Beating insomnia - an Ayurveda guide to getting a good nights sleep
Date Posted:17 January 2011
Insomnia. Does that sound scary to you? It’s something that defines a chronic lack of sleep, but the reality is, many of us have sleep issues that are very similar to the insomniac experience. Trouble getting to sleep, waking during the night, and waking early in the AM without getting back to sleep are all very common problems for the average New Zealander.
Recent research points to the fact that regular lack of quality sleep can lead to more serious problems then feeling dull and cloudy the next day – including weight gain, high blood pressure and reduced immune system function. This sounds dire, but don’t worry, we’re going to go through the common types of sleep disorders and give the Ayurvedic perspective on getting great and healthy sleep.
Top causes of sleep disorders
- Too much caffeine
- Insufficient exercise
- Irregular working hours
- A new baby in the family
- An uncomfortable bed
- Tension or stress at work or at home
- Noise pollution
Some of the above causes of poor sleep are just part of everyday life for many of us, and they may be hard to avoid, but with Ayurveda we can counter or remove them without turning to addictive sleep drugs or other options with side effects. We start by figuring out what to target.
Step 1: Evaluate your sleep:
- Do you have trouble falling asleep?
- Do you often wake up during the night?
- Do you snore?
- Are you a restless toss-and-turn type of sleeper?
- Do you experience sleepiness or fatigue during the day?
Answer yes to any of the above questions? Time to take the simple steps to reclaiming great sleep.
Step 2: Tips to reclaim your sleep
If you suffer from insomnia, suffer from long term or chronic disturbed sleep, don’t expect your sleep disorder to disappear with the very first steps you take, but don’t worry, small steps can lead to the big changes you want. Remove the barrier of worry by starting small, with simple changes below:
- Cut down on caffeine, especially past midday – caffeine is like an antidote to sleep, so the further away from bedtime you have it, the better!
- Eat three meals a day, including breakfast, but make dinner a lighter meal. This will allow the body to focus on sleep rather than digesting a recent meal.
- At least 30mins before you want to sleep, remove all activities that spark the senses and require focus, such as watching TV, browsing the internet, working on the computer. Instead, just lie back and relax – listen to music, talk with your partner, or even better, try a gentle massage to wind each other down.
- My favourite: rub a small amount of Vata Massage Oil on the soles of your feet – it’s calming and feels like heaven!
Step 3: Natures healers – use side-effect free Ayurveda sleep remedies to gain great sleep fast
Think back to the questions on sleep we asked earlier about sleep. Ayurveda sees two main categories of sleep disorders:
- 1: Difficulty falling asleep
- 2: Broken sleep, waking during the night
For difficulty falling asleep
Follow the tips above, and add targeted herbal supplements. Blissful Sleep (MA1683) are a gentle and non addictive, side-effect free natural sleep aid. The herbal formula includes traditional herbs, Indian Valerian and Muskroot, both well known for centuries as sleep inducing. Also includes Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha), reducing the effects of stress and Tinospora Cordifolia (Guduchi), which supports the mind and boosts natural immunity, which is affected by reduced or broken sleep.
For broken sleep, and waking during the night
Deep Rest (MA1684) is a herbal supplement that supports sleeping throughout the night, and falling asleep more easily, and in returning to sleep when awakened. It’s synergistic combination of over 20 different herbs are a powerful boost to getting that full nights deep rest. Taken prior to sleep, and kept at the bedside to take if you wake, aiding a quick return to slumbertime.
Additional options for any kind of sleep disorder
No matter what kind of sleep pattern you have, these ancient herbal sleep remedies will help bring the system back to great sleep – Peace at night aroma oil, slumber time tea.