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Subject: Sleep Well Without Sleeping Pills

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Dr Sonica Krishan
Author of 5 published Books, Speaker & Consultant: Healthy & Joyous Living through
How Ayurveda Helps You Sleep Well without Sleeping Pills!
Do you occasionally deprive yourself of a good night sleep? This is part of our lifestyle today, blame it on overwork or nightlife. But let me tell you that this is one of the most deleterious practices that you are unknowingly inuring yourself with. Problems like -general malaise, lethargy, indecisiveness, heaviness and pain in the eyes and head, lack of enthusiasm, habitual insomnia, and digestive maladies might be just round the corner.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder which is becoming common world over, and which may mainly be characterized by little or no sleep. This loss of sleep or insomnia may sometimes simply be accompanied by disturbed sleep, light sleep or simply rolling in the bed throughout the night.
Some Causes of Insomnia or Loss of Sleep
• Many times you tend to suffer from loss of sleep or insomnia due to the imbalance in diet and lifestyle and the escalating stress in day-to-day living.
• Due to exceeding cut-throat competition in our everyday life and work situations, sleep related disorders are on the rise.
• Sometimes insomnia may result from a drug reaction.
• Diseases like hypertension and anxiety etc relate to loss of sleep or insomnia as a natural sign.
Ayurveda Health Tips for Loss of Sleep
•Sleeping in a dark room with calm and quiet environment is vital for overcoming Insomnia and to get natural relaxed sleep.
•Your body works on natural clock. Therefore, fix a proper time and routine like listening to soft music, reading etc. before your everyday snooze. This helps to signal the body and makes it ready for sleep.
•Involve yourself in physical activities and mental work through the day so that it exhausts you enough to obtain a sound sleep.
•Limit your intake of caffeine rich foods like coffee, chocolates etc. as these interfere in the natural pattern of sleep.
•You need to restrict having oily, spicy and heavy to digest meals before going to bed as this also could result into disturbed sleep.
•Take care not to take a long nap during afternoons as this might keep you awake in the night.
•Try not to take worries to bed and also refrain from staring at the darkness if you're unable to sleep. It is better to go to another room and try any creative activity like reading. Go to bed only when you actually feel sleepy.
•Go in for mud nap occasionally. This is good news for all those suffering from stress, anxiety, insomnia and related maladies.
•Sleeping in the mud also benefits significantly in case of nervine debility and mental instability.
Ayurveda Natural Cures for Insomnia
Imbalance and aggravation of the Vata dosha or the air body humor is believed to be the fundamental cause that impedes normal sleep pattern. Thus, for restoring Vata balance and gaining restoring sleep, there are some diet and lifestyle tips counselled in Ayurveda text.
• Heavy and nourishing diet like ghee, milk, sugarcane juice, rice, curds, jaggery based products etc.
• Lifestyle measures include self-massage (especially head region and mildly on ears and closed eyes), bathing with perfumed herbal soaps, local application of perfumed pastes or lotions on the body and head, soft pressing of the weary limbs etc.
• Mental relaxation is also considered vital for the commencing of relaxed sleep. Ayurveda text mentions to be sparing some time with your kids and agreeable alliances and family members, before going to bed.
•Ayurveda Massage therapy, mainly Shirodhara provides with wonderful Stress relief, deep mind and body relaxation helping you to have a better and relaxed sleep.
• Ashwagandha and Tagara are some of the well-known Ayurveda herbs recommended for loss of sleep. Another herb by the name of Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a body and brain rejuvenator and good for intellect. All the more, it helps undo the everyday strain and induces sound sleep.
Sleep well with Ayurveda Dosha Healing Tips
You need to be more specific regarding the basic sleep pattern which would be highly suitable for the particular dosha which is dominant within you. AyurvedaDosha Healing provides relevant details about this arena. For example, if you are Vata type, sleeping on your left side aids in right nostril breathing, which is warm and thereby balances the cold Vata. For Pitta types, having a nap in the moonlight or amidst cool air and showers, or in cool dark shade will do you good. Also, if you have more of Phlegm or Kapha in your system, sleeping during the daytime is a strict no-no for you.
Sleep Recommendation for Vata Dosha Types
Of the three doshas, Vata is most easily affected by sleep inadequacy. This is mainly because Vata is light and erratic by nature. Also, a Vata person is generously a frivolous thinker with often fluctuating mental states—thus also a light sleeper. This condition could be aggravated in case the individual sleeps less or ignores/delays the call of sleep. Sleeping on your left side aids in right nostril breathing, which is warm and thereby balances the cold Vata.
Vata types may sleep on their left side. For the Vata dominant types, it is strongly suggested that you be more persistent and serious with your everyday sleep pattern. Lest it could make you more prone to insomnia, disturbed sleep and also physical attributes of excessive gas and belching. A sleep routine is incredibly amicable for the Vata individual because the frequently dodging mind has to be kept under control.
Sleep Recommendation for Pitta Dosha Types
In case the pitta dosha is dominant in your system, you need to understand that your sleep can be easily affected by external stimuli like lights and sound. So you need to keep your room dark and mildly scented with rose petals, lavender oil drops or henna leaves. Sleep on your right side so as to encourage the cool left nostril breathing. Also, having a nap in the moonlight or amidst cool air and showers, or in cool dark shade will do you good.
Sleep Recommendation for Kapha Dosha Types
Kapha dominant individuals are of a steady and relaxed type. Therefore as Kapha is largely stable and motionless [both physically and mentally], all factors that enhance relaxation like leading a sedentary life, sitting or resting for too long and especially sleeping for long causes dosha imbalance. Sleeping during the daytime is a strict no-no for you, in case you're Kapha type. As you already have the tendency to sleep more than average, over-sleeping and daytime sleeping are sure to result into Kapha aggravation and imbalance. On the contrary, early rising from the bed would be supportive. It is alright if the bedtime is delayed sometimes. You are also advised to be sleeping on your left side, which aids in warm right nostril breathing.
Detoxification for Insomnia
Ayurvedic remedies for detoxificationhelps to thoroughly cleanse body systems so as to balance and reduce the accumulated toxins within the body. As these toxins cause imbalance in the three doshas of the body, timely detoxification of the body helps restore the natural balance of the doshas. Ayurvedic science believes that one can only enjoy the fruit of health if all the three doshas are in balanced state. Ayurvedic remedies for detoxification help to re-create the balance in the doshas.. Removing of build-up toxins and impurities in the system interfere with sound health of an individual both physically as well as mentally. Thus, so as to relieve the symptoms of insomnia and loss of sleep, the Ayurvedic doctors stress on applying the parameters of holistic health with the process of thorough detoxification. Therefore, when taking up the Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia, it needs to be understood that the accumulation of toxic matter prevents proper nutrition from reaching the tissues and blocks the processes that cleanse them of impurities. Detoxification is therefore considered as must for insomnia patients.
Improving Digestion
For getting rid of most of the ailments, acute as well as chronic, Ayurveda lays emphasis on strengthening the gastric fire. Similar is recommended in case of sleep disturbances or insomnia. When the food is properly digested, this will leave very little chances of formation of toxic matter that forms the cause for a number of diseases, including insomnia. The focus of treatment in the Ayurveda for improving digestion and also for treating the digestive disorder is:
•Eliminating the Ama from various parts of the body (Dhatus) and balancing the Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
•Correcting the Agni (The digestive fire)
•Rasayana and Rejuvenation Therapies would be provided.
Panchkarma Ayurvedic Treatments for Insomnia
Panchkarmas are the Ayurvedic detox procedures which greatly help to remove both the physical and mental toxins.. Panchakarma, in Ayurveda, has a deep philosophical meaning of healing. It is the ultimate detoxification process. As the name suggests, 'Pancha' in Sanskrit means five and 'Karma' means actions, so literally translated 'Panchakarma', a set of five systematic actions or treatments used for purification of the body. It is employed to balance doshas and to flush out the toxins from the body through the normal modes of elimination like the intestines, sweat glands, blood vessels and the urinary tract. Thus, it restores internal balance and harmony in the body. Mainly for treating insomnia, the Panchkarma Ayurvedic procedures that we generally recommend are Basti, Virechana and Nasya.
Rejuvenation Ayurvedic Therapies for Insomnia
The Rejuvenation therapies are designed mainly to revitalize the body tissues, remove accumulated stress and toxins from mind and body, which are usually the result of unhealthy lifestyle. Rejuvenation therapies ensure optimum strength and good health. Bring calmness, improve concentration, memory and makes skin look radiant. As the rejuvenation Ayurvedic therapies aid to increase Ojas, thus providing immunity boost, they work wonderfully well for curing the ailments of insomnia and disturbed sleep. Some of the rejuvenation Ayurvedic therapies for insomnia are Shiro Abhyanga, Shiro Dhara, Shiro Basti, Shiro Pichu, Pada Abhyanga, Abhyanga, SSPS, and we highly recommend these to be taken on the purified body after taking up detoxification and Panchkarma Ayurvedic treatments for long lasting results. Padabhyanga is highly effective for insomnia and it includes massage of the foot and leg, stimulates all organs of the body and increases Ojas and induces a state of deep relaxation. Shirodhara is another highly beneficial External Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia and sleep disturbances.
Stress Management Essential for Insomnia
When you take up Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia, you would appreciate that generally the Ayurveda doctors also tend to provide you thorough counselling regarding stress management. This is because stress and anxiety are closely related to insomnia and sleep disturbances. Ayurveda believes that stress affects Agni, dosha, dhatu and Ojas. These imbalances eventually start affecting your physical and mental health in so many ways, that it becomes difficult to even identify that the stress has been the primary cause for your disturbed sleep.
Yoga and Pranayama
Yoga asanas and Pranayama deep breathing techniques are great supportive therapy for sleep disorders and insomnia. Yoga Nidra and Shavasana are the yoga therapies that are particularly helpful. In yoga nidra, one appears to be sleeping but the unconscious mind is functioning at a deeper level and it is sleep with a trace of deep awareness. This process of Yoga nidra involves aimless and effortless relaxation.
Many a times thorough mental relaxation and self-awareness of your mental state creates wonders for recovering from insomnia. When meditation is practised regularly along with other recommended therapies for insomnia, it particularly provides with relaxing and rejuvenating experience for the mind. Meditation is not really putting efforts on the mind, rather it is simply allowing the mind to have its own way and not interfering in any way what so ever, just being remaining watchful and witnessing . Therefore, practicing meditation technique twice a day is a powerful mind-body healing approach to the problems of insomnia.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Insomnia
Ayurvedic herbs and herb combinations for insomnia like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Brahmi (bacopa monneri), Jatamamsi (Nardostachys jatamansi) provide substantial relief in the ailment of insomnia. These Ayurvedic herbs not only work as brain tonics, but also help in balancing the doshas and nourish the ojas. Tagara is another recommended Ayurveda herb for insomnia. Also, another herb by the name of Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a body and brain rejuvenator, good for intellect and also helpful in the condition of insomnia. This is because this herb helps undo the everyday strain and induces sound sleep. Ayurveda herbs for insomnia work well on your system once you have undertaken the programmes of thorough cleansing and detoxification.
Ayurvedic Diet Suggestions for Insomnia
As for relieving the ailment of insomnia, the recommended diet is focussed on dosha balancing. You could be advised to take a cup of warm milk with cardamom, cinnamon at bed time. Also, heavy and nourishing diet like ghee, milk, sugarcane juice, rice, curds, jaggery based products etc. are recommended for curing insomnia. Ayurveda recommends nutritious diet that nourishes the Ojas especially to those who are suffering from insomnia or sleep disorders.
Necessary Rituals before Bed Time
Drinking a glass of warmed and sweetened milk [preferably buffalo milk] with a pinch of balancing herbs like cardamom, turmeric, saffron or dry ginger powder helps you sleep sound.
Have a fixed routine before bedtime, like listening to soft music or reading. This signals the body to get ready for sleep. Activities like reading and meditation promote tranquillity and peace of mind, a great aid for restful sleep.
Limit your intake of oily, spicy and heavy-to-digest meals before going to bed as this interferes in the natural pattern of sleep.
Massage your scalp and the soles of your feet, with a little oil [preferably sesame oil] just before you sleep.
Spend some time with your kids or family members, before going to bed.
About the Author: Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and Holistic Healing Coach. Dr Sonica is open for National as well as International Collaborations with interested people / institutions in fields of Ayurveda, Meditation and Yoga.

Hands that serve are Holier than Lips that Pray


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