you are kapha or vata, head to the south or east and you will have a day suffused with calmness, productivity and energy.
Lying on your back or stomach is not a good way to sleep. On your back, your energy dissipates and leaves. Lying on your stomach, you cannot effectively breathe.