Insomnia Ayurveda Treatments
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which the person fails to fall or stay asleep. Insomnia can be short term (acute) and or long term (chronic). It is occasionally a symptom of an underlying physiological or psychological condition but it may be caused by stress or life style changes.
Insomnia can lead to severe fatigue, anxiety, depression and lack of concentration.
Sleep (Nidra) is one among the 13 vegas (natural urges). The suppression of these natural urges lead to several harmful effects in the body.
In Sanjeevanam, our insomnia management program includes the procedures and medications in view of its effects on both physiological and psychological conditions of the body. In short the procedures like Abhyanga (massage of body), Shirodhara (gently pouring medicated oils/liquids over the head), Samvahana (soothing massage), Udsaadana (paste application), Snaana (bath), Karnapoorana (keeping of lukewarm oil in the ear canals), Akshitharpana (where circular formed frames are placed around the eyes and lukewarm medicated ghee is poured in the frames and kept for a particular time period), Shiroabhyanga (complete massage of head, neck and shoulders) and Padabhyanga (foot massage),give the best results in managing sleep disorders, body relaxation and pain relief.
Practice of pranayama like anuloma viloma and meditation along with yama and niyama, suryanamaskara, padmasana and paschimottanasana and shavasana etc are some of the yoga practices that help to reduce stress and better the functioning of the mind.
Best foods to help you sleep
The vitamins and minerals that promote sleep are tryptophan, magnesium, calcium and B6. These substances help the body produce melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm.
Foods rich in Tryptophan are:
- Nuts and seeds
- Legumes such as kidney beans, lima beans, chick peas etc.
- Fruits such as apples,bananas,peaches and avocado.
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach,broccoli,asparagus etc.
- Grains like wheat,rice,barley,corn etc.
Magnesium is often referred to as the sleep mineral. Excellent sources of magnesium are:
- Fish like salmon,halibut,tuna and mackerel
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach,kale and collard greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Banana and avocado
Calcium helps the brain make melatonin. Diary products that contains both tryptophan and calcium are among the best sleep inducers. Sources of calcium are:
- Low- fat milk
- Dark leafy greens
- Broccoli and Okra
- Soy beans
Vitamin B6 helps to convert tryptophan into melatonin. Highest sources of B6 are:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pistachio nuts
- Flax seed
- Fish such as tuna , salmon and mackerel.
- Banana and avocado
There are few sources of naturally occurring Melatonin in foods :
- Fruits and vegetable like tomato,asparagus, pomegranate, olives, broccoli etc.
- Nuts and seeds like walnut, peanuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.
Yoga for Insomnia
Chandra Bedhana Pranayama
The meaning of chandra is moon and Bhedana means to pierce. The left nostril is associated with the body’s cooling energy. This pranayama practice helps to reduce stress. When practiced, it messages the organs that activate the onset of sleep, signaling your vagus nerve to send a message to the brain to relax.
Sit in any comfortable position
- Keep your back erect and neck straight.
- Adapt nasika mudra ( fold the index finger and middle finger) in right hand and chin mudra (press your thump to the tip of your index finger) in left hand.
- Closed your right nostril with your thumb.
- Slowly inhale through the left nostril without making any sound.
- Close your left nostril with ring finger and little finger exhale slowly through the right nostril.
This is one round. Perform it for 2-3 minutes till your mind feels calm.