Most of us know the feeling: You’ve had a long day and you haven’t been sleeping well. You’re dozing off at dinner and you think to yourself, “Yes! Finally, I’ll have no problem falling asleep tonight.” You go through your evening routine, get ready for bed, crawl under the covers, and then…stare at the ceiling. Time passes and your mind is racing through all the things you did that day and all the things you told yourself you were going to do, but didn’t get around to. Maybe you’re able to catch a few hours of sleep just before dawn, but the next morning you wake up tired—again.
The Uprising of Vata
The cycle of sleeplessness truly feeds itself. More often than not, vata plays a prominent role in our inability to calm the mind and body long enough to fall asleep, and stay there for 6–8 hours. Vata is comprised of several gunas, or qualities, similar to those spacey wakeful hours of the night: light or ungrounded, mobile, cold, and subtle. When we push ourselves to the brink of exertion, or if vata is prominent in our constitution, we are inevitably going to experience more of these qualities within our being. With the uprising in these spacey qualities, sleep can become more challenging, and as the body and mind get less and less sleep, over time vata becomes more and more out of balance—and so the cycle continues.
Creating New Patterns
Ayurveda recognizes sleep as one of the three pillars of health, along with good food and healthy relationships. Because Ayurveda recognizes sleep as such an important part of a healthy lifestyle, there are many traditional practices and suggestions for finding balance in this part of your routine. For a deeper dive on this subject, along with lifestyle practices to support healthy sleep, read our complete Ayurvedic Guide to Balanced Sleep.
When you’ve made all the suggested changes to diet, lifestyle, and exercise, and you’re still unable to catch the zzz’s you need, herbs and herbal products are a great way to supplement your efforts. For when you need the support, we’ve created the Deep Sleep Bundle—a powerful pairing of herbal products to support your evening rest. This duo was formulated to complement each other as part of your nighttime sleep ritual.
For internal support, I Sleep Soundly is best taken 30 minutes before bed. This allows the digestive system a chance to start breaking down the tablet and circulating the herbs throughout the body.
One of the key ingredients in this formula, Ashwagandha, is a well-known adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress. And common western herbs, chamomile, valerian, and skullcap, promote a kapha-like heaviness that help to calm the mind and bring a sense of stability and groundedness to the body.
The second product in the pair is Sleep Easy Oil, which plays a vital role in one of the most effective practices for healthy sleep—an evening massage. With a small amount of oil, it is recommended to gently massage the scalp, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet before bed. This practice is incredibly grounding for vata, and it encourages a calm and peaceful state of mind before drifting off to sleep. The herbs in Sleep Easy Oil are earthy, grounding, and deeply supportive for a complete night’s rest. Ashwagandha, bhringaraj, and passionflower work together to calm excess vata and pitta in the mind. Those noisy, scattered thoughts that tend to keep us awake seem to fade away, and the gentle oil massage reminds the body to release the tension and stress of the day.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, or you find yourself waking up, or tossing and turning at all hours of the night, consider the herbal support of the Deep Sleep Bundle. Whether internally or externally, herbal allies can be a great way to shift your state of being and offer support on the journey to optimal health.