Daily Summer Activities for Better Sleep
Daily environmental triggers, such as exposure to sunrise and sunset, and daily seasonal routines can have a very positive impact on the quality of our sleep. As summer offers us longer days and shorter nights, many of us may require slightly less sleep during the summer months than we need in the winter when we experience longer hours in darkness. Our habits and activities during the day can either support or detract from our sleep quality, and finding a balance of optimal sleep, sustained daily energy, and healthy seasonal exercise is the Ayurvedic way to maintain a healthy dosha during the summer.
Understanding the Doshas
Summer is the Pitta season, meaning there is excess heat, dryness, and fire energy. We may be feeling a little extra heaviness or lethargy, a more robust digestion, and an increased need to get outdoors this season. These qualities encourage active movement, and balancing cooling foods and activities so as not to imbalance our dosha during the summer months. It is more common to experience poor sleep in the summer as well due to the excessive heat. When it comes to exercise and maintaining our constitutional balance, Ayurveda has some specific recommendations for the optimal type of exercise for each dosha:
Kapha types really benefit from getting a sweat on. They are able to sustain longer periods of metabolic activity as they have excellent stamina. They might find exercises such as swimming, trampolining, skipping or hula-hooping extra beneficial.
Pitta types are the natural athletes and are often found challenging themselves and pushing themselves to the limit. But they can get bored easily, and so benefit from fun and creative exercise. Pitta types may be more easily overheated in the summer, as they already run quite warm, so hydration is extremely important for the Pitta person, as are cool evening showers or swims.
Vata types often have thin and delicate body frames and benefit from strengthening and balancing exercises such as yoga or brisk walking. Rejuvenating, slightly slower exercises such as swimming, hiking in nature, qi gong, and rock climbing are ideal for the vata person.
As well as physical exercise, it's also important for all dosha types to consider mental exercise too. Meditative practice and breathing exercises help to calm the mind and improve oxygen supply to the brain. And it's very important to take time out of our busy lifestyles to focus on our mental health.
Daily Summer Activities for Better Sleep
Devote 30-60 minutes to active daily movement. This can be your preferred form of exercise for your dosha type, and can even be as simple as a daily morning and evening walk. Consistent, daily exercise encourages healthy sleep patterns in every season.
Wake with the sun, and experience morning sunlight. This supports our natural cortisol production, and encourages a healthy circadian rhythm for the entire day and night. Practicing sun salutations first thing in the morning is an excellent way to encourage circulation, and get our digression moving for the day.
Spend as much time as possible outdoors, and protect yourself against too much sun. Connecting with our environments is an essential way we can maintain our wellbeing and support mental health. Enjoying our meals outside, exercising outdoors, and practicing meditation or forest bathing is an ideal way to ground into the earth while experiencing restorative movements in our surrounding environments.
Just prior to sundown, practice gentle movement, stretching, and grounding exercise. Vinyasa yoga, meditation, or light stretching helps the body to wind down while releasing tension from the day stored in our minds and muscles. This is a perfect time to enjoy a cup of Turmeric Active tea to support your body in active recovery with this golden blend of turmeric, ginger and nettle.
Maintain a consistent bedtime and evening routine. This may mean a slightly later bedtime, as we should be winding down as the sun goes down and we experience darkness. Dim the lights, stay away from screens, and enjoy a warm cup of Night Time tea an hour or two before bed.
Herbs to Support Summer Activity, Recovery, and Sleep
Turmeric - known as “the golden goddess” in India, turmeric is supportive of all three doshas, and acts as a powerful inflammation modulator to support your body in an active lifestyle.
Nettle - renowned for its support with seasonal allergies, nettle is an excellent herb to enjoy when we are active outdoors, or suffer from allergy fits during the night.
Oat flower - a deeply nourishing herb, oat is a prominent herb in our Night Time tea for it’s rejuvenation qualities and as a nervous system tonic. A perfect herb to enjoy if we feel over-extended or exhausted from lack of sleep, or over-exercise.
Holy basil - a gentle adaptogen and inflammation modulator, holy basil is a truly sacred and powerful herb to support our mental and spiritual health, with calming qualities to support sleep, along with strengthening qualities to support daily energy levels.
For more personalized wellbeing tips, you can join the Pukka Collective for seasonal, herbal inspirations all year long.
Author: Lindsay Kluge
Herbal Educator, Pukka Herbs US
Lindsay is a clinical herbalist and nutritionist with a passion for bringing plants and people together. Through her work as a teacher and practitioner, she is passionate about helping people feel empowered in their health through community organic gardening, health education, and connection with nature. She has worked in clinical practiced with naturopathic doctors and MD’s alike, bridging the gap between alternative and conventional medicine to bring comprehensive, research based botanical medicine to her local communities. With an undergraduate degree in horticulture and a Masters in herbal medicine, plants are Lindsay's love language. She currently serves as the herbal educator for Pukka Herbs in the US, and teaches clinical nutrition at her alma mater, the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She is a guest lecturer at herbal medicine schools and conferences throughout the US.
MS Herbal Medicine
Years of Experience:
10+ years as a clinical herbalist and nutritionist practitioner