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Sleeping is an essential part of any person’s schedule as it helps improve health and aids in regulating and relaxing the body. Lack of sleep is proven to cause many health issues such as impairment of cognitive functions and reduction in sex drive. Sleep deprivation is also one of the significant factors in causing accidents, depression, and a variety of other troubles like heart attack, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Insomnia also diminishes memory capacity and hence, makes you forgetful. People have also experienced skin aging issues due to lack of sleep.
Nevertheless, in today’s busy lifestyle, resting and sleeping have taken a back seat. Long working hours, increased exposure to technology, and unhealthy eating habits have exacerbated stress levels, which have led to a rise in insomnia. There are various remedies to cure insomnia, which include small lifestyle changes, insomnia tips from Ayurveda, and allopathic treatments using medicines. However, Ayurvedic tips are said to be the most effective and least likely to cause side effects.
Ayurveda says that one of the causes of insomnia is excess of Vata, which is one of the three doshas (or subtle energies). Vata dosha rules all movement in the body and in mind. It regulates blood flow, waste, breathing, and flow of thoughts across the brain. So, insomnia tips from Ayurveda include oiling the body, especially before bed, soaking the body in a warm tub, practicing breathing, and relaxation. Ayurveda also recommends consuming a whole foods diet, which is balanced and packed with proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
The various preventive measures suggested by Ayurveda for insomnia are the consumption of madhura rasa (or sweet syrup) as pradhana ahara (primary food intake) and warm buffalo milk before bedtime. Exercising your mind and body is also one of the ways that can help in preventing insomnia. Inculcating yoga and meditation in your daily routine assist in avoiding a lack of sleep. Massaging scalp and plantar region and avoiding excessive use of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and smoking aid in preventing insomnia. Controlling the amount of spice and flavors in food articles also helps in avoiding sleep deprivation.
The line of treatment includes nidana parivarjana (preventing aetiological factors), panchkarma procedures, and then samana chikitsa (or Palliative therapy) and drug therapies.
Nidana parivarjana includes lifestyle changes to be done before taking any medicines. Any psychiatric, neurological condition or chronic medical ailment needs to be treated before the treatment for insomnia can begin. Also, unwarranted consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and excessive computer work or T.V. watching should be avoided.
Panchkarma procedures include virecana (purification) with 10 to 20 ml eranda taila with half a glass of milk at night. After the cleansing, body, foot, and head massage would be done with medicated oils. Then post the massages, shirodhara treatment would be carried out with medicated liquids like milk, water, or oils for 45 to 90 minutes daily for 21 days. Subsequently, pichu is taken with ksheerabalsa oil or himaslgara oil and, finally, takra dhara process for 45 minutes daily for 14 days.
Drug therapies include consumption of single herbs and useful Ayurvedic drugs. Several single herbs that are useful to cure insomnia are Aswagandha, Jatamansi, Brahmi, Mandukparni churna. Diverse useful Ayurvedic medicines that aid in healing lack of sleep are mamsyadi kwatha, brahmi vati, manas mitra vataka, and Narayan tailam. However, these herbs need to be carefully administered and prescribed by an authorized medical practitioner.
A collection of diverse yogic practices are helpful in insomnia and should be practiced with caution under the guidance of an authorized yoga instructor. Yogic practices such as pranayama, suryanamaskara, meditation, matsyasana, bhujangasana, and shavasana are recommended as tips for insomnia in Ayurveda. Deep relaxation techniques like yoga nidra suggested by Ayurvedic professionals are also useful.
Other small routine changes may help in healing a lack of sleep, such as drinking warm milk, having a short workout routine, and bathing with warm water before bedtime. A few small changes, such as sleeping on a comfortable bed and restricting the use of electronics, can aid in regulating sleep. Consistency on going to bed every day and waking up timely help the circadian rhythm of our body to adjust accordingly. Also, avoiding stressful situations, heavy meals at bedtime, and the consumption of liquids help cure sleep deprivation. Evading irregular sleep habits and napping during the day helps in curing insomnia.
So that sums up all the insomnia tips from Ayurveda. Even though allopathic medicines tend to affect quicker than the herbal remedies, herbal remedies, and natural ways to solve health issues, make sure that the health issue is cured from inside out. The above tips may help you get better sleep and cure your insomnia, but they are not the complete list. So, try out these remedies and decide for yourself what is sufficient for you.