Have you been facing difficulty falling asleep? If yes, then you may be suffering from insomnia. It is one of the most common sleep disorders that brings severe discomfort to our day-to-day lives.
Let’s read more about insomnia and find out ways to treat it using natural means of Ayurveda.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people face difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep as long as desired. Insomnia during the night is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, lack of energy, drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, and sulkiness, all of which can take a toll on your mental health and adversely affect your daily activities.
In many chronic cases, insomnia can also lead to depression, making it extremely important to acknowledge and treat it on time.
How Does Ayurveda View Sleep and Insomnia?
Ayurveda puts great emphasis on sleep disorders like insomnia.
According to Ayurveda, there are three pillars of health, namely Ahara (food), Nidra (sleep), and Brahmacharya (controlled sex). Disturbance in any of the three realms could harm mental and physical health and invite an array of diseases. Therefore, Ayurveda advises you to always have a good quality of sleep.
A fixed sleeping pattern, as per Ayurveda, is essential to maintain Ojas, the vital energy or core essence responsible for the proper functioning of body and mind. Ayurveda has, hence, provided many ways to improve the quality of sleep and treat sleep disorders.
Primarily, in Ayurvedic literature, there are two types of sleep disorders known as Anidratha and Alpanidratha. Anidratha translates as lack of sleep whereas Alpanidratha is a disorder of broken sleep. Both of these disorders share symptoms of insomnia.
Treating Insomnia The Ayurvedic Way
A glass of Warm Milk
Milk is a great sleep supporter. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin. Serotonin is known to induce calming effects in the brain. Dr. Vasant Lad in ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ gives a few handy tips for an enhanced effect. For instance,
- You can add a pinch of nutmeg to your milk
- You can also add some crushed almonds(blanched is better), a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of cardamom, for a flavourful and healthy potion right before you tuck it into your bed.
- A glass of warm milk acts as a great milk inducer
- A bowlful of cherries can also help send you off to good sleep. Cherries are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin.
- Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Dr. Vasant Lad in his book, suggests eating 10-20 cherries daily for a sound sleep.
- For centuries, Ayurvedic medicine has used the benefits of ashwagandha to treat people for their daily woes such as stress, anxiety, and exhaustion.
- The wonder herb of Ayurveda is also a good traditional remedy to cure sleep deprivation. Add one teaspoon of Brahmi and Ashwagandha powder in two glasses of water.
- Boil them and then reduce them to one glass and drink it daily at least once for best results.
- Active compounds of licorice can also help you find your way out of the sleep woes, as per Ayurveda.
- Have one teaspoon of licorice root powder with a glass of cold milk every morning on an empty stomach, for instant and best results.
- This herbal remedy suggested by Dr. Vasant Lad in his ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ is also pretty effective in curing insomnia. Tagar is one of the strongest herbs in Ayurveda.
- Tagar helps relax the nerves and clear out toxins from the blood, blood vessels, joints, etc. Tagar, also known as Indian Valerian, should not be taken alone. It should be mixed with other herbs first.
- Take 1 part of Sagar herb, 1 part of valerian root powder, and 1 part of chamomile and mix them together.
- Take ¼ teaspoon of this powdered mixture with a glass of warm milk just before bedtime for best results.
Ayurveda believes that physical health is highly influenced by mental health and it focuses on preventing health issues through the right diet, exercise, and meditation. It offers a complex array of therapies, diets, and techniques that help in restoring balance in the body.