Ever wonder why you get the late night munchies after 10pm?
What about when you sleep in and wake up feeling sluggish?
Or waking up around 3am and not being able to go back to sleep?
It’s not a coincidence that many people experience the above… it’s nature.
Energy is everywhere. We are energy, the world is energy, seasons have an energy about them, and so on. Great, now that we’ve agreed that energy is everything, let’s look at the type of energies as described in Ayurveda.
For this purpose, we are only talking about the energy qualities of the three Doshas as it pertains to daily routine.
Vata energy: Air and Ether - Light, creative, dreamlike, transition.
Pitta energy: Fire and Water – Active, driving, strong, powerful.
Kapha energy: Water and Earth – Heavy, grounded, peaceful, dense.
The Ayurvedic Clock
Vata time: 2am-6am and 2pm - 6pm
Pitta time: 10am – 2pm and 10pm - 2am
Kapha time: 6am – 10am and 6pm – 10pm
Vata’s biggest quality is CREATIVITY. So when you need to come up with ideas, create, and visualize, then 2pm-6pm is the time for this. Your nervous system is peaking at this time so try to avoid caffeine, even though an afternoon pick-me-up may sound nice, it will actually leave you feeling restless and potentially anxious. Vata is very ‘heady’, so to combat an imbalance you will want to ground yourself.
Between 2am and 6am Vata time, you should be entering a dreamlike state in your sleep. If your circadian rhythm is off, you may awaken during this time and have trouble going back to sleep because your mind will be active.
It is the best time for meditation as you can connect to your higher self, intuition, spirit, and gain deeper insights than any other part of the day. Ayurveda recommends you wake up between 5:30am and 6am.
It is advised that you awaken right before Kapha time hits from 6am – 10am. This is because, as mentioned above, you want to cultivate the final hours of Vata energy to meditate and visualize your day ahead. So getting up before the sun rises is ideal (if the birds are doing it, why aren’t you?).
If you awaken during Kapha time (sleeping in), then you can feel groggy and sluggish. This is because Kapha is very dense, earthy energy. Kapha time is not the time for sleeping as it will throw the heavy energy into an imbalance, creating even more heaviness. Combat the dense energy by moving your body in the morning.
In contrast to Western belief, do not eat your largest meal for breakfast (between 6am and 10am). A full belly will again, exacerbate the sluggish tendencies.
During the evening hours of Kapha time, between 6pm and 10pm, you should be winding down before bed and taking advantage of the grounded energy. Do not eat a large dinner for the same reason mentioned above.
It’s GO time! Between 10am and 2pm your digestive fire is ON! This is when you should eat the majority of your calories. But it’s not just go time for your belly, it’s go time in general! Pitta is ACTION. It’s a driving energy, so if you need to get stuff done… do it now! Book your intense meetings, run all your errands, complete your most difficult tasks, and use this energy to workout.
You should be going into this energy grounded from the Kapha morning and ready to move. If you haven’t started your day off right, then you may feel burnout and frustration at this time. If that happens, you’ll move into Vata time and become flustered, anxious, and overwhelmed.
If you aren’t asleep, or at least wound down by 10pm when Pitta fires up again, you may find it hard to fall asleep as you’ll experience a ‘second wind’. Late night snacking, can’t put your phone down as you scroll the internet in bed, feeling awake again… sound familiar? Between 10pm and 2am is when your body detoxifies, renews it’s cells, and other internal processes that require Pitta energy. If you’re awake during this time, your body will not renew and you’ll struggle to get to sleep, leaving you out-of-sorts for the next day.
Sleep from 9:30/10pm to 5:30/6am
Meditate upon wakening
Move your body after meditation
Eat a light meal or wait until 10am to break your fast
Eat your largest meal of the day between 12 and 1pm
Schedule your hardest tasks around midday
Perform your most strenuous physical activity between 10am and 2pm
Plan your most creative tasks between 2pm and 6pm
Wind down between 6pm and 10pm enjoying a light meal before 7pm