Dear Ayurvedic Abbie is a feature where you ask Abbie your most important ayurveda-related questions. Anything goes! Send an email to hello@kathryntempleton.com and your question may be in the next issue!


Dear AA,
Why do I have such a hard time getting up in the morning? I’m a male, in my 30s, and my yoga teacher tells me I have a lot of vata.
Signed,
Sleepyhead


Dear Sleepyhead,

Well, first let me share that you are not alone! I am not sure of your yoga teacher’s diagnosis of Vata imbalance, but I can give an explanation to some of the general ayurvedic reasons folks have trouble getting started in the morning.

There is a concept in ayurveda that dictates how time, in our 24 hours system of day and night, connects to our doshas. This explains why we have certain tendencies, regardless of our dosha constitution, at different times of the day. For example, at high noon when the sun is at her brightest, we are best at digestion! All digestion—in our physical bodies, mental body, energetic body, spiritual body..

If we were talking, I would ask you two important questions about your sleep. These questions would help me gather necessary info to better understand your sluggish mornings. First question, do you sleep through the night? This is important as if your sleep is broken you will be tired when the morning comes round! Back to the ayurvedic clock..in the middle of the night, around 2am, our ayurvedic clock moves from pitta to vata energetically. This is often when folks report “break through” waking, also known as “broken sleep”. We move from a focused energy of pitta to the lighter, dispersed energy of vata. It is often a time when folks wake and then go back to sleep. Our 90 minute sleep cycle gets off rhythm (vata) and we can have trouble getting any quality of sleep before dawn.

The other question is a two parter 🙂 First, do you have any trouble falling asleep? And second, what time to you go to bed?

Here is the skinny on this situation! Our ayurvedic clock tells us that after 6pm we are under the gaze of kapha. Then transitions into the fiery and focused Pitta energy around 10pm. SO… the magic time to get to bed in ayurvedic medicine is around 10 or 11pm (depending upon season). If you miss this window you might just “light the midnight oil” and “burn the candle at both ends”! Often folks have trouble falling asleep if they go to bed later than 10ish. Or they have trouble falling asleep as they have not been engaging in relaxation for the hour before bedtime. Going at full speed and dropping off into exhaustion often is a false sense of rest. Rather this creates a short deep sleep and then break through or broken sleep as the clock hits 2 or 3am.

More to say about this…ayurvedic considerations to begin to support a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning…how are your adrenal glands functioning? Try taking your dinner closer to 6pm so you have time to digest before bed at 10. Start a deep relaxation practice in the afternoon or evening: 31 points, or 61 points of light to help your body and mind get ready for sweet dreams! And…there is always our nighty-night rasayana to help with getting to sleep and staying asleep!

Rise and Shine Sleepyhead,

AA