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Stress forms a key reason for most people’s lack of sleep. Ayurveda defines stress as an excess of Vata. Vata essentially means to move or blow like the wind. Made up of elements like ether and air, it’s the primary force of motion in the mind and body. An unhealthy Vata dosha could result in your movement becoming erratic, decreased, blocked, or excessive. An excess of Vata accompanied by a hyperactive mind results in stress, making it impossible to relax the body and mind, which makes it tough to fall asleep at night.
The solution to this is relieving the body and mind of unnecessary stress. But the bigger question is how to rid the brain of unnecessary thoughts. Ayurveda has some ways by which a person can achieve this. To start with, going to sleep at the same time every night and following a bedtime routine helps the brain to relax. Additionally, the following rituals can further help in unwinding all the unwanted stress.
A warm bath with rose and jasmine essential oils helps calm your body. According to Ayurveda, jasmine and rose have the properties to open the heart, reduce the stress, and purify the body of negativity. Doing so prepares the mind and body to relax before going to bed.
Ayurveda states that ghee is one of the best substances which can be used to self-massage the body. Its unique properties help the body in cooling and calming. Additionally, it provides oleation(saturation therapy in Ayurveda) and hydration to the body. When someone massages their temples and naval with ghee, it balances their Vata and increases Pitta owing to its cooling properties.
A lot of people around the world massage their feet before going to bed. It helps to relax as there are more than 7000 nerve endings present on each foot and massaging helps to loosen the body. The same effects are applicable when a person massages his/her scalp as the nerves start from there.
As per Ayurveda, warm milk heals and soothes the body. Milk consists of L-tryptophan, an amino acid that leads to serotonin and melatonin hormones, which induce relaxation and sleep. Adding Nutmeg to milk boosts the flavor and further helps in naturally inducing sleep.
Applying a few drops of oil on the wrist and the pillow gives an overall calming effect. Ayurveda believes that doing so opens the heart, soothes and relaxes the body and mind, and helps in inducing sleep. Essential oils like Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Brahmi oil will enable the body to calm at a much faster pace.
This easy practice before going to bed helps in reducing the Vata and balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Follow these simple steps to do Anulom Vilom or alternate nostril breathing
Another simple way of relaxing the body is by practicing Brahmari breathing, which requires a person to inhale and say ‘ohm’ while exhaling. Doing this for 5 minutes every day before going to bed helps the body to relax.
These are just some of the practices mentioned in Ayurveda which assist a person in sleeping better. Ayurveda requires a person to practice the rituals religiously every day in order to have a maximum effect on a person to sleep peacefully on a regular basis.