Navratri Fasting And Sleep: What To Eat And Avoid

Navratri Fasting And Sleep: What To Eat And Avoid

Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated for nine days across India. During these nine days, people worship the nine avatars of the goddess Durga and commemorate the victory of good over evil. Many people also observe fast as a way to pay homage to goddess Durga and seek her blessings.

While fasting is an essential aspect of Navratri, there are also certain rules one must follow during those nine days. Some people fast for all nine days, some fast for the first two or last two days or the first day and the last day. No matter how many days you fast, you need to follow the fasting rules that tell you about what to eat and what not to eat. Although fasting has numerous benefits linked to it, it can also impact your sleep patterns if not done properly. But before that, let us talk about the significance of fasting during Navratri.

Significance of Navratri Fast

Navratri Fast

The word Navratri is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Nav” meaning nine and “Ratri” meaning nights. Navratri fasting holds important spiritual and cultural significance for millions of Hindus around the world. Primarily, fasting is a spiritual practice and a way for devotees to purify their minds and bodies and strengthen their connection with the divine. Fasting is also a form of sacrifice and self-discipline from the materialistic world that allows individuals to focus on prayer, meditation, and worship.

As we celebrate the nine forms of the goddess Durga, which represents the divine feminine energy, this period is also a mark of respect and devotion towards the goddess and acknowledgment of her powers. Fasting during Navratri is also a way to detoxify your body and abstain from certain food habits, particularly grains and non-vegetarian items, which help to maintain a smooth digestion process and rid the body of accumulated toxins.

Families and communities come together to celebrate this festival, people also cook and share fasting-friendly meals, participate in rituals, and play Garba and Dandiya, which fosters a sense of unity and togetherness among people. It is believed that fasting rejuvenates the mind and body, which gives the digestive system a break, allowing it to function more sufficiently. People feel more energized, mentally clear, and lighter after completing the fasting period. But ever wondered how sleep plays an important role during fasting? No, let’s take a dig at it!

How does sleep play an important role during fasting?

Importance of sleep

Sleep is a critical component of any fasting regimen. It plays a pivotal role in conserving energy, promoting cellular repair, regulating hormones, maintaining mental and emotional well-being, improving digestion, enhancing willpower, and supporting overall metabolic health. To maximize the benefits of fasting, it's essential to prioritize and maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

Here’s how you can get a good night’s sleep while fasting

Maintane a routine Create a structured daily routine that helps your body to fall asleep at night. We recommend going to bed at 10 pm to ensure that you get enough deep sleep
Exercise during the day Exercise is not only good for your body but also for your sleep. However, it is important to avoid strenuous exercise while fasting. Opt for a short walk, yoga, or stretching
Take a nap A 15-20 minute power nap works wonders more than a cup of coffee. Listen to your body and perfect taking a nap
Control portion size Avoid eating too much if you are eating at least once a day while fasting. Make sure you stay away from alcohol and other caffeine-related products
Limit screen time Stay away from TV, laptops, phones, etc for at least 2 hours before bedtime
Create a environment Darken your bedroom with blinds or room darkening curtains. Prefer sleeping in a cooler environment as it will easily help you fall asleep

What to eat during Navratri fasting?

1. Fruits & Vegetables

While fasting during Navratri, include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure you get a spectrum of nutrients and fiber. They will provide you with the necessary energy during the day and will not weigh you down before bedtime. You can have vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, bottle gourd, spinach, cucumber, and carrots.

2. Nuts & Seeds

Need snacking options while you are fasting? Worry not, you can indulge in healthy snacking by having almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. These seeds are a healthy source of fats, protein, and magnesium, but remember to have them in moderation as excessive intake can cause digestion problems.

3. Dairy Products

Including dairy products during your fast is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Milk, yogurt, and paneer (cottage cheese) can be included in your diet while fasting to maintain muscle mass and energy.

4. Beverages

If you want to relax your mind and improve your sleep then you can indulge in herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint. Stay hydrated with water, fresh fruit juices, and herbal teas.

What to avoid during Navratri fasting?

1. Deep-fried foods

Avoid indulging in deep-fried snacks like pakoras, sabudana vadas during Navratri as these items can be heavy to digest, especially before bedtime. Also, stay away from non-vegetarian food items like fish, chicken, mutton, eggs, etc.

2. Excessive sugar

Sweets are a significant part of Navratri, but consuming too much sugar can lead to energy spikes, which can affect your sleep. Avoid soda, aerated drinks like coke, and alcohol.

3. Spicy foods

Spicy food can be challenging to digest and may lead to indigestion and heartburn. However, you should also avoid spices like mustard seeds, turmeric, garam masala, garlic, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, etc.

4. Caffeine

Be mindful of your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon. While a cup of tea or coffee is usually okay, having excessive caffeine can disrupt your sleep patterns.

Bottom Line

Navratri fasting can be a spiritually enriching experience, but it's crucial to strike a balance between your dietary choices and maintaining good sleep hygiene. By choosing the right foods and avoiding heavy, spicy, and sugary options, you can ensure that fasting doesn't adversely affect your sleep. For more peaceful sleep options, you can invest in a good quality mattress from The Sleep Company. However, stay in tune with your body's needs, and you'll not only have a spiritually fulfilling Navratri but also restful and rejuvenating nights throughout the festival.


1. Can we sleep during Navratri fasting?

Yes, you can sleep during Navratri fasting. Fasting does not prevent you from getting adequate rest. In fact, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is important to keep your energy levels up during the fasting period.

2. What should be avoided during the Navratri fast?

During Navratri fasting, you should avoid Grain: Wheat, rice, and flour products.

3. How can I control my sleep while fasting?

To control your sleep while fasting, you can try the following:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and fluids to energize your body.
  • Eat Nutrient-rich food: During allowed meal times, eat foods that provide sustained energy, like fruits, nuts, and dairy products.
  • Avoid heavy meals: Don’t overeat in one sitting as it can make you feel lethargic.
  • Get adequate night sleep: Ensure you get enough sleep during the night to avoid daytime drowsiness.

4. What should I not eat during Navratri fasting?

During Navratri fasting, you should avoid:

  • Grains: such as wheat, rice, and corn.
  • Non-vegetarian foods: Including meat, fish, and eggs.
  • Common salt: Instead, use rock salt.
  • Processed and junk foods: Avoid processed foods, junk foods, and snacks.

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