Insomnia or problems with sleep can fall under one or more of the following:
–Trouble falling asleep
–Problem sleeping through the night
–Waking up too early in the morning
–Not feeling well rested even after sleeping 7 to 8 hours at night
Insomnia and fatigue are considered amongst some of the common health problems facing people today. More and more people are experiencing sleep problems secondary to increased stress levels caused by hyper-active lifestyles and lack of balance in their daily lives. Sleep problems have been linked to various health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and depression.
According to Ayurveda sleep problems are due to aggravation of Vata Dosha (energetic principle of movement, catabolism, etc, comprised of Space and Air). It is an increase in Vata Dosha in the mind or nervous system secondary to a hyper-active lifestyle (always on the move and multi-tasking), poor eating habits (eating Vata provoking foods – dry, rough, cold, hard foods on the run and/or at irregular times) and an overactive mind that is always planning, thinking and worrying.
Natural remedies to help you sleep and feel rested:
–First and foremost – pacify Vata Dosha by following a Vata soothing diet and lifestyle. Slow down, don’t worry and be happy. Maintain a regular schedule –wake up early, eat your meals at the proper time and make time to rest. Take time out to SLOW down and contemplate on what is causing your problems.
–Regular exercise (however avoid exercise in the late evening – may interrupt with sleep) such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga (Shavasana can be performed before sleep) and walking.
–Pranayama (Yoga breathing exercises) such as Nadi Shodan (alternate nostril breathing) for 5 minutes to relax and balance the nervous system. To regulate the flow of Qi or prana (life force).
–Meditate for a 5-10 minutes before sleep to help relax the mind.
–Eating a light meal in the evening and avoiding food before bedtime.
–Massage warm Mahabhringraj oil on soles of feet and on scalp for 5 minutes before bedtime.
–A hot bath before bedtime to sooth VATA and relax the nervous system to help you sleep.
–Try a cup of warm milk boiled with a pinch of nutmeg 30 minutes before bedtime.
–Avoid coffee, tea, smoking and alcohol. These stimulants can interfere with restful sleep.
–Avoid watching horror or violent movies before bedtime.
–Avoid reading before sleep – makes your mind overactive.
Herbal sleep remedies can be very useful for relaxation and promoting restful sleep. Some common Ayurvedic and Western herbs and herbal products to aid sleep:
–Promotes a soothing and calming effect on the body and mind.*
–Supports the body’s natural sleep process.*
–Alleviates anxiety and irritability associated with not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep.*
Ashwagandha is one of the top 10 herbs in Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. It is an adaptogen (increases the body’s ability to adapt to internal or external stress). It is used to invigorate and strengthen the whole body while calming the nervous system.*
–Combat stress – it is used as an adaptogen to it increases the body’s ability to adapt to internal and external stress.*
–Calm the mind and promote restful sleep – its latin name Withania Somnifera refers to its calming and relaxing properties. Wonderful for nervousness, anxiety and a sense of being ungrounded.*
–Give vitality and strength – The Sanskrit meaning of the word Ashwagandha implies “imparts the strength of a stallion”. It is a natural strength builder.*
–Boost energy levels – helps with general fatigue, improves energy level and general well-being.*
–Support healthy libido – it is one of the best herbs for strengthening the male reproductive system. It is also used as an aphrodisiac in Ayurveda.*
Tagar (Valariana Wallichi) or Indian Valerian is a wonderful aromatic herb used to promote sleep and calm the mind. It is also used for muscle spasms, irritable bowels and mestrual cramps.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalisis) used for sleep disorders, anxiety, restlessness, pain and gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) It is traditionally used as a nerve tonic and sedative for relieving anxiety, pain and insomnia.
Bhringaraj (Eclipta Alba) Traditionally used in Ayurveda to promote growth of healthy hair, promotes a calming effect and helps with sleep. It is also a powerful liver tonic.
Find the herbs and herbal oil discussed in this post here:
*This information is for education purposes only. Please consult your Physician, Physical Therapist or Wellness Practitioner before starting any rehabilitation, wellness or fitness program. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
(C) Copyright 2016 Manu Kalia All Rights Reserved