You are probably your own witness to how fresh and productive you feel right after a good night’s sleep. But Americans are not getting in as much beauty sleep as is recommended by the sleep doctors. According to American Sleep Apnea Association, “More than 50 million Americans already suffer from over 80 different sleep disorders and another 20 to 30 million suffer intermittent sleep problems each year.” You need good sleep not just because being dazed is counterproductive but good sleep allows important biological functions to happen smoothly when you are resting. Not sleeping enough or well can affect your immunity, heart rate, breathing, appetite, and blood pressure. Research also shows lack of sleep can cause weight gain as sleep deprivation can lead you to eat more. There is also research that shows disturbed sleep may be linked to diabetes as well. Good sleep can also prevent the onset of mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Lack of proper sleep can also make inflammations worse. Sometimes it so happens that you have left your workplace but your work hasn’t left your mind and you carry it to bed. The result is a mind whirring with incessant thoughts that do not let you sleep well. So here are a few simple, infallible ways Ayurveda can help you get a good night’s sleep.
1. Best time to go to bed
Ayurveda recommends going to sleep by 10.00 pm after which Pitta dosha becomes the active dosha and begins to repair the body. When you are up post 10.00 pm, the precious life force energy is being channeled to support whatever activity it is that you are engaged in, instead of critical repair of body organ systems.
2. What is the blue light detox?
Ayurveda is based on the principle of realigning our lives with the rhythms of nature. But here’s how we have gone wrong in some ways. The blue light is part of the natural sunlight that helps signal when you should be awake and when asleep. It increases awareness and makes you feel vibrant throughout the day. But here’s the problem – our gadgets emit it too. Artificial blue light at night interferes with the function of the pineal gland that releases melatonin at night to dim our alertness, so we can sleep. So it is a good idea to become gadget-free a few hours before going to sleep.
3. Triphala and Honey
Before hitting the sac, have a spoonful of honey with 10 gms of Triphala powder. Triphala combines extracts of three power fruits – Indian gooseberry (Amalaki), Beleric ( Bibhitaki) and Black Myrobalan whole (Haritaki), loaded in antioxidants. Triphala supports respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive, and nervous systems. Indian gooseberries are excellent coolants that regulate Pitta dosha. Haritaki is a detox agent and balances all three doshas. Honey, contains tryptophan and helps improve the quality of your sleep while giving you longer restorative sleep cycles. This combination improves the release of melatonin in the body to aid sleep. It also ensures enough glycogen is produced to reduce the secretion of stress hormones when you wake up.
4. Ayurvedic trio (brahmi+ashwagandha+shankhapushpi)
These three Ayurvedic herbs-Brahmi (water hyssop), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), and shankhapushpi (convolvulus prostrates) are known for their relaxing and sleep-inducing benefits and find pride of place in ancient classical Ayurvedic texts for their myriad health and relaxation benefits.
Ashwagandha is helpful when sleep disorders occur due to an imbalance in vata dosha. It is one of the most effective Vata-balancing herbs that is soothing, grounding, and warming. Primary studies have shown that ashwagandha root extract is a ‘natural compound with sleep-inducing potential, well-tolerated and improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with insomnia.’ Bacopa monnieri is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal medicine also called ‘Brahmi’ that improves cognitive function and helps reduce anxiety, which is a key factor behind poor sleep quality among many patients.
According to Ayurveda practitioners, head massages with Brahmi Bhringraj oil, foot and palm massages using Narayana Tailam oil can be very relaxing to the mind, according to Ayurveda practitioners. Shankhpushpi is good for dealing with insomnia and reducing stress, as it reduces vata dosha and increases medhya (intellect and memory).
5. Meditate twice a day
Meditation is known to help reduce sleep deprivation. It comes especially recommended for those suffering from insomnia and hypertension. Consistent practice of meditation provides you clarity of mind, improves the quality of sleep even if it is fewer hours, and calms the anxious mind. You can also try Yoga Nidra or Yogic, a structured and powerful way to calm the mind and give it rest. Here you take restful awareness throughout the body, relaxing them and easing into a deeper state.
6. Having a large meal at night can be bad for your sleep
Ayurveda recommends having a light dinner 3 hours before going to bed. A heavy meal can be hard to digest and slower digestion along with the bloated feeling can potentially hamper sleep. Published by Ruchira Roy
This content on the Sri Sri Tattva blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any links to third party websites is provided as a convenience only and the Sri Sri Tattva Blog is not responsible for their content.