Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor quality of sleep due to the inability to fall asleep, or inability to remain asleep for a desired amount of time. When we get enough quality sleep, we are giving much-needed rest to our body and mind. But with insomnia, we are deprived of the natural rest our body needs, which affects the body’s functions and interferes with activities during the day. Insomnia can be a short term where a night without quality sleep is usually followed by daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, fatigue or lack of energy which can affect our daily activities and work commitments. Chronic or long term insomnia, on the other hand, can take a toll on our mental health which can even lead to depression and other serious health issues.
The modern fast-paced and high productivity-focused lifestyle has led to all-time high cases of insomnia. Factors including, stress, anxiety, unhealthy lifestyle habits and dietary choices have greatly influenced our health, especially the amount and quality of sleep we get. Sleep has either become a waste of time or a luxury rather than a necessity in this modern world. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 3 adults worldwide suffers from one or more symptoms of insomnia and at least 25% of the world’s adult population between 21 – 60 years old suffer from this disorder. It has also been shown that people with chronic insomnia are at a much higher risk of developing pain conditions, gastric disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases which can severely affect an individual’s quality of life. Also, good sleep is essential for the proper functioning of insulin, cortisol, and satiety hormones, and the pituitary control of thyroid hormones to proceed appropriately.
Ayurveda and Insomnia
Ayurveda considers sleep, food and conscious relationships as the three pillars of healthy sustenance of life. The importance of sleep is also mentioned in ancient Ayurveda text in various physical and mental health parameters so that one can achieve a lengthy and good quality of life.
Known as ‘anidra’ or the ‘lack of sleep’, insomnia in Ayurveda is not merely an illness but rather an underlying imbalance and sign of many chronic physical, cognitive, behavioural and mental issues that may appear in future, if not addressed sooner. As per Ayurveda, the treatment for insomnia has two goals; one, to help with the quality and quantity of sleep and the other, to address the underlying cause and finding a solution to help prevent long term health complications due to it.
It is believed that insomnia can be treated by balancing aggravated body energies which can be achieved by following well-rounded balanced diet, healthy lifestyle choices, relaxation of the mind, and most importantly, taking Ayurvedic medicines recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. If you are someone dealing with insomnia, here are some Ayurvedic recommendations to help you overcome insomnia and have a healthy sleep.
1.Samvahana or Body Massage
This reviving procedure involves a harmonizing full body massage, using aromatic essential oils such as rose, almond, jasmine, lavender and sandalwood. Also involving a soothing steam bath, it offers noteworthy soporific and aphrodisiac characteristics, greatly improving the quality of sleep and overall health.
2.Panchakarma or Body Purification
The effective way to achieve natural sound sleep without the help of sleeping pills is to take Panchakarma. It is a great way to detoxify the system to help with insomnia and other ailments. It contains one of the most powerful healing techniques in Ayurvedic medicine which not only improves the quality of sleep but also restores the body to its natural balance and improves health and wellness.
3.Abhyanga or Oil Massage
This procedure involves applying of stimulating oils like Bhringraj, Sesame oil on the head and gently massaging the scalp in circular motions. This procedure is known to boost blood circulation to the brain and regulates the brain’s metabolism. It also helps soothes the mind which in turn, help regulate the sleep rhythm and overcome sleeplessness.
Our Tressgrow Oil contains a unique formulation of stimulating Ayurvedic ingredients including, Bhringraj, Triphala, and Sesame oil, among many other potent ingredients to boost hair health and help regulate blood circulation in the head, which is essential for calming the mind and regulating sleep rhythm.
4.Calming Herbal Teas
Herbal teas can be a great way to help get into a healthy sleep routine. Liquorice, chamomile, cardamom, and hibiscus are excellent calming agents that are effective in calming nerves and relieving stress and anxiety that can hamper quality sleep. The ritual of making a cup of tea and sitting down to sip can be a form of relaxation in itself.
Daily Calm Tea provides a mix of calming ingredients that are uniquely designed to help induce good quality sleep, manage stress and anxiety symptoms and is particularly helpful to unwind in times of stress.
5.Reducing Stress with Ayurvedic supplements
Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha have been used to treat stress, anxiety and exhaustion for thousands of years. Adaptogenic herbs in Ayurveda offer an excellent remedy for treating sleep deprivation. That is why herbal supplements containing such potent herbs are a great way to treat insomnia instead of over-the-counter medicines.
Preserva’s Stresaway Tablets features Ashwagandha, Shankpushpi, Gotukola, and many other effective Ayurvedic ingredients to reduce stress and anxiety, provide essential neuroprotective properties and help restore normal sleep.
Our diet and lifestyle choices can have a severe impact on our sleep which can in turn affect our overall health. It is important to adopt and follow healthy dietary habits, healthy lifestyle based on your body-type to address the underlying imbalance causing insomnia. Apart from physical activities like exercise, calming activities like yoga, meditation, body stretching can be a valuable step to achieving balanced doshas and most importantly, treat insomnia.
One might question the relevancy and effectiveness of ancient traditional medicinal practice like Ayurveda when it comes to treating modern disorders like insomnia. It is crucial to know that Ayurveda has been an effective healing practice that has stood the test of time and has endured the onslaught of modern medicine impressively. Ayurvedic medicine not only treats the symptoms but also improves the overall health of the person and provides long-term benefits with no side effects whatsoever. So, before you consider taking conventional sleeping pills, think about how much you can benefit and improve your health just with the healing power of nature.
Holy Basil, often referred to as the “queen of herbs”, belongs to the mint family and it is often used in cooking.
Withania Somnifera or Ashwagandha is the most common herb used in traditional medicine systems like Chinese.
Cumin aka Cuminum cyminum is a flowering plant that belongs to the plant family Apiaceae. It was originally grown in Middle East and India.
Gokhru aka Puncturevine is a herbaceous perennial plant from Zygophyllaceae family with the scientific name Tribulus Terrestris.
A well-known herb, India pennywort mostly grows in wet and temperate zone. Gotu kola or Centella Asiatica is also known as pennywort.
Green Green tea is the most preferred tea by the health-conscious community all over the world. It is derived from Camellia sinensis plant.
Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering plant of the Valerian or honeysuckle family Valerianaceae that grows at high attitude in the Himalayas, Sikkim, Kumaun, Bhutan, Nepal and southwest China.
Shankhpushpi is just like a morning glory plant and it is an all year-round herb with blue flowers and elliptical leaves.
Saint John’s Wort is the common name for Hypericum Perforatum, a flowering plant from the family Hypericaceae.
Tagar or Valeriana Wallichii is a rhizome herb of the genus Valeriana. It belongs to the Valerianaceae family.
Vach, Acorus Calamus or sweet flag is a semi-aquatic, all season herb having a strong, sweet aroma. Traditionally used in China and India for its memory enhancing property,
Hibiscus plant, also known as Hibiscus Sabdariffa, is a flowering plant from the family Malvaceae.
Bhringraj also known as Eclipta Prostrata is a plant from the Asteraceae family. It is a species from the popular sunflower family.
Bacopa monnieri is the scientific name of Brahmi. It is a well known herb across the nation and the world from the ancient time.
Daucus carota or carrot is a vegetable belonging to the family Apiaceae.
Chamomile plant is a daisy-like plant and is often referred to a star among medicinal plants. Chamomile belongs to the family Asteraceae.
The scientific name of Amarbel is Cassytha filiformis. It belongs to the family Lauraceae which has many plants similar to those in morning glory.
Curcumin is a bioactive ingredient of turmeric and is known for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is a familiar dietary spice.
The word Lavender has been derived from a Latin word ‘lavare’. It was earlier used by the Romans as incense and perfume in the bathrooms.
Lemongrass is a commonly grown herb that has an aroma like that of a lemon.
Mint is also known as Mentha and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is largely found across North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.
Mulethi refers to the herb liquorice which is scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza glabra. The plant is native to the countries of Asia and Europe, including India.
The scientific name for Neel is Indigofera tinctoria. It belongs to the family Fabaceae or the bean family. It is one of the oldest natural dyes used and is native to India.
Jatropha curcus or Ratanjot is native to Central and South America, Caribbean and Mexico, and is found in tropical and subtropical regions
Rose belongs to the family Rosaceae and the genus Rosa. Rose plant is a woody perennial herb and has hundreds of species.
Valerian or Valeriana officinalis is a well known herb that shows significant anxiolytic and sedative effects.
Tectona grandis is locally called as Sagwan or Sagon and is most commonly known as Teak tree.
Sesame also known as Sesamum Indicum is a flower-bearing plant that belongs to the Pedaliaceae plant family.
Shikakai also known as Acacia Concinna is a climbing plant from the Fabaceae plant family.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic formula made by the use of three fruits. The word ‘Triphala’ is a Sanskrit word which means a combination of three fruits.