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  • Can You Sleep Your Way To A Healthier Body And Youthful Skin?

    Can You Sleep Your Way To A Healthier Body And Youthful Skin?

    The Ayurveda Experience July 01, 2023

    Imagine waking up every morning feeling rejuvenated, with a natural glow that emanates from within.

    Ayurveda believes that a restful night's sleep is the cornerstone of true beauty, nourishing our body and mind, and enabling us to shine our brightest. Therefore, we bring to you a power guide of timeless practices that will help you transform your sleep cycle.     

    Sleep is a crucial biological function that is necessary for the overall health and well-being of an individual. During sleep, the body works to repair and restore tissues, organs, and other vital functions. Sleep allows the body to regenerate and recover from the wear and tear of daily life. It plays a critical role in cognitive functions such as memory consolidation, learning, and decision-making. Adequate sleep supports the immune system, helping to fight off infections and diseases. Overall, sleep is essential for maintaining physical health, mental health, and overall well-being1. Therefore, it is important to prioritize sleep and establish healthy sleep habits to reap its benefits.          

    Ayurveda and sleep

    Ayurveda greatly emphasizes the importance of nidra (sleep) for overall health and well-being. According to Ayurvedic wisdom, sleep is considered one of the three pillars of health, along with diet and lifestyle.  

    According to Sushruta Samhita2, nidra is mainly due to habit or nature. According to Charaka Samhitaand Ashtanga Sangraha, nidra is induced due to the tiredness the person and the need to rest due to work and activity throughout the day. Ayurveda recognizes that sleep is a natural process that helps the body and mind to rest, rejuvenate and heal. It recommends that individuals get uninterrupted sleep every night and establish a regular sleep routine. Acharya Vagbhata has classified nidra into 7 types in Ashtanga Sangraha4:

    • Kaalasvabhava - Naturally occurring nidra
    • Aamaya - Due to diseases
    • Chittakheda - Due to tiredness of the mind
    • Dehakheda - Due to physical fatigue
    • Kaphaja - Due to Kapha dosha
    • Aagantuja - Due to external factors
    • Tamobhava - Due to the predominance of tamas (a mind/consciousness union that lacks higher self-awareness)

    One should follow a consistent bedtime routine, which includes winding down before bed, avoiding stimulating activities and electronics, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, and using natural remedies to support healthy sleep. Altogether, Ayurveda recognizes the importance of sleep in maintaining balance and harmony within the body and mind.       

    Ayurvedic Doshas and sleep  

    According to Ayurveda, sleep and other bodily functions are determined by the three constitutional doshas. Sleep is caused by increased Kapha and insomnia by increased imbalanced Vata or Pitta5, which may follow physical or mental exertion or disease. Disturbance in the balance between the doshas results in changes in various functions, including sleep, and can lead to sleep disorders. Nidranaasha or loss of sleep is considered unhealthy. It is caused by Vata, Pitta, worry, and injury. It has been mentioned as a condition caused due to multiple factors in Sushruta Samhita6, and the treatment for this condition is mentioned as abhyanga, keeping oil on the head, udvartana, and general brimhana chikitsa.  

    • Vata: The Vata type exhibits a high range of activity levels and has trouble sleeping soundly (nidra nasha). Vata-types typically tend to sleep fewer hours than other types7.
    • Pitta: Pitta dosha is associated with digestion and metabolism, and an imbalance in Pitta can cause difficulty falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night. They get moderate sleep and are often disturbed by dreams8
    • Kapha: Kapha dosha is associated with stability and structure, and an imbalance in Kapha can lead to excessive sleep and difficulty waking up in the morning. For good health, a kapha-dominant person should focus on establishing a regular sleep routine. 

    Ayurvedic recommendations9 for improving sleep quality

    Ayurveda offers several recommendations for improving sleep quality. It is important to note that these recommendations may vary depending on an individual's Ayurvedic dosha type and specific health needs. 

    1. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine: Nidra done at the proper time in a proper way helps in keeping the person healthy but the same nidra, if done otherwise can lead to multiple problems in the health of an individual. Thus, a proper sleep regimen is important. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.  
    1. Creating a calm and comfortable sleep environment: Keep the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and use comfortable bedding to promote relaxation and restful sleep.  
    1. Practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime: Such as meditation, deep breathing, or gentle yoga to calm the mind and promote relaxation. One 2013 study10 noted that regular practice of yoga along with pranayama, or deep breathing exercise, in the morning also helps in improved sleep.     

    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Yoga And Ayurveda

    1. Avoid activity: Avoid using electronic devices, watching TV, or engaging in stressful activities before bed, as these can interfere with sleep quality.
    1. Eating a light dinner: Eat a light, easy-to-digest dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to avoid digestive discomfort during sleep. Avoid caffeine and nicotine in the evening and limit alcohol consumption, as they can disrupt sleep quality. 
    1. Using Ayurvedic herbs: Certain Ayurvedic herbs, such as ashwagandha, brahmi, draksha, bhanga, shankhapushpi, jatamamsi, ahi-phena, tagara, kusmanda, yamini, pippali moola, sarpagandha, punarnava, karpura, parasika yavani, katu tumbi, jatiphala, apamarga moola, etc11, are believed to have calming properties that can promote restful sleep.

    READ MORE: Sleep Your Way To Good Health: An Ayurvedic Perspective | Know Ayurveda's Take On Naps And Weight Gain

    Positive impact sleep can have on skin health

    Beauty sleep suggests that sleeping well can make one look more refreshed, vibrant, and youthful. During sleep, the body releases growth hormones that help repair and regenerate cells, including skin cells. Additionally, sleep helps reduce inflammation and stress levels, which can contribute to skin problems like acne and wrinkles. Therefore, getting enough sleep is part of a holistic approach to maintaining healthy and beautiful skin.

    Reduced inflammation: Lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can trigger inflammation12 and exacerbate skin conditions such as acne. A good night's sleep can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin due to the anti-inflammatory properties of melatonin13. (Melatonin is a hormone that our brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of our internal clock and sleep). 

    Better facial appearance: Getting enough sleep is important for proper cellular growth and function in your skin cells. Research says good sleepers have a significantly better perception of their appearance and physical attractiveness as compared with poor sleepers14. The skin's blood flow increases during sleep, bringing more nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells18, which may help to improve the overall facial appearance14.

    Collagen Production: Collagen is a protein that keeps the skin looking firm and youthful. During sleep, the body produces more collagen, which helps to reduce the appearance of signs of skin aging16. Studies have15 highlighted that diminished skin barrier function, and heightened signs of intrinsic aging have been linked to chronic poor sleep quality.

    Under eye region: In the majority of cases, dark circles under the eyes indicate an alteration in our lifestyle practices, diet, aging, and sleep habits. Lack of sleep can cause under-eye circles, which can make you look tired and older. Getting enough sleep can help reduce the appearance of these circles and brighten up the eyes13.


    To summarize, getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. It promotes collagen production, reduces inflammation, improves hydration, reduces dark circles and puffiness, and enhances the skin's natural radiance. Overall, getting adequate sleep is essential for good skin health. It's recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to maximize the benefits for the skin and overall health.


    1. Toolika E, Narayan PB, Kumar SS. A review on ayurvedic management of primary insomnia. IAMJ. 2013:1. 
    2. Kaviraj Ambikadatta Shashtri. Sushruta Samhita. Varanasi; Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; Reprint 2018, Sharira Sthana 4/33
    3. K. N. Shastri and G. N. Chaturvedi, “Agnivesha’s Charaka Samhita, Vidyotini Commentary,” In: Chikitsasthana, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, Varanasi, 2004, Sutrasthana 21/35
    4. https://jaims.in/jaims/article/view/2089/2491Vagbhatas: Astanga Samgraha with Hindi commentary Vol-1 by Kaviraj Atridev Gupta & Rajvaidya Pandit Sri Nanda Kishor Sharma Bhisagacarya, Krishnadas Ayurveda Series-31, Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi, Edition-2002, Sutrasthana 9/49
    5. Kaviraj Ambikadatta Shashtri. Sushruta Samhita. Varanasi; Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; Reprint 2018, Sharira Sthana 4/38.
    6. Kaviraj Ambikadatta Shashtri. Sushruta Samhita. Varanasi; Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; Reprint 2018, Sharira Sthana 4/42.
    7. Kaviraj Ambikadatta Shashtri. Sushruta Samhita. Varanasi; Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; Reprint 2018, Sharira Sthana 4/42.
    8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4448595/ ; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328027979_A_SCIENTIFIC_AYURVEDIC_EXPLORATION_OF_CONCEPT_OF_SLEEP_NIDRA ; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/346475716_Insomnia_A_Study_on_Sleeping_Disorder_with_the_Reference_of_Ayurvedic_Herbs
    9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278157316_Relevance_of_Sleep_for_Healthy_Living_An_Ayurvedic_Perspective#:~:text=It%20is%20one%20of%20the%20trayopastambhas%20%28three%20great,Sleep%20is%20another%20form%20of%20tamas%20%28mental%20darkness%29
    10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667430/
    11. http://www.iamj.in/posts/2013/images/upload/IAMJ6.pdf
    12. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738081X21001942
    13. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S156816371730257X ; https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Melatonin%20is%20a%20hormone%20that,in%20the%20body%20beyond%20sleep.
    14. https://academic.oup.com/ced/article-abstract/40/1/17/6621145?redirectedFrom=fulltext&login=true
    15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/
    16. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698771000246X?via%3Dihubhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/
    17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738045/
    18. https://elifesciences.org/articles/64597 

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