Insomnia can be defined by one or more of the following:
—Trouble falling asleep
–Waking up a lot during the night with trouble returning to sleep
–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.
|Here are some general Ayurvedic guidelines to help you get better sleep:|
|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 (Shav asana 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 Bhringraj/Sesame 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.|
*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.
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