Ahara, nidra and brahmacharya are the key pillars in one’s life.. they have been given utmost importance with regard to sustainence of health….
1. So, what are the factors influencing sleep ? Sleep may be a very physiological phenomenon…. Every person whose body and mind needs rest, would undergo the urge of sleep… Sleep, by the way, is one of the non-supressable urges… Supressing the call of your body to sleep, would cause various issues like headache, bodyache, yawning etc and in a long run might cause vata and pitta related health problems.
Sleep can be of many types. The one which is caused by the influence of tamas, the one due to kapha, sleep as a complication of few diseases, sleep which suggests prognosis of diseases etc… Apart from all these, sleep can occur naturally due to time factor i.e. at night times…
2. What can sleep disturbance cause to the body ? Sleep disturbance can cause any minor to major illnesses in the body, specially that related to vata and pitta… It can increase already existing health issues like osteopenia and osteoporosis, memory disturbances etc. It can increase the risk of increased blood sugar levels too… Chronic insomnia can also decrease our ojas and can have depleting affect on our tissues.
3. What are the causes of sleep disturbance ? Improper sleep can be due to various factors, right from minor to major…. Simple pitta and vata disruptions in the body can cause sleeplessness. Same way, any underlying disease which doesn’t keep the patient at ease eg- pain dominant conditions etc… Just like western medicine describes primary and secondary insomnia, same way there are varities of reasons described in ayurveda for it.
4. What are the daily tips to enhance sleep ? Ayurveda recommends that a person sleep adequately at night… Both, late night sleeps and day sleeps are not recommended as per the science except in few conditions… Having said that, sleep requirment of each individual may be different according to the body type and prakruti. Some important tips to increase sleep quantity and quality, as observed in the clinical practices are as follows –
- Avoid screen-times of any kind atleast one hour before sleep. It is proven time and again that lights emitted by the screen and electronic devices may reduce the hormones responsible for sleep and makes our brain believe that it is still day… Hence better avoid them before going to bed.
- Avoid too many thoughts when your sleep time is near… Avoid being very angry, very happy or too sad when going to bed… You need to have controlled emotions, as, a state of excitement can hamper the process of sleep.
- Have a glass of milk at bed time. Specially for people whose health permits can have a glass of buffalo milk. This is because, Ayurveda texts emphasis that buffalo’s milk specifically is the best among food which induces good sleep.
- Have a good foot massage with best of oils in Ayurveda to get better sleep. This is again one of the best remedies for sleep in Ayurveda. It is also called as ‘padabhyanga’ and has given good results clinically.
- Have your supper atleast one hour before your sleep time…. In other words, never go to bed immediately after your food.. this may cause heaviness and also disturbance in sleep quality.
- Most importantly, avoid being anxious for sleep .. it is observed with many patients that, even if they feel disturbed sleep for few days, they start feeling anxious about the same and that worry of whether they get sleep or not will itself be a cause of trouble. So, it’s better try avoiding that anxiety too….
5. General Ayurveda treatments for better sleep ? Ayurveda recommends some very good treatments which are one of the best for this purpose. They can be body massages, shiro-dhara etc…. However these can be done only on consultation by a qualified Ayurveda physician, who can also help you with good oral medications for the same.
Sleep is a very complicated topic…. Yet one of the most important one. Because of the potential risks of health it carries as it gets chronic with age… Hope these tips help you with the sleeplessness.