Sleep is described as one of the three pillars of life and good health in Ayurveda. The quantity and quality of our sleep make a significant impact on our overall energy level and mood.
With respect to sleep, Ayurveda does not advise sleeping during the day. Charaka Samhita, an important text written in 2nd century, clearly refers to recommendations around sleeping during day—who can enjoy daytime sleep, who should avoid daytime sleep, and how it affects your life and health. Let’s discuss the Ayurvedic perspective of daytime sleep.
Who can have daytime sleep?
All of the following people or activities can enjoy daytime sleep in all seasons. Daytime sleep will help to restore all the healthy tissues, balance Kapha Dosha and gain body strength for:
- Students – Students needs to rest the brain to enhance the memory. A proper sleep is important for good memory. A little afternoon nap is very helpful.
- Singers – Loud and continuous singing and speaking increases Vata. To balance Vata, a daytime nap is advised.
- Heavy work – If you are working hard and do physical labour, you may need occasional nap to balance your Dosha.
- After alcohol – If you have had alcohol and have a hang over, daytime sleep is advisable to revitalise your senses and energy.
- Physical Injuries
- People with excessive anger
- People who are underweight and malnourished body
- Young children and elders
- After long distance travel
- If you are suffering from indigestion, diarrhoea, colic pain, asthma, hiccups, injuries, etc.
Sleeping during daytime is beneficial during summer, because in that season, nights are shorter and temperatures are higher; nighttime sleep is not enough to recover your energy. An afternoon nap is advised in the summer season. During other seasons, daytime sleep is not advised as it may cause Kapha and Pitta imbalance.
Who should not take daytime sleep?
- People of Kapha body type and when Kapha is currently aggravated.
- People who are obese and want to lose weight
- People who are suffering from poisoning and toxicity
- People who take oily, greasy and fatty food daily
- Daytime sleep is contraindicated in spring season due to the naturally increasing quality of Kapha during spring.
What happens as a result of sleeping during the daytime?
Sleeping at improper times may disturb your Dosha and even cause various health symptoms such as: delusion, fever, nasal catarrh, headache, dropsy, oppression in the chest, obstruction of the tissues pores and weakness of digestive function.