Nurturing Sleep Naturally

Insomnia is a sleep disorder where a person has trouble falling asleep or getting restful sleep. It can make one feel tired, irritable and affects the ability to concentrate during the day.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder where a person has trouble falling asleep or getting restful sleep. It can make one feel tired, irritable and affects the ability to concentrate during the day. Insomnia can be caused by various factors such as stress, anxiety, poor sleep habits or certain medical conditions.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, places great emphasis on achieving harmony between the mind, body and spirit, but insomnia disrupts this balance. Ayurvedic practices offer the holistic approach to address this condition and  is aiming to identify and rectify the underlying causes.
Understanding Insomnia In Ayurveda
As per Ayurveda, Insomnia is called as "ANIDRA" or "NIDRANASHA" which means sleeplessness. Ayurveda has considered sleep as one of the important three pillars i. e food, sleep and celibacy. This science perceives insomnia as a manifestation of an imbalance in the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha governs different physiological and psychological functions in the body and an imbalance in any of these can lead to sleep disturbances. 
Ayurveda offers a variety of herbs to address insomnia, known for their calming and stress relieving properties.
These herbs are often incorporated into the ayurvedic formulations to support the nervous system and promote relaxation.
The most potent adaptogen which helps the body to adapt the stress naturally thereby calming the body and mind. It helps by supporting the deeper sleep in the affected person. It can be consumed in the form of powder or tea. 
Known to provide nourishment to the tired and overused brain. Additionally, it enhances immunity. This herb has shown remarkable results in sleeping disorder. 
A tonic for the brain that promotes a good night sleep. It calms down the brain’s activity, helping the brain to function properly. Further, it also helps in providing peace during emotional outbreaks hence aiding in sound sleep. 
Has antioxidant properties which prevent cell damage of the brain. It is known to improve memory and also helps to manage anxiety. One can consume it regularly to improve sleep related problems. 
Helps in tackling insomnia as it reduces stress. Mix the powdered form in milk and have it. For peaceful sleep consume it daily. 
Can improve sleep and tends to decrease the time that takes to fall asleep hence prevents the stress. 
Cool ayurvedic herb that relaxes the nerves and induces sleep making the life   easy and tension free. It has a calming effect on the nervous system.
This herb has sedative properties which help the overused brain to relax and calm down. It is very useful for the mind and provides the person with deep sleep.
Has relaxing and soothing properties. often used in aroma therapy. As the scent of lavender may help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation and can improve sleep quality.
Has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps in inducing sleep. Kushmand can be consumed in various forms such as juice or cooked dishes to acquire its benefits.
Possesses cooling and calming properties that can help relax the mind and body.
Shirodhara Medicated dripping
Shirodhara is a classical and a well-established ayurvedic procedure of slowly and steadily dripping medicated oil on the center of the forehead of the patient, resting quietly on a comfortable bed. Other liquids like coconut water, buttermilk and milk are also used depending on the individual need of the patient. It can help soothe the hypothalamus, which activates the regulation of the pituitary gland.  It also helps in reducing the stress hormone such as cortisol to manage stress effectively and induce good sleep.
Basti Medicated enema 
Gut health is always responsible for good sleep. If  some one is suffering from gut related problems he may be having disturbed sleep. Basti is helpful for those candidates. It detoxifies the colon region by balancing the vata dosha by purifying the intestinal region.
Shiroabhyang Head massage
The therapeutic massage on the head with herbal oils calms the nervous system. The oils used are personalized according to one’s condition and symptoms. The focus here is that the head, scalp and hair roots absorb the natural oil.
Padabhyanga Feet massage
This step aims to stimulate the vital marma points present in the feet as they soothe the pressure points and eventually provide a calming effect to the body and autonomic nervous system.
Sarvang  Abhyanga Body massage
Involves a full-body therapeutic massage with natural herbal oils. The energy centers are gently pressed and massaged so that blocked channels are cleared. In all, it benefits the body, mind and soul. 
Thalam Medicated patch
“Thalam “means collected”. It is the application of medicated paste on the head. This is mainly used for treating insomnia, depression, irritability and improving brain function.
The therapeutic ayurvedic practice, involving administration of herbal oils or powders through the nasal passages. In ayurveda, it is believed to have various benefits including potentially addressing conditions like insomnia. Nasya aims to balance doshas, particularly vata, which is associated with sleep disturbances. The application of specific oils or herbs in the nasal passages is thought to nourish the nervous system and promote better sleep by calming the mind. 
Lifestyle Recommendations 
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of adopting a healthy daily routine and seasonal routines to align with natural rhythms. Consistent sleep and wake times, as well as creating a calming bedtime routine, are vital components of an ayurvedic approach in managing insomnia.
In Ayurveda, Pranayam is considered to be very important for improving sleep disorders and stress. Several rounds of alternate nostril breathing or “nadi shodhana pranayam” should be undertaken on a regular basis. It calms down the nervous system and boosts psychic sensitivity. One who does pranayam regularly, is bound to get deeper and longer sleep of high quality. 
Regular Exercise 
Regular exercise is very important to stay healthy and fit physically, which in turn helps to maintain a healthy state of mind. This is vital for improving sleep disorders and eliminating stress. Keep away from all types of stimulants during the evening so that the sleep is not affected.
Ayurveda provides a comprehensive and personalized approach to address insomnia by focusing on the root causes of imbalance in the dosha. Incorporating ayurvedic practices, herbal remedies, and lifestyle adjustments can contribute in restoring harmony within the body and promoting restful and rejuvenating sleep. 
MD Scholar, Department of Panchkarma,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar-8. 
Mob: 7889784428