Do you find yourself awake along after your family goes to bed? If insomnia bedevils your nights, you could find solace in the fact that you are not alone. It is estimated that one among four persons, especially those who have a hectic day schedule suffer from insomnia. Sufferers may have trouble falling asleep at night, wake up in the middle of the night or too early and can’t go to sleep again.
Look at a child, in case you at your own child. Few minutes back, he was turning and tossing on the bed. Now, he is fast asleep, reflecting perfect tranquility on his innocent face. Why have we forgotten to sleep like child? Because we have learned to worry for number of things. We prefer to be more concerned.
On a typical day in our country, most people wake up feeling exhausted. They reach to shut off the alarm clock or window doors with sleepy eyes, to get more sleep.
Researchers have identified insomnia (lack of sleep) as a cause of serious disorders ranging from diabetes to high stress levels. The result shows that it is taking a huge toll on the quantity of life and the health of sufferers.
One of the reasons that insomnia is on the rise is the high stress levels and time pressures associated with modern living. The people would gladly get more sleep if they could, but the information age, which was supposed to make everything more efficient, has just made everything busier. Many people complain of insomnia, with stress or depressed during the day making them too tense, worried to be able to fall asleep at night.
Lack of sleep, in turn, creates more stress on the job and at home. However, it is important to know at the outset that not all people require the same amount of sleep. Sleeping cycles vary among people and throughout a person’s life. Moreover, while one person may only require four hours of sleep, others may need ten hours.
Ayurveda is against the idea of sleeping during the day, especially during winters. In summer, however, short nap during the day is okay. People suffering from sprue syndrome should sleep after intake of food. Patients suffering from chronic diseases and those having fever, require more sleep. Children require more sleep than elders. On the other hand, those who put in hard physical labour, require more sleep.
All factors, that are responsible for aggravation of human body, result from sleeplessness. Environmental and dietary factors also play a prominent role, and studies show that for unknown reasons, insomnia is more common in females than males.
Sleep disturbance may have underlying physiological causes. Hence, treating the cause can solve the problem itself.
Insomnia: Research facts
In USA alone, sleep deprivation is the reason for 60% of road accidents and drivers who stayed awake over hours, suffered impaired coordination, reaction time, and judgement worse than drivers who were legally drunk.
As far as health is concerned, those who sleep less than six hours a night, don’t live as long as those who sleep seven hours or more. Sleeping only four hours a night can cause weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
During sleep, the levels of several immune system helpers increase in your blood. Among these are helpers that protect the body from cancerous tumours. For instance, the level of TNF or tumour necrosis factor, which is one of the body’s most powerful cancer fighters, increases tenfold during sleep. On the other hand, lack of sleep reduces the level of natural killer cells, further compromising the immune system.
If you say up late, your exposure to electric light interferes with certain hormone cycles, especially the secretion of melatonin. When melatonin levels fall, estrogen levels rise. Too much estrogen has, in turn, been shown to promote the growth of breast cancer . Another indicator of this link is that blind women get breast cancer half as often as sighted women. Some studies indicate that other types of cancer are also less common among blind people.
- Do some exercise everyday, but remember never late in the evening.
- Avoid caffeine in all forms, especially after lunch.
- Avoid long naps during the day.
- Don’t choose alcohol as remedy for sleeplessness. Even though alcohol is a sedative, it can disturb the sleep. Remember that sleep is different from sedation.
- Drink buffalo milk. It contains rich amounts of amino acid, L-tryptophan, which induces sleep.
- Eat sweets before going to bed. Sweets contain a high amount of carbohydrates, which help in inducing sleep.
- Take a nice, long, warm bath before bed-time.
- Read a book or do some repetitive, calm activity such as chanting a mantra or meditation.
- Avoid distraction that may hold your attention and keep you awake, such as watching a suspense movie or a thrilling game.
- Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible. create a quiet, dark atmosphere. Use clean, fresh sheets and keep the room temperature comfortable, neither too warm nor too cold.
Insomnia: Home Remedies
Most of the people, unfortunately, are treating insomnia either by going to the medical shop and buying over the counter drugs, or by consulting their conventional doctor. Neither solution is working over the counter drugs like Avil contain anti-histamines, which knock you out, but do not induce good sleep or solve the underlying problems. Moreover they weaken the immune system. Doctors tend to prescribe Calmpose- like drugs that are addictive within even a week of use. Moreover, it is not possible to induce a “natural” state of sleep with unnatural, synthetic and in many cases, highly addictive drugs.
Ayurveda believes that the body has a deep, underlying integrity that renews, refills, and take care of the entire human system. The disease takes its root when something interfere with this integrity.
Therefore ayurvedic remedies with plants and herbs are focused on regulating this integrity. These plants and herbs are again blended with their own natural integrity. The healing nutrient in these herbs unblock the shrotas or micro-circulatory channels through which our body moves nutrients, hormones, immune cells, and so on. Once the shrotas are clear, you are satiated with ojas or essential energy that governs and connects the body, mind and spirit. The result is a restful sleep. Sleep is one of the three pillars of ayurvedic healing, the other two being diet and lifestyle.
Ayurveda identifies three types of sleep disorders
This is caused by mental stress. People, who toss and turn, unable to sleep because their mind is spinning, have this disorder. It results from anxiety, worry, and rushed activity during the day. Given below are some remedial measures will help you.
- Eat more sweet, sour, and salty foods.
- Eat three warm, cooked meals at the same time everyday.
- Get to bed before 10.00 p.m. and rise by 6.00 a.m.
- Avoid rushed work hurriedly done.
- Use a relaxing aroma at bedtime.
- Drink a cup of warm milk before bed.
- Listen to some sweet and melodious music before going to bed.
Also Read: 5 Deadliest foods you should never eat
This is caused by emotional trauma. This is intermittent awakening. With this disorders, you may fall asleep quickly but wake up frequently with palpitation, body pains, and emotional disturbance such as fear, anger, and sadness. Another pattern is that you wake up before dawn with ‘get-up-and-go’ mood, and find it difficult to go back to sleep. Given below are some remedial measures will help you.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Eat more foods having sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes.
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Eat enough dinner so that you do not wake up hungry.
- Before bed, massage your feet probably with oil.
- If you wake up in the night, take half-cup warm whole milk and one teaspoonful of Gulkand(rose petal jam). As roses have a cooling effect on the mind, body, and emotions.
- If your head feels hot when you wake up in the night, mix three tablespoonfuls of coconut oil with 5 drop of lavender oil or almond oil and massage it on your forehead.
This is caused due to imbalance between fundamental bodily bio-element. Sometimes it is an early morning awakening, sometimes it is characterised by sleeping but in any case, you feel sluggish, tried, and completely exhausted even though you have had a full night’s sleep. Here is how you overcome this problem.
- Be sure to rise before 6.00 a.m.
- Do a morning massage with warm sesame oil or mustard oil.
- Exercise everyday.
- Sip warm water throughout the day.
- Avoid over eating much heavy, sweet, sour, and salty food.
- Eat a light, warm dinner and season the food with fresh ginger and a small amount of black pepper.
Note: All given remedies are for specific type of insomnial disorders, so don’t mix them with each other.
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