Sleep is considered to be one of the pillars of Ayurveda in order to maintain balance in the body and promote general health. On a global scale, one in three people suffers from insomnia or the physical condition of difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep. In times of growing capitalism, we tend to slave ourselves away in work and our body does not obtain the optimal amount of rest it requires. Many people turn to allopathic sleep medicines which might give an instant solution but harm our health in the long run.
Insomnia usually occurs due to unhealthy lifestyle habits, anxiety, stress, caffeine intake, and these factors, in turn, can lead to aggravation of Vata dosha which is responsible for channeling air into the head leading to sleepiness.
Ayurveda recommends the following remedies and habits if inculcated in everyday life can be very fruitful in curing insomnia and obtaining peaceful sleep.
Ayurvedic treatments such as abhyangam, shirodhara, and thala are oil treatments involving massages and rhythmic pouring of oil on the forehead. Such treatments have proven to be effective in remedying stress and anxiety and promote better sleep.
Maintain good sleep hygiene. Make sure you have clean sheets, clean feet, and comfortable clothes on before heading to bed. Taking a warm bath before shower also helps in slipping into sleep easily.
Ayurvedic herbs such as ashwagandha, tagar and mulethi are some of the herbs that can help in treating insomnia. They can be found in various ayurvedic formulations.
Pre-sleep habits- As the popular saying goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Ayurveda also suggests eating light meals early at night. Also, try to decrease your screen time especially before going to bed. Warm milk with nutmeg, cardamom and crushed almonds can help as well.