Insomnia is caused basically by an increase of vata
dosha in the mind or nervous system. It can also be a cause or
a complicating factor in other problems related to constipation,
stress, fatigue and could be a symptom of depression, and may
heighten depression. Perhaps that’s enough reason to deal
with insomnia effectively.
· Relaxing and massaging
Before going to bed, take a hot shower or bath helps to soothe
vata and promote a sound and restful sleep. Add some relaxing
aromatherapy oil like lavender in the bath if you like.
Warm Oil massage
Try getting a relaxing head or sole massage before bedtime, it
may be all you need to induce sleep. Rub some oil on the scalp
or the soles of the feet with slightly warm oil. Massage gently.
Use any of the following oil:
- sesame oil
- jatamamsi oil
- brahmi oil
Nutmeg Eye Pack
Nutmeg is a common spice used to encourage sleep. All you need
is some ghee and nutmeg powder to make a fine paste. Mix them
well and apply the paste around the eyes and on the forehead just
before going to bed. This helps you to ‘doze off’.
· Food Remedies
You may have heard mom say ‘ a glass of warm milk will send
you to bed’. And it is indeed true that taking warm milk
before bedtime encourages a peaceful rest. Take it plain or add
some almonds or nutmeg for a more effective and delicious drink.
· Almond milk
Add some crushed almonds, a pinch of cardamom or nutmeg into the
warm milk. You can grind them before adding to the liquid.
· Nutmeg in Milk
If you like it simple, just sprinkle some nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon,
into a cup of warm milk.
· Milk & Garlic
If you don’t mind the pungent aroma, mix 1 cup of milk with
a clover of fresh garlic, chopped, and ¼ cup of water.
Boil over a small flame til 1 cup of the garlic milk is left.
· Soothing Chamomile
Tea can also have a soothing effect. The most popular for inducing
sleep is chamomile tea.
· Herbal Formula
Here’s another effective drink to help you sleep better.
1 part chamomile
1 part tagar
1 part valerian root powder
Add ¼ teaspoon of this powder mixture to
some water and drink it just before going to bed.
· Tomato Juice
For a tangy drink before bedtime, take 1 cup of tomato juice with
some natural sugar (according to taste) and a pinch of nutmeg.
Take this drink around 4pm to 5pm and have dinner between 6pm
and 7pm. It may be a little different but it should lullaby you
to sleep soundly.
· Dreamy Cherries
You would have never thought that a bowl of cherries can get you
set for a restful sleep. Cherries are great for relieving stress
and mental fatigue, and a daily dosage of 10 to 20 cherries can
help fight these conditions and send you on cloud nine, fast asleep.
If you like, take it with some warm milk.
· Yoga Exercise
Meditation just before going to bed can help dispel sleep disturbances
due to woe and anxieties that keep the mind occupied and difficult
to relax and prepare for sleep. Try this exercise:
Sit in a comfortable position on your bed and put
attention to your “third eye” – the area on
your forehead between the eyes. Listen to your breathing and follow
it inhale and exhale, or you can do the traditional So-Hum meditation.
Think of the syllable “So” and when you exhale, think
of “Hum”. Next lie on your back and continue with
the breathing, focusing your mind on the “third eye”.
If you have a jetlag and find it hard to sleep,
it’s usually a result of excess vata in the body. Ayurveda
recommends this three step remedy to avoid jet lag:
· Swallow 2 capsules of ginger (00 size)
with water an hour before flying off.
· On the plane, try to drink at least 3 cups
of water, at intervals of 1 to 2 hours. Dehydration increases
vata so drinking water is better than cafffeinated beverages.
· Upon arrival at your destination, if you
reach there before nightfall: try drinking chamomile tea with
equal portions of mint and jatamamsi (1/3 teaspoon jatamamsi).
Steep in hot water for a bout 10 minutes. Served with your favourite
biscuits or sandwiches, or drink it on it’s own.
· If you arrive before night, drink
a cup of hot milk with a pinch of ginger and nutmeg, or rub your
head with some warm sesame oil on the scalp and soles of your
feet. When you arrive at your destination, you will fall asleep
with ease at bedtime.