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Is there such a thing as a 'night' owl? Our Scientific Predisposition to Sleep & Dosha Sleep Types

Early risers are referred to as "Larks," whereas late risers are referred to as "Owls" in the field of sleep study.

Dr. Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep and director of the UC Berkeley Center for Human Sleep Science, estimates that around 40% of the population is Larks, 30% is Owls, and the rest is somewhere in the middle.

Early humans may have benefited from the diversity of sleep hours since it provided a survival edge for individuals in tiny groups where danger lurked at all hours. However, this staggered timetable has not been well received in current times.

The industrial revolution paved the door for the contemporary 9-5, forcing Owls to adjust to earlier call times, which could lead to chronic sleep deprivation.

Researchers have discovered gene alterations that can result in sleep disturbances. A mutation in the CRY1 protein, in instance, can make it more active, leading to a proclivity to stay up late into the night. Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, or DPSD, is the outcome of this gene mutation, which affects up to 1 in 75 persons in some communities.

Our hardwiring can take control when we aren't aware of our tendencies and don't make intentional choices. We can, however, regulate the expression of specific gene mutations we possess by paying more attention to our habits throughout the overnight hours.

Understanding your predisposition sleeping type, on the other hand, can help you become more aware of your own tendencies, allowing you to make conscious decisions that will help you get better, more restful sleep.

The body will adjust and do it automatically after you establish regular sleeping and waking schedules. You will notice that you become tired naturally and wake up at the same time every day, feeling refreshed and renewed, without the use of an alarm clock.

10:00pm and 6:00am.

The most rejuvenating sleep happens between 10:00pm and 6:00am. Why?

The Dosha of transformation is Pitta.

Pitta dominates the hours between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., according to Ayurveda. Your body digests everything from food to daily events during this time, therefore it's critical for your body to repair.

Both Western science and Ayurveda agree that sleep in the early hours of the night, before midnight, is more restorative since the body is in a deep, non-REM state. Skipping sleep during this time period means missing out on not only crucial zzz's, but also an opportunity to detox and regenerate.

2:00 and 6:00

The dosha of movement is Vata.

Sleeping hours for Vata are between 2 and 6 a.m. Following the restoration of the body during Pitta hours, Vata time enhances nervous system activity, resulting in lighter sleep, more dreams, and mental purification. This is one of the reasons why so many people wake up between the hours of 2 and 3 a.m.

It's usual to have longer cycles of REM sleep during Vata hours as you progress through the sleep stages. Memory consolidation, or the process of transforming newly learned events into long-term memory, is thought to be aided by the REM stage of sleep, according to research.

The human body is an adaptability machine. The good news it that once you do have a good sleep schedule in place, then maintaining a consistent sleep cycle, such as going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day, will come easy to you.

While a 10 p.m. bedtime may seem impossible (especially for owls), with a little time and work, anyone can change their sleep schedule.

Each dosha type usually has a specific sleep pattern...

The Slumbering Vata

-> Sleep pattern: light & restless sleep

-> Sleep habit: irregular bedtime

-> Sleep struggles: their overactive nervous system can make it hard for Vatas to stay and go back to sleep

The Sleeping Pitta

-> Sleep pattern:short sound & intense sleep (may experience restful though light sleep)

-> Sleep habits: may sometimes forget what time it is

-> Sleep struggles: May have trouble winding down due to preoccupied mind

The Snoozing Kapha

-> Sleep pattern: deep & heavy

-> Sleep habits: sleep sound fully for many hours without distraction

-> Sleep struggles: May have trouble waking up in the morning

Need help figuring out what Dosha type you are? Are you struggling with getting to sleep and getting good sleep? Then join my waiting list here.

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