• Antje Hepkema

The importance of sleep

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Did you know that about 70% of people suffering from Osteoarthritis have some kind of sleep disturbance? Troubles range from having problems falling or staying asleep to waking up earlier than desired. Of course the main reason is the joint pain (inflammation) preventing you from sleeping.


Over the last few years I worked with many women who struggled with sleep. Therefore I decided to write a blog about the subject to take a closer look at the importance of sleep.


Many studies have proven that a good night sleep reduces inflammation, which is causing the pain in your joints. A good night sleep is one the most important things to conquer the inflammation.


Sleep according to Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, sleep is one of the pillars for a healthy life, next to diet and exercising.


The effect of sleep is like that of a diet: to provide nourishment. Just like we require proper food is rest of the body and mind through sleep also essential.

Remaining awake at night aggravates Pitta (fire) and Vata (air) and causes dryness in the body and impacts the digestive fire.


Sleep is essential, not only for renewing the body but also for renewing the mind and restoring our vital energy.


How much sleep do you need?

Usually six to seven hours sleep is sufficient. People with a Vata (air) in their base constitution need a bit more sleep and may benefit from a nap during the afternoon, people with Kapha (water) in their constitution need a bit less sleep. When having a double constitution, the hours of sleep needed may vary per season.


Some basic rules to improve your sleep

Ideally, from an Ayurvedic perspective, we should be up to watch the sunrise and be asleep within two hours after sunset. This may be difficult in the winter when the sun sets at 16:30h! However there are some some basic rules that will help you to improve your sleep:

  1. Wake up at the same time each day

  2. Go to bed at the same time, preferably before 23:00h

  3. Exercise at the same time every day, preferably in the morning before 10am (which is during Kapha time)

  4. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day

  5. Go outside everyday, get exposed to sunlight at least 20 minutes a day. Seeing the full daylight, preferably in the morning helps regulate our internal clock.

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About the author:

Hi! My name is Antje. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

I am an Ayurvedic and Orthomolecular health and lifestyle advisor and a yoga teacher. I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in October 2019, at 49 years old, and I was struggling like you: I had to lay down after each little walk, I had problems to get to sleep. Thanks to Ayurveda I learned to overcome the pain and currently I am living and active life full of energy.

Please visit Ayurveda By Antje to read more about my story and about Ayurveda.



Sources used for this article:

arthritis.org

Sleep inconsistency and markers of inflammation: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2020.01042/full


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