“Sleep is the best meditation”, this quote just explains the importance of sleep for our body. Our body needs rest and the best way to rest the whole body is to have a long sound sleep.
What do you think about your sleep pattern? Do you sleep as soon as you lie on bed or do you keep waiting to fall asleep whole night? How sound or deep is your sleep? Do you end up waking up middle of the night? Do you feel tired or irritated the next morning?
If your answer is YES, then you have a sleep disorder which is called Sleeplessness.
Sleeplessness or generally known as Insomnia is a state when a person is incapable to fall asleep or wakes up middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep. This happens because when you wake up fully middle of the night and don’t know what to do, you end up nervous. The nervousness causes adrenaline to fill in the system making your body active.
Every individual requires a minimum of 7-9 hours sleep at night. However, when you have Insomnia you end up sleeping very less. There is one part of people with Insomnia who have only 1 or 2 bad days of sleep whereas the other part of people has many nights without sleep. They also end up being exhausted during day time.
Insomnia can cause serious issues in health like depression, heart diseases, lack of concentration leading to accidents on road or office or home, irritability, memory problems, etc.
Insomnia is categorized into three types;
- Transient Insomnia – It is the inability to sleep well for less than a week. It is a disorder that can be caused either due to changes in sleep environment, sleep timings, stress or severe depression.
- Acute Insomnia – It is the inability to sleep well for a period less than a month. It is a disorder which causes difficulty in falling asleep or having a sound sleep. The poor quality of sleep results in problems with daytime activities. Acute Insomnia is also referred to as short term insomnia or stress related insomnia.
- Chronic Insomnia – It is the inability to sleep well for a period more than a month. It is caused due to high level of stress hormones in body or variation in the levels of cytokines. Chronic Insomnia results in muscular fatigue, hallucination or mental fatigue.
There are various reasons why a person gets Insomnia. Some common causes include stress, tension, nervousness, too much work, anger, smoking, too much eating, empty stomach, late dinner, having coffee or tea before sleeping, watching TV or working on computer, etc.
Ayurveda is very particular about sleep pattern. It is always recommended to sleep before 10 pm for getting the most restful sleep. There are also some simple and natural ayurvedic healing remedies for Insomnia.
Simple home remedies for Insomnia;
- Try to rub some oil like sesame oil, brahmi oil, jasmine oil, or coconut oil on the scalp and soles of the feet before going to bed. Massaging with slightly warm oil can be very helpful.
- Drink 1 cup of warm milk added with almonds before going to bed.
- Add 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and little cardamom to 1 glass milk and drink it before going to bed.
- Try to eat warm, moist and grounding food rather than oily or dry or raw food at dinner. It is good to avoid ice cold beverages.
- Try to decide a routine for eating and sleeping.
- Try to always motivate yourself to sleep rather than been nervous about not getting sleep.
- Sip some chamomile tea before bed.
- Try to do guided yoga by name Nidra which is very helpful.
- Having a bath in lukewarm water before bed is very helpful.
- Try to listen to drone instruments or to the sound of rustling leaves to fall asleep.
- Try to rinse your eyes with rose water and add 1 drop of ghee into eyes. Keep it closed and try to sleep.
- Before going to bed, try to comb your hair.
- Drink 1 glass milk with 1 teaspoon honey every night before bed.
- Take 1/2 litre water and add 1 teaspoon aniseed. Allow the water to heat for 15 min. Strain and drink this water when it’s hot before going to bed.
- Take 1 glass water and mix 2 teaspoon honey. Drink this water before going to bed.
- Try to sleep in a room that is quieter or it is better to wear ear plugs.
- Avoid intake of alcohol. Alcohol can cause drowsiness and can make you sleep. It also has a side effect of waking you late in the night with stomachache, headache or to pass urine and you would not be able to get back to sleep later.
- Try not to sleep during day time.
- Try to do some exercise late in the evening to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Try to manage your day to day activities well to reduce the stress level.
- Try to have 1 teaspoon licorice root powder with 1 glass milk empty stomach every morning.
Diet and lifestyle changes in an individual along with natural home remedies provided above can help in treating Insomnia. If the symptoms still remain, kindly go to a doctor to identify or rule out the chances of medical or psychological disorders.