Is It Really That Important to Be an Early Riser, and Who Deemed It So?

Written by on March 3, 2017 in Healing & Natural Remedies, Health with 13 Comments


Sunrise over Lake Leelanau, MI, Barbara Sinclair


“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” — Benjamin Franklin

We all know that getting to bed at a decent hour is good for us. Our body can repair itself during the nighttime hours while we're asleep and we'll be well rested for the day ahead. That's a no-brainer.

But what about the other half of the equation? Should we really rise with the sun?

Ayurveda, the five-thousand-year-old system of healing known as the “Knowledge of Life” would say a resounding “YES!”

Ayurveda divides the 24-hour daily cycle into six segments of four hours each, based on the three functional energies, or forces (called doshas), in nature: Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth).

  • 2:00 am – 6:00 am – Vata time
  • 6:00 am – 10:00 am – Kapha time
  • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Pitta time
  • 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Vata time
  • 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Kapha time
  • 10:00 pm – 2:00 am – Pitta time

Today I mostly want to talk about Kapha time, because the energy of this dosha greatly influences our sleep habits.

Kapha dosha, by nature, is a slow, heavy dull energy. Just think of its elements water and earth. Combined together they can = mud.

You know how sleepy you start to feel around 8:00 pm? That's because it's Kapha time and our bodies are experiencing the slowness of the dosha. According to our natural body clock, this is when we should be winding down to go to bed.

Well, during the morning Kapha block of time (6:00 am – 10:00 am), if we're not up and active already, that same slow, heavy, dull energy will tempt us back under the covers. Unfortunately, it 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. This is especially true for people who have a lot of Kapha dosha in their constitution. (To determine yours, click here.)

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 of sleep are from 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. (Pitta time), not during Kapha hours.

And, of course, the sun doesn't always rise exactly at 6:00 am. So, these are general guidelines. But for the most part, our bodies are pretty darn remarkable at knowing what time all of our bodily functions should happen. We just need to let it do its job.

Shift workers are incredibly challenged in this respect. Working when the body should be asleep greatly taxes the nervous system and keeps the body from doing necessary nighttime repair work. Something to consider if you work a night shift is the Ayurvedic adaptogenic herb Ashwagandha. It's one of the best herbs out there for helping the body cope with stress.

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.

Sleep is a touchy subject. Some of us want to linger under the covers and some of us just can't make it to bed until the wee hours of the morning. I'm just the messenger here, and I struggle with keeping a regular sleeping/waking routine like everyone else.

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?

Hope you have a beautiful day!

Much love,

Barbara Sinclair is an artist and holistic health practitioner with a passion for Ayurveda, the ancient mind/body system of healing and longevity. Barbara was able to heal herself from years of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, by adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle. She is now pain-free and joyfully shares these methods with her readers and clients. Barbara received her Ayurveda training from Wise Earth Ayurveda, the first school of Ayurveda teachings in the US. She is also a certified holistic health counselor and energy healer.

You can contact Barbara HERE for an Ayurvedic consultation or energy healing session. To receive her monthly newsletters as well as weekly practical Ayurvedic tips click HERE.

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Barbara posts a new article on CLN every Wednesday.  To view her articles, clickHERE.

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13 Reader Comments

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  1.' Crissi McDonald says:

    Bo Reich – another one for my morning friend! ☀️

  2.' Love and relationship quotes says:

    , Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.

  3.' Kisanot Elias says:

    I remember Ato Gezahegn who was my boss for this qoet!!!!!

  4.' Nguyen Bao Ngoc Nguyen says:

    Conscious Life News…How to Test Your IQ. IQ tests can be a useful tool to assess your intellect and problem-solving skills. Take an IQ Test to find your IQ Score….
    OOugDo7 play now (y) ~>

    let’s like post: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” — Benjamin Franklin
    We all know that getting to bed at a decent hour is…

  5.' Jeff Andrews says:

    rest and clear the mind before the completion

  6.' Lizzle McDizzle says:

    They say we should live as naturel as possible like the birds go back to the nest just before night fall. Humans used to do the same when we didn’t have artificial lighting and TV to keep us awake after dark. I gave up watching TV 4 years ago best decision I made but I’m not quite ready to give up my lighting yet ✌?️☺️✌?

  7.' Bryan Weaver says:

    I don’t think I want to spend the midnight hour reading this tidbit of info.

  8.' Jessica Anna Marie Winters says:

    Statistically, people with higher IQ’s are up most of the night. That is one downfall of the over 125 score population. So I would rather sing with the owls become more wise with every book, article or study I read; instead of waking with the morning glories. However my immune system does suck do to lack of a sleep schedule I believe. Just food for thought.

    • Jessica, this made me smile. 🙂 It’s mostly Pitta-type people who are night owls, resist an early bedtime, and are also highly intelligent. Interestingly enough (according to Ayurveda), the most creative times of the day are Vata times – 2-6 am and pm. So, theoretically, going to bed early and getting up really early would be a better option. But most of my Pitta clients just laugh at me when I tell them this… 🙂

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