Insomnia – Facts, Myths and Remedies
Insomnia is the commonest health issue affecting a large number of the population is a condition which does not allow a person to sleep or stay asleep even if the person has the opportunity to do so. According to Ayurveda, it is a VATAJ disorder and thus has to be treated in its earlier stage before it further deteriorates one’s health condition both physically and mentally. Due to lack of sleep, there is always a feeling of dissatisfaction and other related issues like – fatigue, loss of concentration, lack of energy and enthusiasm level, the heaviness of body and head, restlessness, mood swings and other related issues.
Insomnia is of two types depending upon its duration – Acute and Chronic. Acute insomnia usually happens because of certain situations like stressful conditions as before exam night or after receiving some bad news, sometimes due to the excitement and so on. In such a condition the person may experience disturbed sleep or feels hard to fall asleep and this generally passes away in a day or two without any treatment. Such type of situation has been experienced by most of the people in general.
But in Chronic Insomnia – a person usually experiences disturbed sleep or feels hard to fall asleep for longer durations like for many days in a week, or month and so. This usually occurs due to reasons such as – Old age (with growing age Vata increases in the body leading degenerative changes in the body and disturbed sleep), in females usually, during the menopausal period there is a hormonal imbalance which leads to symptoms like HOT FLUSHES and disturbed sleep. Situations like environmental changes, bad sleep patterns for a long time, irregular work shift, and many times a drug addiction or any other clinical conditions leads to Insomnia.
People in such cases may get benefit by changing their lifestyle and food habit and also some medications or treatment will help them to cope up with such conditions. If this problem is not being resolved at an earlier stage then it starts to show its influence on person’s work, health and behavior too.
So what is the best way to solve this health problem? What a person must and should do if he/she is suffering from this problem?
To resolve this problem, one must try to do normal things like changes in their lifestyle and food habits, training their mind not to push the panic button and maintain calmness as in most of the cases, insomnia leads to irritation, behavioural changes and even creates panic situation which further make them frustrated and depress their sleep. Thus training the mind to be Patient and calm is the Key to resolving sleep disorder.
There are lots of information available on the internet to regularize the sleep but many times it confuses the person because this information can be true or sometimes can misguide too. Thus there are many facts and Myths about Insomnia like –
– Does Sleeping pills (Chemicals) really help to resolve Insomnia?
– Is this a Psychological issue?
– Is there any permanent cure for Insomnia and so on.
Likewise, there are few statements listed beneath about Insomnia and whether it’s a Myths or the statement is True , will be discussed one by one .
- Is Insomnia 100% due to Psychological problems?
The above-mentioned statement is a Myth! Insomnia can occur due to many causes such as intake of medicines for a chronic health issue, irregular sleep patterns, irregular work shifts etc. So, alone 100% Psychological condition is not the cause for Insomnia. Many times, some Psychological issues and stress can lead to Insomnia. But this does not mean that Insomnia is 100% Psychological .
- Watching television or surfing Computer before bed helps to fall sleep early?
This statement is a Myth too. Watching television or surfing Computer just before sleeping does not help an individual to fall asleep. In fact, it stimulates the mind or we can say it increases the VATA dosha (disturbs the VATA Dosha) which further leads to bad Sleep. Loud noise and too much light should be avoided before sleep. Yes, a light soft music or we can say light soothing music will help to attain good sleep.
- Does taking Chemical Sleeping pills OK?
Well, today in the market there are so many safer sleeping ( Chemical) pills available but these are not at all good for the long run as they pills will make you addicted, which further may lead to other health issues. These pills will slowly and gradually hamper your decision-making ability and will develop an unusual fear and will make you more dependent and leave in a confusing state of mind. So, try to avoid these pills as much as you can.
- Shall a person get out of bed if he/she is not falling asleep?
Yes, getting out of bed if not getting sleep helps. Many times, when a person does not get sleep and still tries to fall asleep irritates the person and instead of getting sleep the person gets frustrated and watches the clock which further makes the condition worse. So, it is always advisable that rather than turning around in your bed and getting annoyed, it’s better to get up, try to drink a glass of water or milk ( if possible), listen to some good light relaxing music or read a book to divert your mind. Doing such activities will calm you down and divert your mind and may help you to fall asleep.
- Can one train them to fall asleep?
Yes, one can train or teach themselves to fall asleep. There are many techniques which will help them to cope up with this problem and have a good regular and natural sleep. As per Ayurveda, this starts with diet management and reducing too much of cold beverages, salty and fried food articles help to resolve this issue. Also reducing items like white flour, kidney beans, cauliflower, red and green chili, refrigerated food articles, chickpea (especially in a night or late night hours) help a lot. These tips followed by some good activities like – A good head massage in the evening hours, washing your legs before sleep, trying to do meditation, a warm shower and keeping patience will definitely help you to cope up with this health problem. The only thing is to do these activities on a regular interval and desired results will be achieved.
- It’s been stated that the Sleep problem goes away on its own with time. Is this statement true or a Myth?
Well, the above statement is a Myth. If the sleep is disturbed due to anxiety, stress or other related problems and is not that old, then it will pass away in a couple of days but when we speak about the chronic Insomnia condition, then it would be wrong to say that it will go away on its own. In such a condition, one needs to find out the root cause of the problem and once it has being identified then the person has to follow certain specific activities including diet management, maintaining or changing a specific daily regimen and consuming some healthy food supplements along with some medicines (if needed) to resolve the problem. Thus it is always advisable to consult and discuss such health condition with a physician.
- Does consuming alcohol before sleep helps to get sleep?
It’s an MYTH. Consuming alcohol may help you to fall asleep but later on as it goes through the process of digestion may lead to disturbed sleep. It may also wake you up early and as per Ayurveda, it will increase the Pitta (The Fire Element) in your body which will further cause sleep disorders. Also, consuming alcohol on a regular basis will make you addicted for the same too. So be aware of such suggestions.
- Doing regular exercise helps reduce insomnia. Is it statement true or a Myth?
The above-said statement is 100% True. Doing regular exercise helps to get good sound sleep as by physical activities the blood circulation increases which in turns provide more oxygen to cells of the body and eliminates toxins, improves digestion and helps to attain good sleep. Just keep in mind that very hard physical exercise just before bedtime should be avoided as that may not help to get good sleep. Always try to workout at least 3-4 hours before sleep.
- One can make up for their lost sleep? Is that true?
No, this statement is false and it is a Myth only. One cannot make up for their lost sleep by sleeping more when possible. Also, it will always be hard to get asleep if their regular time and the schedule for sleep is disturbed. Also due to lack of sleep, a person cannot concentrate on his regular activities resulting in problems with his health and this leads to the downfall of his personal and professional life.
Thus these are few common statements which confuse the person and further worsen his health condition and so it is always advisable to consult immediately with a health consultant if you too have the problem of getting regular and sound sleep.
Tips which may help you to cope up with your health condition!
Finally, after so much discussion, we are hereby going to mention some Ayurvedic Solutions (Herbal Recipes and Ayurvedic Supplements) to fight Insomnia. These herbal remedies and solutions do not have any side effect on health and if being followed on a regular basis will definitely help you to overcome your sleep disorder.
- Drinking Golden Milk Before sleeps for better sleep.
Golden Milk preparation – Take one cup of warm milk and add half tea spoon of turmeric powder and one teaspoon of honey to it. Stir the solution and drink in a warm state only before going to bed. This recipe balances the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha levels of the body, help to relax the mind and induces sound sleep. This recipe has to be taken on a regular basis before going to bed for a minimum of 20 -30 days to see the result. The following recipe can be continued for entire life span without any issues as this recipe will also enhance once immunity. Please note anyone who is allergic to milk and milk products should do not try this recipe.
2. Milk with dates.
Another very good recipe to help you fall asleep is Milk with dates. Take one cup of milk and add 2-3 pieces of Dates. Boil them together for 3-4 minutes. Then pour the milk along with dates in a glass and try to drink the same in little warm condition. This milk with dates is much better especially in the winter season and again has to be consumed for minimum 15-20 days to see the result. This again has to be consumed before sleep. Please avoid consuming milk if you had consumed fish or Meat in the dinner.
Doing head massage with Herbal oils like Neelibhringadi oil, Brahmi Oil, Amla oil is one of the unique ways to fight Insomnia. A very good and gentle head massage with this medicated oil will help immensely to have a good sleep. All these medicated oils help to reduce the anxiety level, balances the stress make the person totally relax. A gentle head massage in the evening hours after returning from work or just before sleep is the best natural way to get a good sound sleep.
One can use from 15ml-30 ml of oil depending upon the length of the hairs and rub them gently over the scalp. This can be done by self or can be done by a trained therapist. For better results always try to make the oil little warm.
– Like head massage, a complete body massage with medicated oils will help to reduce sleep disorder.
Massage should always be done with warm medicated oil for better results. One can use oil like Dhanwantaram Oil, Bala oil, Murivenna oil for the massage. These oils are available mostly in all Ayurvedic medical stores or even online portals. Also, these oils can be used by anyone irrespective of any age and gender.
Shirodhara Therapy is the best and instant result oriented Natural therapy to get rid of Insomnia. Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic Panchkarma therapy being performed in all Ayurvedic centers available across the globe. In this process, the person is made to lay down on a special massage table and then a steady flow of a warm medicated oil is poured over the forehead of the person continuously for 50 minutes to an hour. During this process, the person feels immense relaxation and fall asleep during the process only.
This process has to be done for a number of sessions which can be anywhere between 7-14 sessions or even 21 sessions if needed. The oil used for this particular process is Ksheerbala oil. This oil when being used for this process gives a much better result.
– Apart from these home remedies and Ayurvedic therapies, there are many Herbal supplements too which helps to cure Insomnia.
These are natural supplements which can be taken even without any doctors consultation (if required) as they are totally safe. Some herbs are- Brahmi, Tagara, Shankhapushpi.
These supplements are manufactured by many leading herbal pharmaceuticals companies and are manufactured in Tablet, Capsule and powder form. The usual dosage of a capsule/tablet for an adult is – One to two capsules twice a day after meals.
So these are some healthy, harmless tips which will help to cope up with insomnia. Hope the following information will help you.