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Ayurveda and Sleep Cycles

Ayurveda says that it is best to get to bed by 10 pm.  But that can be difficult for us, given that some great TV shows start at 10 pm, and we’re often catching up on e-mail at that time!  But Ayurveda has some very compelling reasons why 10 pm is the ideal bedtime, and these might inspire you to get to bed a little earlier from now on.  First of all, 10 pm is the start of pitta time.  If we are already in bed sleeping, the body generates heat that can burn up any accumulated toxins.  Sleep comes easier during kapha time, which ends at 10 pm, because kapha has the quality of slowness, and dullness, which helps us to relax into that sleep state.  Pitta time is more stimulating, and we might even get the munchies as the time gets closer to midnight.  Another reason to get to bed earlier rather than later, is that there is a solar energy that the earth retains up until midnight.  The sleep we experience while this solar energy is in the atmosphere is very rejuvenating.  It is powerfully beneficial for our health.  Another way we can tell that the cycle of nature is conducive to sleep before 10 pm is the sounds outside.  Before 10 pm, we can hear the crickets singing in a soft melodic tone, a kind of kapha lullabye.  After 10 pm it turns into a much more sharp and piercing sound, indicative of pitta.

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