The three pillars of health are a balanced diet, regular exercise and of course, sufficient deep sleep. And currently, it is reported that at least 25% of the world’s adult population between 21 – 60 years old suffer from insomnia.
Insomnia refers to a sleep disorder wherein an individual faces problems with falling asleep and remaining in a rested phase through the night. It can present itself either as a short-term i.e. acute, or a long-term i.e. chronic condition.
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Types Of Insomnia:
This form of lack of sleep arises due to physical or emotional stress, excessive travelling, or demanding work schedules and is a distinct illness of its own.
The main factors triggering this variant of insomnia include side effects stemming from other underlying neurological or mental ailments, as well as from long-term medications.
Insomnia prompts signs of lethargy, persistent yawning, irritability, weakness and lack of concentration, thereby negatively influencing professional commitments, personal relationships and hampering a person’s productivity. However, it is not a life-threatening disease and can be effectively managed, thanks to the numerous curative solutions mentioned in the ancient practice of Indian medicine – Ayurveda.
Reasons For Insomnia, As Per Ayurveda:
In Ayurveda, insomnia is termed as ”Anidra” or “Nidranasha” and is caused by a specific imbalance in the three doshas:
It is an auxiliary dosha of Kapha and its job is to nourish the cells of the brain, resulting in a restful night’s sleep. When this dosha is not in balance the brain cells go unnourished, causing insomnia.
This is a supplemental Vata dosha it creates a sensitive nervous system, and this, together with an aggravated Prana Vayu, causes insomnia. It is also linked to depression, anxiety and worrying.
It refers to a crucial Pitta dosha found in the heart. It controls all of our emotions, spirituality, decisiveness and desires. Any imbalance creates problems with resting functions in the body, leading to insomnia.
The age-old ayurvedic scriptures stress on the significance of “Nidra” i.e 6 – 8 hours of continuous sleep – a phase when the mind, sense organs are relaxed and cease temporarily to perform their respective functions.
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).
Nevertheless, insomnia need not be a major cause for concern and can be efficiently healed by means of some potent herbs and rejuvenating treatments. Read on, to know more.
5 Invigorating Ayurvedic Remedies That Will Ensure Undisturbed Sleep:
1. Abhyanga (Oil Massage)
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. Also Read: Bhringaraj: Benefits For Hair, Uses, Dosage, Formulations, and Side Effects
2. Draksha (Grapes)
Eating a small bowl of fresh grapes before going to bed at night assists in rectifying insomnia. Grapes contain a treasure trove of beneficial nutrients, like resveratrol, carotenoid, quercetin antioxidants and a powerful compound called melatonin. These eliminate harmful free radicals from the system and relieve insomnia, by fostering a healthy deep sleep cycle and resting patterns.
3. Samvahana (Body Massage)
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.
4. Ikshu (Sugarcane)
Having foods with an intrinsic sweet taste i.e. Madhura Rasa is a magical tonic for the often incessant problem of insomnia. The juice extracts from sugarcane or Ikshu are rich in tryptophan, which forms serotonin – a key neurotransmitter that lowers cortisol levels, stress as well as regulates mood, memory and sleep, hence ensuring uninterrupted rest at night. Also Read: 7 Amazing Benefits Of Sugarcane Juice - A Sweet Deal To Good Health
5. Medhya Rasayana (Nootropic Herbs)
A class of 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.