Having trouble sleeping? Yikes! That’s no fun.
This might show up as difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, or difficulty getting back to sleep once you have been awakened (say in the middle of the night)—or any combination of these three.
In the Ayurvedic understanding of sleep, these states are indicative to excessively high Vata dosha. There is too much movement in the mind (mental-emotional body), and the person can’t drop off to sleep.
High Vata dosha can happen for lots of reasons; stressful life circumstances are almost guaranteed to disrupt normal sleep. With stress comes worry, anxiety, and overwhelm. These states are understood in Ayurveda to be indicative of too much movement within the mind. When we are worried, we tend to overthink about the situation at hand, including how we are going to deal with it—as well as what else might come our way. It is very easy for the mind to inflate the situation into something very dire.
The qualities of Vata dosha are: cold, dry, light, and mobile. With Ayurveda’s focus on Opposites Balance Each Other, in order to address this high Vata state, we apply the opposite qualities to restore balance. These qualities are: warm/hot, moist/oily, heavy, and still/stable.
Here’s what that looks like in real life: