Ayurvedic Remedies for Sleep Disorder - Alveda

Ayurvedic Remedies for Sleep Disorder

Ayurvedic Remedies for Sleep Disorder

Sleep is one of the most basic yet essential commodities for leading a holistic and healthy life. Having a good 6-8 hours of undisturbed sleep is essential for anyone to perform at their utmost efficiency. But there are instances where, due to many reasons there would be sleep disturbances.

If these sleep disturbances continue, then both mental and physical health can take serious repercussions starting from exhaustion to the complete health decline. This situation is commonly called sleep disorder. There has been a rise in sleep disorders in modern society and it is important to take preventive measures so that sleep disorders do not affect one’s health and life.

Sleep Disorder

Sleep disorder is characterized by constant sleep disturbances where the challenge becomes either initiating sleep or maintaining uninterrupted sleep for the essential 6-8 hours that the human body typically requires. Sleep disorders encompass a range of issues, from difficulty falling asleep (Insomnia) to restless nights and waking up frequently. There are over 80 different types of sleep disorders. Some of the most common ones are Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Parasomnia, etc. Sleep plays an important role when it comes to health, focus, energy levels, efficiency, etc. Sleep disorders can be caused due to many factors which include genetics, previous health conditions, or due to poor lifestyle choices like having an irregular sleep schedule, consumption of caffeine and/ or alcohol, working on night shifts, etc.

Ayurvedic approach to sleep disorder

According to Ayurveda sleep disorder is one of the problems caused due to the imbalance caused by doshas, specifically vata or pitta dosha(sometimes both) which cause less sleep whereas excessive Kapha in the body causes excessive sleep.

The symptoms of Vata sleep imbalances can include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, or having trouble staying asleep.

Those who wake up periodically or suffer from palpitations, body pain or emotional disturbances such as fear, anger or sadness are suffering from Pitta-type Insomnia.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Sleep disorders include balancing the doshas is essential to achieving a night of proper sleep. In the case of Kapha imbalance, heaviness, and excessive sleep are likely to occur. They tend to pose problems in building a proper sleep schedule which is an essential component in cultivating quality sleep.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Improving Sleep Disorder

Ayurveda offers several measures to ensure that a proper balance of doshas is attained which will then ensure that the person can attain a good night’s sleep. Ayurvedic remedies for sleep focus on creating harmony within the body, mind, and spirit to promote restful and rejuvenating sleep. These remedies are rooted in the principles of Ayurveda, an ancient holistic healing system that emphasizes balance and well-being. Some of the methods for achieving this are;

Herbal Remedies

Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng or Withania somnifera, is an adaptogenic herb widely used in Ayurveda. It has been traditionally used to reduce stress, and anxiety, and promote relaxation. By regulating cortisol levels (the stress hormone), Ashwagandha can have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can lead to improved sleep quality. It is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and teas.

Brahmi: Brahmi, or Bacopa monnieri, is a herb known for its positive effects on cognitive function and stress reduction. It’s considered as a brain tonic in Ayurveda and is believed to have calming and soothing properties. Brahmi can help alleviate restlessness and promote a sense of tranquillity, making it a valuable herb for those experiencing sleep disturbance.

Valerian Root: Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a well-known herbal remedy used for its potential to induce relaxation and improve sleep. It is believed to work by enhancing the action of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), a neurotransmitter that calms the nervous system. Valerian root is often used in the form of supplements, teas, or tinctures and it’s recommended to use it under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Jatamansi: Jatamansi, or Nardostachys jatamansi, is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries to manage stress and anxiety. It is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and nervous system, making it beneficial for improving sleep quality. Jatamansi is available in various forms, such as powders, capsules, and oils.

Herbal Teas: Herbal teas made from calming herbs like Chamomile, Valerian root, and Ashwagandha can be consumed before bedtime to promote relaxation and sleep. Chamomile tea, in particular, is well-known for its soothing properties and ability to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Dietary Charges

Warm Milk: The tradition of drinking warm milk before bed is not just a cultural practice; it has a scientific basis. Milk contains Tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to Serotonin and Melatonin which play key roles in regulating sleep. Heating the milk enhances its soothing effect. Adding a pinch of nutmeg or a small amount of ghee can further enhance its calming properties.

Avoid Stimulants: Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate, is a known stimulant that can keep you awake. It’s advisable to limit your consumption of these substances, especially in the afternoon and evening.

Light Evening Meal: Eating heavy, greasy, or spicy meals close to bedtime can lead to discomfort and indigestion, which in turn can disrupt your sleep. Instead, opt for a light and easily digestible dinner. Focus on whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid large portions that might burden your digestive system.

Hydration Balance: While it’s important to stay hydrated, try to avoid excessive fluid intake close to bedtime. This can help prevent waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. However, being too thirsty can also be uncomfortable, so find a balance that works for you.

Limit Sugar Intake: Consuming excessive amounts of sugar, especially refined sugars, can lead to energy spikes and crashes, affecting your sleep-wake cycle. Opt for naturally sweet foods like fruits and minimise consumption of sugary snacks and desserts, especially close to bedtime.

Creating an ideal sleep environment

Darkness: A dark environment signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. Use black curtains or shades to block out external light sources, such as streetlights or early morning sunlight. This darkness can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, known as the Circadian Rhythm.

Quietness: A quiet sleep environment minimises disruptions and allows you to fall asleep more easily and stay asleep throughout the night. If you can’t completely eliminate background noise, consider using white noise machines or earplugs to create a more serene atmosphere.

Comfortable Temperature: Maintaining a comfortable room temperature is essential. The optimal temperature can vary from person to person, but it’s generally recommended to keep the room slightly cooler, around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius). This temperature range is conducive to better sleep.

Limit Electronic Devices: The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Try to limit screen time to at least an hour before bedtime. If you must use devices, consider using “night mode” settings that reduce blue light emission.

Ayurveda offers a treasure trove of remedies that tackle sleep disorders by harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit. From dosha-balancing techniques tailored to individual needs to calming herbal interventions, Ayurveda provides a holistic roadmap to achieving the bliss of a restful night’s sleep. Remember, persistence and patience are crucial when integrating these practices into your daily routine. Should sleep disturbances persist, consulting a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner can provide personalised guidance on your journey to revitalising sleep and overall well-being.

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