Whether you’re a fidgeter or a sleep talker, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan can help you get a perfect night’s rest…
The Vivid Dreamer
According to the ancient Indian medical system Ayurveda there are three fundamental bodily elements (otherwise known as doshas). These are Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water and earth). Everyone is a combination of one, two or all of these three types. Vata people are delicate, always moving physically and mentally and need lots of nourishing. Pitta people are firey and make good leaders with their abundant energy. Kapha people aren’t fond of change and can get stuck in a rut. They are however very stable, reliable and honest. If you’re frequently having colourful, passionate or violent dreams, it could be an indication that you have Pitta characteristics associated with the volatility of flames. If the fire is too high, Pitta people burn themselves out and become hyperactive, leaving them feeling unbalanced, angry and irritable. Strong dreams and nightmares could link to a need to reduce stress or deal with something negative in your life that allows you to maintain a calm and rested night’s sleep.
Top tip: Cooling and soothing are key words for Pitta. Avoid eating hot, spicy food as this may cause you to heat up even more.
The Duvet Thief
This behaviour is most definitely characteristic of the Vata individual. Vata people are extremely restless and light sleepers. They hate feeling that they are ‘locked in’, and if they feel that the duvet is restricting, they may well give it a tug and steal it from their partner in an effort to free themselves from feeling imprisoned.
Top tip: Agree to buy a larger duvet and even a bigger bed so that the Vata person has plenty of space to roam. If it’s your partner who’s fidgeting, give them the space they need – you’ll only lose a fight with them!
Stress and sleep deprivation may cause disorientation during sleep, which in extreme cases can lead to sleep walking. Ayurveda recommends releasing mental stress through mantra, meditation and pranayama (breath control). You could also try daily yoga to reduce anxiety, which in turn should lead to a more restful night’s slumber. Don’t forget to turn all gadgets and phones off, too. Have a work cut-off time in the evening – past this point it’s all about relaxation without distractions from everyday life.
The Light Sleeper
If you wake up frequently or at the slightest sound, it is an indication that you are a Vata. Vatas’ sleep very lightly and are prone to insomnia. The slightest stressful situation during the day will make it difficult for them to nod off. The Vata mind is always in movement and needs grounding. The first chakra is the earth chakra and helps to keep us rooted and grounded. Vata on the other hand is air and space, and sometimes their feet just don’t touch the ground. Working with the root chakra by grounding your feet, deep breathing, restorative yoga and chanting the mantra for the root chakra (Lam) will help ground you before bedtime.
Top tip: Vatas benefit from regular massage with oils, as dryness can make them become more stressed.
The Sleep Talker
Sleep talking may be caused by stress and over-tiredness, or even alcohol. It would suggest that your mind is not relaxed and that your consciousness is expressing itself from the words said during your sleep. Something from within needs to come out and be processed so that you can take positive steps forward. We all get stuck sometimes and find ourselves without the courage or strength to deal with situations. Take a long hot bath and try to relax as much as possible before sleeping – use a pillow spray and take steps to remove any mental or physical toxins (like alcohol) to prevent restlessness and sleep talking.
Bed brand Silentnight sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, is a physiologist, sleep and stress management expert who works to improve people’s sleep quality and holistic energy levels. She also runs sleep and wellness programmes at the Capio Nightingale Hospital and is the author of Tired but Wired (£12.99, Souvenir Press Ltd).