Vata Sleep Patterns- Why you Wake at 2-3 AM - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Vata Sleep Patterns- Why you Wake at 2-3 AM

By on April 26, 2016
Vata Sleep Patterns- Why you wake up between 2-3 AM

When people suffer from disturbed sleep or insomnia, or even if they just regularly need to pee in the middle of the night, the time they usually wake up is between 2-3am. Why is this? Vata sleep patterns.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha predominate at different times of life, different seasons but also different times of the day-

  • Kapha is the most prevalent dosha from 6 AM-10 AM in the morning and 6 PM-10 PM at night.
  • Pitta prevails from 10 AM – 2 PM and 10 PM-2 AM.
  • Vata is King from 2 PM – 6 PM and also 2 AM- 6 AM.

These times vary slightly depending on our location, the time of year and when the sunrises and sets. However, this is a good general guide.

At 2 AM, the pre-dawn atmosphere becomes very clear, ethereal, light and cold. This is a time of change and transition, when the night is on the verge of turning into the day – all Vata-type qualities.

As Vata increases in the environment, it also increases in our bodies and minds. As a result, we can see some vata sleep patterns creep up. In these pre-dawn hours vata become a little lighter and our nervous system (governed by Vata) becomes more active at this time.

If we have a full-ish bladder, our urge to go to the loo (elimination is governed by Vata) will become stronger at this hour, that, combined with our lighter sleep might be enough to wake us up.

If you have a Vata constitution, a Vata imbalance or it is a Vata predominant season (like Autumn) we’ll be even more inclined to see these vata sleep patterns, and wake up at this time. We’ll also be more likely to have a busy or agitated mind, again thanks to Vata, that can quickly become over-active or anxious, making falling asleep again very difficult.

Thankfully, where there is an excess of certain qualities, there is always an antidote in Ayurveda. Vata is cold, light, dry, rough, mobile and changeable. So the medicine is warmth, heaviness, oiliness, stillness and routine.

Tips to prevent Vata sleep patterns, and stop waking up between 2-3 AM:

  • A small, warm milk before bed with ghee, nutmeg and jaggery
  • Massaging the feet with warm oil before bed
  • Doing a shiro-picchu before bed
  • Using a warm, heavy blanket on the feet can all help to pacify Vata.
  • Slowing down in general
  • Eating meals at regular times
  • Having a solid daily routine, especially a good evening routine – with low lighting and minimal stimulation, will also help enormously.
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About Nadia Marshall

Nadia Marshall is the director of the Mudita Institute in Byron Bay, Australia. She is an Ayurvedic Food and Lifestyle Consultant and Cook and Health Writer. After suffering from a restrictive eating disorder and activity disorder in her teens, Nadia had ongoing digestive problems and body image issues throughout her twenties..... until Ayurveda and Yoga changed her life. She has been living, breathing, researching and writing about its daily principles ever since.

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  1. Pingback: on the verge: dead trees, cream cheese, and children | formidable woman: toward a culture of gentleness

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