Nidra, as sleep is referred to in Ayurveda, is a major part of this ancient tradition. It is considered one of the three key components, or pillars, of life. The other two are proper nutrition and a well-balanced sex life. Nidra is believed to feed our body and mind. The benefits of sleep, according to Ayurveda, are longer life, better brain function, improved fertility, and even some spiritual ones; sleep is believed to grant us happiness and strength.
The lack of sleep, on the other hand, is believed to cause impotence, poor memory, and unhappiness. Complete lack of sleep, obviously, causes death.
Another major factor in Ayurvedic practices, when it comes to sleep, is when you sleep. Sleeping at abnormal time, or sleeping too much / too little can cause our health and fortune to deteriorate. The lack of night time sleep, according to Ayurveda, leads to aggravation of Kaphadosha, one of the three major points responsible for our health.
Ayurveda claims that day time sleeping is a gateway to fever, migraines, digestive issues, toxin accumulation, and mental disorders (such as delusion). Chronic illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis occur due to day time sleeping, also. Obesity and cardio vascular disorders are also closely linked to sleeping during the day. However, day time sleeping is recommended for elderly, as well as for children, especially during the summer.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to indigestion, depression, headaches, and disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. All of these are vata-related.
Anidra is what Ayurveda calls insomnia. It is caused by multiple influencers, such as poor diet, medication, poor life style, and similar habits that can get the doshas out of balance.
The best treatment for insomnia in Ayurvedic medicine is using oils for massages frequently, using shirodhara, or other methods of purification.
Shirodhara has been known for its ability to improve blood flow and serotonin production, both of which can help with insomnia treatment.
Herbs and plants such as ashwagandha can also be extremely helpful when it comes to preventing and treating insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Some simple remedies for sleep disorders are listed belov:
- Soak 10-15 raisins in warm water for up to 5 hours. Consume both the water and raisins.
- Have a glass of milk with a teaspoon of ashwagandhachoornam, or two capsules of ashwwagandha.
- Apply warm sesame oil to your soles and feed before bed. After application, leave the oil on for 15 minutes, then either wipe it off or just put a pair of old socks on and leave it overnight.
- Increase your consumption of milk, wine, soups, and yogurt.
Other Ayurveda tips for better sleep are:
- Go to bed early and try to get up before 6 am, every day
- Avoid sleeping during the day
- Take a hot shower before going to sleep
- Don’t eat anything 2 hours before you go to bed
- Take a short walk before bed
- Avoid TV and staying on your computer before going to bed
- Do some light physical exercise in the morning
- Have a glass of milk before bed
- Yoga, pranayama, and mediation are recommended.