Sleeplessness in Ayurveda
Ayurveda for Sleeplessness
Insomnia is a common disorder that can make it difficult to sleep, difficult to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too soon and not be able to return to sleep. You may feel tired when you are awake due to sleep deprivation. A sleeping disorder can sap your energy level and affect your state of mind, health, work life and personal life.
At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It’s usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
Causes of Sleeplessness
The causes of sleeplessness will depend from person to person. Short-term insomnia, or acute insomnia, may be caused by a number of things including:
- An upsetting or traumatic event
- Changes to your sleep habits, like sleeping in a hotel or new home
- Physical pain
- Certain medications
Chronic insomnia lasts for at least 3 months and can be primary or secondary. Primary insomnia has no known cause. Secondary insomnia occurs with another condition that can include:
- Medical conditions that make it harder to sleep, such as arthritis or back pain
- Psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression
- Substance use
- Sleep apnea
Symptoms for Sleeplessness
Sleeplessness symptoms may include:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up in-between sleep
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
The Ayurvedic Explanation
Insomnia is identified as anidra (absence of sleep) and alpanidratha (broken sleep) in ayurveda. Anidra or absence of rest is identified with a vatha vitiation or a vatha predominant condition and alpanidratha is a pitha overwhelming condition caused by pitha humor vitiation.
A proper sleeping pattern is essential for the maintenance of ojus, the ultimate factor for maintaining physical and mental health. Anidratha and alpanidratha are clinical conditions related to insomnia. Anidratha or alpanidratha are mentioned as symptoms rather than a disease.
Ayurveda Treatment for Sleeplessness
The Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia recommends the use of diet, lifestyle changes, and the use of herbal remedies. Ayurveda treatment for Insomnia includes the following:
Panchakarma is one of the most famous treatment methods in Ayurveda. The process comprises of five steps for the detoxification and rejuvenation of mind and body. This treatment contains herbal massages and cleansing enemas.
Applying stimulating oils like Bhringaraj, Til Taila on the Shira (head) and pressing down on the scalp in gentle, circular motions remarkably soothes the mind. This, in turn, boosts blood circulation to the central nervous system and helps overcome sleeplessness.
This reviving procedure involves a harmonizing full body massage, using soft materials like silk and fluffy brushes, as well as aromatic essential oils such as almond, rose, jasmine, lavender and sandalwood. Also comprising a pacifying steam bath, it offers noteworthy soporific and aphrodisiac characteristics, vastly improving the quality of sleep.
Herbal medications, Medhya Rasayana literally translates to the rejuvenation of brainpower and intellect. Several flowering plants, such as Ashwagandha, Tulsi, Yashtimadhu, Brahmi, Mandukaparni fall in this category, which when consumed prior to bedtime, provide valuable neuroprotective properties, in addition to enhancing memory, cognition, preventing neurodegenerative conditions and restoring normal sleep.
Here are a few items to avoid for a peaceful sleep:
- Avoid large, high-fat meals late in the day.
- Avoid caffeine late in the day and avoid alcohol at bedtime.
- Don’t drink too many fluids before bedtime. Drinking lots of fluids before bed can cause you to wake up repeatedly to use the bathroom.
- Eat a balanced and varied diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein sources.
Ayurveda treatment for insomnia consists of a complex array of therapeutic techniques and natural medicines to restore balance and harmony. At Krishnendu Ayurveda, we have a very systematic approach in treating insomnia; we plan a customized treatment for each individual which is specific to their symptoms.