Early to Rise is the Second Half of the EquationSeptember 7, 2014
Last week’s Ayurvedic Tip was about the benefits of getting to bed before 10:00 p.m. (Pitta time). Today I want to explain why Ayurveda believes rising with the sun is such a good idea.
Early to Rise is the Second Half of the Equation
6:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. is Kapha time. Remember when I said that 6:00-10:00 p.m. was Kapha time, and that it was a slow, heavy, dull energy, and therefore a perfect time to wind down and get ready for bed? Well, that same slow, heavy, dull energy (if we are sleeping during morning Kapha hours) will not give us a restorative sleep. It’s a lethargic kind of sleep that will linger with us throughout the day if we sleep too late.
Our brain becomes very active during Vata time (2-6 a.m.) and our central nervous system is revving up, not winding down. Our bodies are also preparing for elimination, which is designed to happen during Kapha time, ideally within an hour of waking.
Certainly, there are times in our lives when we need more sleep – in times of sickness or during infancy and the teen years. But it’s important to remember that the most restorative and reparative hours are from 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., not during Kapha hours.
Most cultures know that rising with the sun is living in harmony with Nature. Some of us like to think that we’re night owls, but the fact is we are not designed to function like owls and other night creatures.
I almost always wake up before the sun rises. But I was in the habit of letting my morning routine keep me inside. This past week I have made a concerted effort to hop on my bike around sunrise and ride down by the river. Oh, what a joy it is to spend some time each morning listening to the sounds of Mother Nature – the birds and the waves, as well as the beautiful silence. I’ve been ending each ride with a respite under the willow trees.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you feel a difference in the quality of your day when you get to bed early and rise with the sun? Please share!