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We all need to sleep for at least 7 hours a day. But some of us due to one reason or another experience less sleep. Many of us must be dealing with insomnia where it’s difficult to fall asleep.
According to Ayurveda insomnia is termed “Anidra” or ” Nidranasha” This condition is the result of vitiation of the three doshas.
Anidra is because of the following disturbance:
Tarpak kapha: It nourishes the brain’s cells and thus results in sound sleep. When this dosha is imbalanced it leads to Anidra as brain cells get poor or no nourishment.
Prana Vayu: Its vitiation leads to insomnia.
Sadhak pitta: It is responsible for controlling our emotions, desires, and spirituality and is found in the heart. When sadhak pitta is imbalanced, it disturbs the peace of mind and leads to insomnia.
We all must have experienced staying asleep until it’s time to wake up. If you experience these events regularly then you must once consult a doctor and can follow the given remedies below. But if you experience insomnia less frequently, then you can cure it naturally without any medications.
Here, are the natural ways to treat insomnia.
Meditation is a process in which you observe your thoughts, emotions, body, and soul.
When you do mindful meditation, it not only improves your concentration and immunity but also relieves your stress. Therefore, it helps to get sound sleep. You can start meditating whenever you want. If you haven’t meditated before, then you can start meditating for 15 minutes in the morning or while going to bed at night. Through regular practice, you will learn the art of meditating and will surely attain good sleep along with many benefits.
For many of you, this must sound strange but believe it. Repeating a positive affirmation or mantra relieves stress. Doing this on a regular basis has proven to reduce insomnia.
You can chant the Sanskrit shlokas or any simple, positive statement in any language. Mantras should always be positive and should be in the present tense. While focussing on the words, you can chant mentally or aloud.
Start practicing yoga:
Along with its several benefits, yoga is a tremendous exercise to improve your sleep. It subsides stress, improves sleep and physical functioning of the body, and boosts concentration as well.
You can perform many yoga postures and pranayam for the same. Performing yoga postures before sleeping can calm you and get you to sleep early.
Pouring stimulating oils like til taila or bhringraj oil over your scalp and pressing down gently in continuous circular motions for a while can give you relief. This practice increases blood circulation, gives you peace, and leads to good sleep.
Samvahana ( Body massage):
By the usage of oils like almond or mustard, you can massage your whole body gently with your hands or with soft materials like silk. This procedure regulates your blood circulation, gives a calming effect, and therefore relieves you from stress resulting in sound sleep.
Several Ayurvedic herbs work against sleeplessness. You can have them against insomnia.
Some of the herbs are:
• Ashwagandha: This herb acts as magic against many ailments including Insomnia. Ashwagandha contains Triethylene glycol which is an active compound and helps in inducing sleep.
This herb directly penetrates the central nervous system and is an antidepressant relieving stress and exhaustion too.
• Tagara: Commonly known as Valeriana wallichii, this drug pacifies Kaptreatsd Vata dosha. It is a natural herb that improves the quality of sleep and treats insomnia by exerting soporific on the body and mind.
- Jatamansi: It acts as a brain tonic and the brain and nervous system. This is another drug that induces sleep by relieving stress through its antidepressant properties. It also acts as an anxiolytic and antihypertensive.
- Sarpgandha: This herb is rich in reserpine which is an alkaloid and is extracted from its long tapering snake-like roots. This alkaloid has antihypertensive and sedative properties and is therefore used in Ayurvedic formulations for treating insomnia. It calms the nervous system through its sleep-inducing properties.
- Yashtimadhu: Mulethi is a well-known medicinal herb that is effective against a dozen of diseases.
According to one study conducted on mice in 2012, yashtimadhu helped bind GABA receptors in the brain which stimulates relaxing alpha waves. This led mice to get deep and longer sleep. Gabrol, the active ingredient of yashtimadhu is the active compound behind it. The results of the study were published in the journal Bioorganic MedicineChemistrymisty.
Apart from these herbs, some other herbs as Brahmi, Mandukparni, etc help in getting sound sleep.
Diet and Lifestyle for better sleep
To get better sleep, you should also change your diet and lifestyle a bit. Here are some tips that can help you to get good sleep —
- Avoid eating meals late at night. It’s better to eat 2 to 3 hrs before going to bed.
- Eat dinner rich in protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid oily, deep-fried, sugary food that may lead to digestive problems thus hindering sleep.
- You can drink a cup of warm milk too, as it is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps in lowering stress, anxiety and depression resulting in sound sleep.
- Avoid consuming caffeine at night.