Sleep is a natural phenomenon of giving adequate rest to the mind and body. Insomnia is the ability to fall asleep at night for many hours or it is defined as the inability to have a sound sleep, which deprives one of natural rest and interferes with the activities during the day. Insomnia or restlessness impairs judgement and concentration, affects our moods and emotions, increases the risk of accidents, accelerates ageing in the skin, increases the incidence of depression, may also cause weight gain and obesity and increases the risk of death.
- Mental tension
- Excessive work load
- Feeling of resentment
- Anger and bitterness
- Due to overeating at night
- Excessive consumption of tea or coffee
- Empty stomach before sleep also causes sleeplessness
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Inability to remain asleep
- Waking up early
- Weak and poor memory
- Lack of concentration
- Confused state of mind
AYURVEDIC VIEW AND TREATMENT ACCORDING TO CHANDIGARH AYURVED CENTRE
According to ayurveda, Insomnia is compared with Anidra. Tarpak kapha, sadhak pitta and prana vayu are mainly responsible for inducing sound sleep. Tarpak kapha nourishes the brain cells and thus facilitates good sleep. Hence imbalance of this dosha causes insomnia.
Ayurveda also believes that insomnia or restless sleep is mainly because of imbalanced vata dosha. Vata dosha is responsible for movement, activity and thinking process. Vata dosha gets aggravated due to intake of tea and coffee, long gaps between meals, intake of cold and dry foods, cabbage, cauliflower, peas and rice which further causes disturbed sleep. Suppressed emotions, disturbed sleeping patterns, worries, anger, overwork, overexcitement and ill health also disturbs the doshas and causes insomnia.
Following Panchkarma therapies are recommended in insomnia:
- Shiro Pichu
- Shali Shashtik Pinda Sweda
- Sarvanga Abhyanga
- Pada Abhyanga
Ayurvedic herbs useful in this condition are:
Ayurvedic formulations useful in insomnia are:
- Nidrodya Rasa
- Madananand Modak Churna
- Vatakulantak Rasa
- Swarnamakshik Bhasma
- Chandra Prabha Vati
- Pippalimoola Churna
- Tagaradi Churna
- Ashwagandha Churna
- Manas Mitra Gulika
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Do morning and evening exercises daily.
- Avoid taking caffeinated food stuffs.
- Avoid watching television or working on the computer late at night.
- Have a body massage with sesame or coconut oil followed with a bath.
- Avoid eating refined products.
- Avoid eating heavy, spicy or fatty meal for dinner as digestion takes up a lot of energy. If you sleep with the full stomach, the sleep will not be good as body is still processing and digesting the food.
- Avoid alcohol and consuming aerated drinks.
- Enjoy the natural rhythms of the nature.
- Increase the use of butter and ghee in your diet.
- Have whole wheat flour and brown rice in your diet.
- Have a glass of whole milk with green cardamom before going to bed.
- Massage your feet with lukewarm mustard oil 2-3 times a day before going to bed.
- Sprinkle one teaspoon of cumin on a sliced banana and have this once a day.
- Take one glass of milk and add one teaspoon of honey to it. Drink this every night before sleep. This works as a natural tranquillizer.
- Take half litre of water and add one teaspoon of aniseed to it. Heat the mixture for 15 minutes and strain the mixture. Drink the liquid when it is hot.
- Take one glass of water and add two teaspoons of honey to it. Mix well and drink this before bedtime.
- Take a hot water bath or shower bath before bedtime for sound sleep.
- Boil 3 grams of fresh mint leaves or 1.5 grams of dried powder of mint leaves in one cup of water for 15-20 minutes. Take this lukewarm with one teaspoon of honey at bed time.
- Mix one teaspoon each of Brahmi and Ashwagandha powder in two cups of water. Boil and reduce this to half. Drink this daily to induce sleep.