Day sleep – Sleeping in the day – good or bad? Ayurveda details

Day sleep is one of the debated topics. There are many opinions about sleeping in the day. One of the basic treatises of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita written about 2500 years before, has complete details about sleeping during day, who can sleep during the day, who should not have day sleep,  how it affects life and health etc. Let us find out the full Ayurvedic explanation.  day sleep nap 1

Who can do day sleeping? sleep during day time?

  • Singers – Singing involves a lot of Vata activity and causes overall vata increase, which may lead to hoarseness of voice and leaves you tired. To balance Vata, day sleeping is advised for singers.
  • Students – who continuously read – Sleep is related with memory. A proper sleep is very essential to have a good memory power. To digest all the read things, it is better to give brain rest so as to give time to assimilate. Students may not sleep for hours during day, but a little afternoon nap works wonders for them.
  • After having alcohol – It is better for alcoholics to sleep during daytime rather than drive a car and bang it to something.
  • Heavy work – Those who work heavily will have temporary increase of Vata and suffer tiredness. To compensate, they should have day sleep.
  • People having indigestion – This refers to indigestion arising due to Vata imbalance.
  • People having injuries –To balance Vata.
  • People having underweight problem and  undernourished body – Our daily calorie intake through food should balance the calorie needs of the body for the normal daily activities. So, if people seeking weight gain sleep during daytime, it helps to save that much amount of calorie spending, which helps to weight gain.
  • Elders and children – They obviously need rest to keep up their energy levels.
  • Patients – Especially with less strength, suffering from excessive thirst, diarrhea, abdominal pain, respiratory diseases, hiccups and who are excessively tired.
  • who have traveled long distances – Travelling causes Vata imbalance and tiredness, hence sleep is advised.
  • People with excessive anger – Sleep helps rest the brain and cool the temper. So, after the sleep, it helps to person to take another look about the issue at hand with improved patience.
  • People with grief – For them, sleeping during daytime helps to forget the pain and decreases depression.
  • People who have undergone Panchakarma therapy  – During Panchakarma treatment, patients are not supposed to day-sleep. But once after it is over, usually body strength will be very less. Hence, they can have day sleep.
  • Patients suffering from indigestion, injuries, muscle wasting, thirst, diarrhea, colic pain, dysponea (as in Asthma), hiccup, leanness, insanity, can have afternoon nap.  

All these people above are advised to sleep during day time in all seasons. In these people, sleep helps to restore all the healthy tissues, energy, and Kapha will be balanced and body gains strength.

When everyone can have day sleep?

  • For all healthy people, day sleep is advised during summer, due to less night-time and due to lack of energy during summer.
  • Except during summer, it is not advised for other people to have day sleep, as it may cause kapha and Pitta imbalance.

Who should never have day sleep?

  • Those who are suffering from obesity
  • Who are taking ghee or oil daily
  • Those suffering from Kapha diseases, who have Kapha body type,
  • who are suffering from toxicity should never sleep during day.
    During spring, day sleep is especially contra indicated. This is because, during spring, naturally, there is Kapha increase. Day sleeping will further increase Kapha, leading to indigestion and related stomach complaints.

Kapha diseases refers to diabetes, obesity etc. In these people, the calorie burnt with daily activity should exceed the calorie of food taken, that way, it helps to reduce weight or maintain blood glucose levels.

If a wrong person sleeps during daytime, what happens?
Swelling / edema, tastelessness, vomiting sensation, aggravation of cold, migraines, skin diseases, itching, lassitude, cough, throat diseases, lack of good memory and intelligence, fever, weakness in sense organs, throat congestion, increase in toxicity, occurs. If a person has these conditions, then it would worsen, if he / she indulges in sleeping during daytime.
The person would have impaired memory and intelligence, obstruction to body channels, weak sense organs,
Hence, based on suitability and timing, one should have day sleep.

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  1. A few doubts.

    You say that the following people can day sleep:
    1. People having indigestion – This refers to indigestion arising due to Vata imbalance
    – Isn’t it bad to sleep (lor atleast lie in a horizontal position after lunch in the afternoon for people suffering from indigestion. Would it not aggravate their indigestion problems?

    2. People having underweight problem and undernourished body

    Who should never have day sleep?
    3. Who are taking ghee or oil daily

    Regarding points 2 and 3 above, what if an underweight person is taking ghee or oil daily in order to increase or maintain weight?


    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      1. Indigestion due to Vata imbalance will have symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating and hard stools. For them, day sleep is indicated. As a general rule, day sleeping should be done 30-60 minutes before food. Not after food. So, it should not affected digestion strength.

      2. Very good question.
      If the lean person who is taking ghee / oil / fried foods daily, indulges in exercise / heavy work, then he can have sleep. If he doesn’t, then he shouldn’t.

  2. i like it but it should be more clear and complete .As when question was asked then it was said that we can sleep in day but before taking lunch…generally we feel sleepy after lunch. Then what should be done

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      If you include a bit of spices in foods, oy will boost digestion strength. If digestion is good then one will not feel sleepy after food.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      If you include a little bit of spices in your diet like ginger and black pepper, it helps in digestion of food, and you will not feel sleepy after lunch.

  3. meenakshi says:

    If we are feeling headache after day sleep of 60 minutes then what it shows to us ,then is it right or wrong to take day sleep .

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, researchers from University of Tokyo have recently found out that nap for more than 40 minutes is not good. Hence, a day sleep of 60 minutes would increase Kapha, leading to lethargy, headache and heaviness in the short run and cardiac problem, obesity and cholesterol problems on the long run.

  4. I am having Good sleep during night time. I am a student and I feel sleepy while studying even with involvement. Can u suggest any remedy for this. I am always feeling sleepy while studying

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health expert Dr Raghuram BAMS MD (Ayu), here (paid service) –

  5. ray kay says:

    Sir I work at night from 9pm to 5am. So I can only sleep in the morning. So if I follow a regular routine ie, fixed time schedule, can I be able to affectively recreate all the body activities (ie, hormonal, physical and mental health)

    I am a student so my brain health is also important. Currently I sleep now from 5:30 to 11am.

    Plse reply.

  6. rajesh jat says:

    dear sir
    i consume ghee and milk more.and whenever i sleep during day time i feels reduced day time sleeping good for me or not.i get enough time to sleep in night.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, if you get good 7-8 hours of sleep at night, better to avoid day sleeping.

  7. Kristina says:

    Nicely explained but I want to know something. What should be the time period of daytime sleep?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Silver / Rajata Bhasma is Natural coolant, useful in stress, anxiety, neuro muscular stimulant,memory enhancer. It is useful in Alcoholism, Fever, menorrhagia, bleeding disorders.
      Some amount of the above claims on silver Bhasma can be attributed to water stored in silver vessel.

  8. Y venkat says:

    I have viral fever so can I sleep in afternoon to evening

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