Beat insomnia, invite home good sleep

Ayurveda understands sleep as one of three pillars of healthy sustenance of life, along with Aahara (food) and Brahmacharya (conscious relationships).

Sleep is an essential component of good health and peace of mind.

Not just sleep, but deep sleep.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia or ‘anidra’ is a sleep disorder in which one has trouble falling or staying asleep. It can be alleviated by balancing aggravated body energies. The route it follows? Following a customized diet, suitable lifestyle choices and taking medicines recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor.

A good night’s sleep confers immense merits for well-being, such as Sukha (happiness), Pushti (nourishment), Bala (strength), Vrishata, Gyaan (knowledge), Jeevita (life). Whereas very less sleep induces Dukha (unhappiness), Karshyata (emaciation), Abala (weakness), Agyana (impaired wisdom).

Causes of Insomnia?

Primary causes of insomnia include:

  • Stress related to big life events, like a job loss or change, the death of a loved one, divorce, or moving
  • Things around you like noise, light, or temperature
  • Changes to your sleep schedule like jet lag, a new shift at work, or bad habits you picked up when you had other sleep problems
  • Your genes. Research has found that a tendency for insomnia may run in families.

Secondary causes of insomnia include:

  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
  • Medications for colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma.
  • Pain or discomfort at night
  • Caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol use, as well as use of illicit drugs.
  • Hyperthyroidism and other endocrine problems
  • Other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia
  • ADHD
  • PMS and menopause

Factors which triggers insomnia (Lifestyle , diet , habits etc)

  • Insomnia affects women more than men and older people more than younger ones.
  • Mental health issues
  • Working night shifts or shifts that rotate
  • Heavy food at night
  • Non veg food
  • Unwholesome ahara (Viruddha Ahara)
  • Regular intake of dry, sour, salty, fried types of food, fast food.
  • Over exposure to sunlight
  • Over exercise
  • Day sleep

How can insomnia be avoided?

Basic tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends.
  • Stay active.
  • Check your medications.
  • Avoid or limit naps.
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don’t use nicotine.
  • Don’t put up with pain.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed.

Ayurvedic remedies and tips

  • Acute insomnia may not need treatment.
  • For chronic insomnia, you’ll need treatment for the conditions or health problems that are keeping you awake.
  • Do regular head massage and body massage & foot massage with proper oil.
  • Playing light music at a very low volume helps to relax your mind.

Medicines that help to improve sleep:

  • Narayana kalpa tablet
  • Ashwagandhadi tablet
  • Shankhapushpi
  • Brahmi tablet
  • Amla tablet
  • Shatavari tablet

Lifestyle DO’s and Don’ts

  • Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Try not to take naps during the day, because they may make you less sleepy at night.
  • Don’t use phones or e-books before bed. Their light can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can make you wake up in the middle of the night and hurt your sleep quality.
  • Do regular Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, mudras & exercise. Try not to work out close to bedtime, because it may make it hard to fall asleep. Exercise should be at least 3 to 4 hours before bed.
  • Do regular head massage and body massage with proper oil.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day. But a light snack before bedtime may help you sleep.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable: dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, use a sleeping mask. To cover up sounds, try earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine.
  • Follow a routine to relax before bed. Read a book, listen to music, or take a warm water bath.
  • If you can’t fall asleep and aren’t drowsy, get up and do something calming, like reading until you feel sleepy.
  • Avoid Coffee / tea at least 3 hours before sleep time
  • Avoid foods that cause bloating such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carbonated, high acid drinks, dairy products, potato maize, pasta, chewing gum.
  • Avoid sweets and fried foods at night.
  • Take pure veg food. Avoid more sour, salty & pungent food items.