Loss of sleep and Ayurveda


“INSOMNIA” is a common sleep disorder in our modern, fast paced & stressful life. It is a inability to obtain an adequate amount or quality of sleep. The difficulty can be in falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both. People with insomnia do not feel refreshed when they wake up, which affect their ability to function during the day. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.

Symptoms of Inadequate sleep are day time fatigue, sleepiness, lowered energy levels, delayed reflexes, weak memory, lack of concentrate, confused state of mind, increased blood pressure, dark circles under eyes, dry skin, appearance of wrinkles on skin and hair loss.

Psychological conditions (anxiety, mental depression, stress etc.), Medications (steroids, diuretics, blood pressure medications etc.), excessive work, excessive consumption of tea or coffee, smoking, drinking alcohol, hunger or overeating before sleep, constipation, dyspepsia and menstruation (in female) are common causes of Insomnia.

According to Ayurveda, an improper diet and lifestyle causes aggravation of Vata dosha which travels through the channels of the head and cause insomnia or Anidra (Ayurvedic name). Ayurveda says, Prana Vata (sub-dosha of Vata dosha) makes the nervous system sensitive. When this sensitivity of nervous system coupled with an aggravated Prana Vata, it lead to “INSOMNIA”. Vata is aggravated by worries, anger, suppressed emotions, overwork, over-excitement, increased intake of tea and coffee especially before going to bed, long gaps between meals and intake of cold and dry food, etc. Sometimes as like Prana Vata, Tarpak Kapha and Sadhak Pitta may also responsible for Insomnia. Tarpak Kapha (sub-dosha of Kapha) nourishes the brain cells and facilitates a good night’s sleep. Imbalance of this dosha causes poor nourishment of brain cells, leading to Insomnia. Sadhak Pitta (sub-dosha of Pitta) is located in the heart. It controls emotions, desires, decisiveness, and spirituality. Its imbalance makes a person demanding and workaholic, thereby leading to situations that may cause sleeplessness.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Insomnia focuses on balancing the aggravated doshas through classical herbal medicines as well as customized diet and lifestyle plans.

Diet Recommend for Insomnia

  •  Low-salt diet
  • Calcium / Magnesium rich food, as they are natural sedatives like milk, almonds, peanuts, walnuts.
  • Vitamin B containing diet : Whole grain, cereals, pulses and green vegetables, fresh fruits and curd.
  • Avoid white-flour foods, sugar, tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fatty foods, fried foods

Lifestyle Recommend for Insomnia

  • Avoid watching television or working on the computer late at night.
  • Prepare a sleep schedule. Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at a fixed time every morning.
  • If possible, take a hot bath or shower before bedtime.
  • Regular physical exercise.
  • Create a sleep environment in the room, avoid too much light and noise.

Massage (abhyanga)

Before going to bed, rub warm sesame oil on your scalp and the soles of your feet.

Ayurvedic Herbs Recommend for Insomnia

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yoga Recommend for Insomnia

Meditation

Meditation at bedtime is a technique to soothe the stressed nerves. This powerful technique improves concentration and helps discard all the negative thoughts from the mind. Sleep is one of the supporting pillars of life. Along with diet, sleep is important for good health and well-being.

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Yoga for glowing skin


One can’t be surprised to listen that there is no need of make up  if one should do yoga regularly. It is unbelievable to listen but it is the fact. Yoga helps us keeping our skin healthy, fit, beautiful and glowing. There are certain  poses of yoga which helps us in doing so

Dhanurasna

(Bow pose)

Dhanurasana

To start this pose lies down on our stomach with both hands lying beside our body. Relax for 20 seconds, now bring both the feet upward and toward the buttocks with the help of hands,hold the ankle and stretch the body and legs to form the shape of bow. Now this position should be maintained up to 15 to 20 seconds. In this pose breathing should be in normal way.

This pose helps in making our skin glow and firm and it also removes the dullness of our skin.

Halasana

(Plough pose)

This pose increases blood flow in our body, which glows our skin. To perform this pose one should lie on the mat in calm and relax position. Now lift your legs  in upward direction slowly to make right angle between our straight  legs and our upper part of body.  Breathing process should be slow and calm. Now push your legs behind your head with or without help of our hands. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds and now slowly come to your normal position.

This pose should be repeated five to seven times.

Twisted seated pose

To perform this pose one should sit cross-legged on the asana mat and perform deep breathing exercise, now place your left hand on the right thigh by slowly twisting upper body and breathing should be loud. Remain in this pose for 20 seconds. Now repeat the process on other side by placing your right hand over the left thigh and twist the upper trunk. Repeat this pose for five to seven times.

This pose repairs damaged cells of our skin and helps in removing wrinkles and small lines over the body. In simple words this pose helps us in looking young.

 Surya namaskar pose

Surya namaskar is a pose which combines 12 poses of yoga. It is also helpful in natural glowing of skin. Surya namaskar should be performed daily.

Surya namaskar removes all the toxins from the body.

 Shavasna

(Corpse pose)

Lie on the mat and close your eyes, loose the body slowly starting from toe to head  and forget about negative thoughts of this world. Think about positive things of your life. The breathing process should be calm and slow.

This pose helps in circulating fresh oxygenated blood to whole body making skin-tight and glowing.

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