Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Doctor, Pune
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What are the reasons for a troubled sleep?
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If you have been put to too much of stress as of late or if your life has undergone some major changes, you could be facing problems with sleep. This can also happen if you are burdened by an excessive workload. The use of technology devices right before going to bed can stimulate our brain differently and thus makes it difficult to sleep. All these can add to sleeplessness and make it feel like a luxury that you cannot afford. Hot and stuffy environments are impossible for sleeping, so prefer cooler places for sleep.
What according to Ayurveda are the causes for sleeplessness?
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According to Ayurveda, the causes for sleeplessness are increased Vata and reduced Kapha. To elaborate, Vata is aggravated for victims who have been suffering from hyperthyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis or restless leg syndrome. It can also be affected by menopause and premenstrual syndrome. Reduced Kapha is noticed in people with malnutrition, anemia, and some other degenerative diseases. Meditation is a good way to calm your mind and thus help you to sleep soundly.
Sleep is explained in two different states of mind by Ayurveda.
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Raja and Tama are the two subtle states of mind. Tama is heightened when you are fast asleep. Heightened Raja causes sleep disturbances and early walking. Psychological problems lead to an increase in Raja, which in turn, causes anxiety, rage, stress or envy. These amplify the Raja quality further leading to poor sleep patterns. It forms like an envious cycle impossible to escape. If you like beverages like tea or coffee, make sure that you have the last cup hours before going to bed.
Eating for Vata can cure you of these sleep problems.
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Vata dosha is caused by change, movement, wind, and instability. Other root causes are dry, light and cold. Insomnia can be reversed by consumption of Vata pacifying foods that are moist, warm and stabilizing. Cures can also include inculcating food habits that avoid raw, dry or frozen foods. Drinking chilled beverages should also be avoided. Getting a rub down or massage with warm oil can help relax the muscles for a better sleep.
A tall glass of lukewarm milk is good for a sound sleep.
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Buffalo milk is known to boost both the Ayurvedic sleep factors, namely Kapha and Tama. This remedy is actually filled with wisdom and is known to have worked as a natural sleep aid for centuries. Drinking a cup of warm milk at bedtime is very good for sound sleeping habits, and can be further improved with the addition of almonds. You can also add a teaspoon of honey and some 10-12 strands of saffron for better results. This remedy would work as a nerve tonic and tranquilizer. You can take a warm bath with lavender oil or shower with a loofah to help reduce cramps and tension headaches.