Ayurveda and yoga are sister sciences and provide us with tools that can help build resilience to the hormonal imbalances we are so prone to.
The woman’s menstrual cycle plays a major role in Ayurveda. If you go to an Ayurveda doctor or consultant, you will be asked questions about digestion and as a woman as well some questions about your menstruation cycle: Is the cycle regular? What colour is the blood? Are there any complaints before, after or during the menstruation? A woman’s cycle has a huge impact on life and wellbeing. The monthly bleeding is a cleansing phase for the body.
A lot of functions in our body are controlled by hormones, which is why it makes sense, as a woman, to be more concerned with our own cycle. In Ayurveda, the different phases of the cycle are determined by different doshas. As a result, they have an effect on the physical and emotional level. Hormonal balance is crucial for being fertile and having a good pregnancy.
What you’ll get out of tuning in:
Understand your Ayurvedic menstrual cycle (three phases of Vata, Kapha & Pitta)
One tip for each phase of your cycle
How can we connect to our womb energetically, mentally or physically
Sound to activate second chakra and why the second chakra is related to fertility & hormones
Sleep plays a very important role in our health along with eating healthy and exercising regularly. It influences very much how emotionally stable, mentally clear and physically fit we are. A good night’s sleep gives our body the possibility to begin its night-shift work. During sleep, our body can heal damaged cells and strengthen our immune system. We also recharge our heart, cardiovascular and nervous system for the next day. Deep and sufficient sleep is one of the keys to long-term health and the basis for a functioning immune system.
Improve your sleep with Ayurveda
Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine contains a lot of wisdom for a life in balance, including how to improve your sleep.
Ayurveda is about harmony and balance, especially the balance between the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They also play an important role in our sleep. The time we go to bed, what we do before and after bedtime, and of course what and when we eat. This all influences our bioenergies and thus contributes to a night of healthy sleep.
The role of the doshas in your sleep rhythm
From an Ayurvedic point of view, sleep is the most important regeneration phase of the day. Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. our Pitta energy wants to clean the body, picking up the dirt from the furthest corners. Then between 2 and 6 a.m. our Vata energy is very active, transporting the dirt and toxins to the excreting organs.
The most important prerequisite for this cleansing process is that the digestion of the last meal is finished before 10 p.m. That’s why it is important to have an early light dinner, at least three hours before you go to bed. If this is not the case, the body sets the priorities differently and focuses on digestion. Hence, prompting the whole system to power up instead of shutting down for the sleep and cleansing process. Consequently, fatigue is delayed and it’s difficult to fall asleep. We also are more likely to wake up at night and therefore, when it is time to get up in the morning… we’re exhausted.
Apart from the last meal, our general lifestyle also has an impact on our sleep. Our sleep problems may arise from the fact that there is too much movement, too much Vata, in our internal system. Consequently the body does not find its way deep enough into the relaxation mode. An overactive sympathetic nervous system means too much movement or Vata that is caused by stress, lack of time and an unsteady lifestyle. If we snack between meals, quickly change our routine, don’t get enough sleep, travel a lot and eat foods that elevate Vata, we probably won’t fall asleep and, above all, won’t sleep through the night.
How the Doshas differ
If we compare the different doshas, we note that a Vata imbalance tends towards irregular and light sleep. Vata type will usually wake up between 2 – 6 a.m., unable to return to sleep. They also can have problems to fall asleep. Whereas Pittas sleep can be disturbed by vivid and active dreams or nightmares. Pittas usually experience difficulties falling asleep as their mind is too busy and they can’t stop thinking about their plans, projects and upcoming activites. However, Kapha types are generally good sleepers but when out of balance, they sleep too long which makes them sluggish and heavy. Also after a long and sound sleep they do not wake up feeling well rested.
Thrive & Shine
Do you want a better and more aligned life to achieve deeply desired results? A life with more energy, a peaceful mind, and habits that go towards lifelong health and wellness?
Discover my online health and lifestyle program Thrive & Shine.
How can the Ayurvedic way of life be beneficial for our sleep?
The most important keys points are routine, diet and stress reduction. The optimal routine from an Ayurvedic point of view is three meals at similar times of the day, with the main meal at lunch and a light, early dinner. Of course, it is incredibly valuable to adjust the diet so that we can find a balance based on our constitution. It is also recommended that you go to bed and get up at similar times each day.
But we should also adjust our daily work and stress levels. Stress, regardless of what caused it, lets our nervous system run in a mode that is intended to protect us in dangerous situations. But if we often feel tense, agitated and rushed, then we are preventing the part of our nervous system that is responsible for regeneration, metabolism and sleep, from doing its job.
As a result, we may have permanently elevated cortisol levels. The stress hormone can lead to anxiety, hormonal imbalances, increased appetite, obesity and other issues. That is why in Ayurveda, we not only focus on nutrition and lifestyle but also meditation, yoga and other methods of stress reduction. Therefore the Ayurveda approach is holistic and matched with one’s unique constitution.
How diet affects your sleep
The most important tip is to move the main meal to noon and then eat lightly and early in the evening. From an Ayurvedic point of view, early and light means before 7 pm with little fat and protein and not too complex in composition. You should also eat raw vegetables at lunchtime as they are heavy to digest. This dietary advice is somewhat contrary to some modern-day opinions, but it works. Soups, stews or vegetables, perhaps with a little grain, are ideal for the evening. One-pot meals are especially easy to digest for our metabolism.
To have an early and light evening meal, of course, we need to have a good lunch. Otherwise, we’ll be too hungry. Since the body has the strongest digestive fire around lunchtime – also from a conventional medical point of view – we digest quickly at this time of the day. From an Ayurvedic point of view, our lunch should not consist of a small salad or a sandwich on hand, but of a healthy and rich meal in which we satisfy our fat and protein needs. Interestingly, after such a meal, we are hardly hungry in the evening and can easily get through the night with a small supper until breakfast in the morning. And the body thanks us with a night of deep and restful sleep.
What helps if we have difficulty falling asleep?
The easiest way for the body to fall asleep is when it is relaxed and not struggling with a heavy meal. Ayurveda recommends establishing an evening routine that automates this process. Some examples of activities that would prevent us from falling asleep are: screen time, exciting books, an extremely high pace during the day, and in the worst case, a high pace until late in the evening. Thoughts circle around our heads and therefore our energy, too. After an early light dinner, it’s the ideal time to enjoy moments with loved ones, to go for a walk or to take a bath. Any other non-digital hobby like writing a diary, drawing, performing handicraft works, is great too.
An important factor is the time we go to bed. Kapha energy is dominant until 10 pm. The energy of Kapha helps us to wind down and to notice the first signs of end-of-the-day fatigue. Its energy is heavy, steady and calm and perfect for preparing ourselves for better quality rest. From 10 pm the Pitta energy takes over the lead. This energy rises and makes us active and mentally busy. Ayurveda, therefore, recommends going to sleep during the Kapha time, this means before 10 pm. It makes a big difference in our quality and quantity of sleep.
In addition, the following tools are extremely valuable to help us to come to rest: Gentle yoga exercises that ground and bring our energy down such as Yin Yoga, slow pranayamas such as alternate nostril breathing or meditation. Otherwise, a foot massage with warm sesame oil and an essential oil like Lavender which will help to descend the energy in our body. And finally, golden milk or turmeric milk (also made with plant milk) can also make it easier for us to fall asleep.
Are there specific sleeping tips for the individual doshas?
In addition to the tips for Vata and Pitta that are already mentioned, the duration of sleep is also crucial. Vata types need the most sleep of all. They are not doing well without the mandatory eight hours. With a lot of stress, they may even need more. Eight hours are perfect for Pitta types, even if they usually don’t like it because they have so much to do.
Less sleep is recommended for Kapha types only. Kapha usually has no problems falling asleep and sleeps well through the night. However, they find it difficult to get up. So they need to get up before 6 am. As mentioned, the Vata movement principle is dominant between 2 and 6 a.m. This movement gets us up more easily. But from 6 a.m. Kapha takes over again. And this energy makes it very difficult for us to get out of bed. With Kapha, there is also the fact that a maximum of 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep is better and more relaxing than a long sleep. Too much sleep will make them too heavy and sluggish.
Do you want to learn more about your unique constitution, your Dosha? Take the Dosha quiz here.
BONUS: Yoga and meditation videos for better sleep
"Carina m'a accompagnée pendant plus d’1 an avec des séances d'acupuncture et des prescriptions de plantes chinoises pour réguler mon système nerveux et préparer mon corps pour une FIV. Le traitement a été une réussite et nous avons eu un bel enfant.
À 44 ans je suis retournée la voir et je suis tombée enceinte naturellement. Cette fois, elle a également traité mon mari pour améliorer la qualité de son sperme. Ça a très bien marché ! Mille mercis !"
"Carina is amazing! She is very knowledgeable and offers highly professional treatments and advise. She is also very human, kind and caring to the smallest detail, and will make you feel comfortable and safe during her sessions. I absolutely enjoy my acupuncture and naturopathy sessions and recommend Carina without hesitation!"
"If you are looking for a Naturopath who specialises in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Paris or Barcelona, I can highly recommend Carina Greweling.
My first face to face session with Carina was for recurring tendinitis that I have been suffering from since my early 20s. Usually it takes up to 12 weeks for the tendinitis flare up to ease off; Carina's acupuncture treatment and accompanying advice reduced the timeframe by HALF.
My second meeting with Carina was via teleconference - I was in Paris and she was in Barcelona. Her advice for diet changes based on Ayurvedic principles have really helped me with bloating discomfort, sleep issues and to maintain my natural weight.
Don't miss Carina's blog, where there is a wealth of information on TCM and Ayurveda topics plus more."
"I had never heard of Craniosacral Therapy until I met Carina at a workshop and something that started off in curiosity ended up being one of the most profound healing experiences I have had. I am so grateful that I got an opportunity to receive sessions from her in Barcelona."
"I had a severe neck pain that was bothering me for 4 weeks. Carina was kind and caring to really understand the root of the problem. I had a fantastic massage to loosen the muscles and left the practice brand-new."
"Carina est une excellente naturopathe, passionnée par son métier, elle est profondément investie et à notre écoute pour nous comprendre. Ayant des soucis hormonaux entraînant des symptômes très gênants au quotidien.
Grâce à ses conseils, en 1 an de temps, mes symptômes se sont grandement améliorés et certains ont totalement disparu, je revis totalement depuis.
Elle a une très grande connaissance.
Je la recommande à 100% !"
"La thérapie cranio-sacrale et les fleurs de Bach prodiguées par Carina m'ont aidée à retrouver un équilibre thyroïdien et une meilleure stabilité émotionnelle. Ses connaissances se doublent d'une empathie exceptionnelle. Douce, à l'écoute et très compétente."
"I have chronic pain due to my scoliosis and while vacationing in Barcelona, found Carina online. I get regular massages so was hesitant about trying someone unknown but was in so much pain. Carina is truly a gifted massage therapist. I highly recommend her."
"Despite my fear of needles, I have tried Carina Greweling. She treated me with care and candor and was very welcoming and professional. I highly recommend her to anyone interested in exploring acupuncture and eastern medicine."
"Carina is a gifted naturopath. She has helped me considerably with my various conditions. I strongly recommend her to anyone interested in healing and feeling better than they currently do. I am grateful to have found you in Barcelona!"
"I went to a workshop of Carina and really loved it. The exercises were so well explained and the atmosphere really friendly."
"Very good organisation, with a mix of intense yoga exercises and meditation breaks. The intensity was good for all levels. Beside the food was excellent and the place very relaxing. Thank you for this nice retreat in Barcelona!"
"Carina is a great professional and a wonderful person who lives in accordance to her values and her teaching.
I booked a massage treatment with her and I was very happy with the whole experience. The massages helped me to release the stress and the anxiety that I was experiencing and I left with a sense of joy and balance. Also, the cabinet has a great location and I love that she takes care of all the details in order to make you feel comfortable.
I appreciate the passion and the commitment she puts in her work, her knowledge, her professionalism and positive attitude.
I definitely recommend any of her services! She is a treasure in Barcelona!"
"Carina is a very talented therapist with a great amount of knowledge of the body and it’s ways. I was very happy to find her here in Barcelona! Her gentle touch and sensitivity to your needs as well as her wide range of knowledge are sure signs of a deep practice and ability. I felt much more balanced after my session with her and she helped me come back into touch with myself. I look forward to continuing!"
“Carina is a wonderful and very professional yoga teacher. She helped me with opening up my hips and gave me in addition advices how I can improve my diet. I love coming here and will continue my personal yoga trainings. Thank you as well for the amazing yin yoga workshop yesterday. I am so happy to have found you here in Barcelona.”
Get your Free 7-day Course
Ayurvedic Wisdom for a
stronger digestive system
healthier immune system
faster weight loss
You have successfully signed up!
Yes, I agree with my email being stored and used to receive newsletters and notifications.