What is insomnia?
Insomnia is when we have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both. A disturbed sleep cycle leaves us feeling tired, groggy, irritated and restless. It can also affect your attentiveness, quality of work and productiveness.
Insomnia can be either acute or chronic. Acute insomnia refers to a recent and short-lived bout of lack of sleep. This is very common and is caused by stressful situations, pressure or even a traumatic event. For example death in the family, deadlines, jet lag and many more things. Unhealthy lifestyle, erratic sleep routine, certain medication and disease can cause chronic insomnia.
Identify the causes of Insomnia
Naturopathic treatment for insomnia addresses the cause, patterns or factors that are causing the sleeping disorder. Naturopathy cures insomnia through drugless therapy with simple yogic and breathing techniques. So that sleep maybe restored naturally without resorting to and dependence on addictive sleeping pills.
Stress is the major cause of insomnia as it does not allow the brain to relax and switch off at bed time. Yoga and pranayam relaxes and eases the the mind and body. It also has a profound impact on relaxing the nervous system.
Some lifestyle and behavioral changes help reduce Insomnia without medication
1. Avoid Gadgets one hour before bedtime
Don’t watch TV, play video games, use your laptop/smartphone, before you sleep. These devices all emit light, which can over stimulate your brain just before bed. Instead, try relaxing with meditation and bhastrika pranayam, read a light book or listen to soothing music. You can also try a short meditation working from up from your toes to the head, relaxing every muscle along the chain. Deep breathing also relaxes all your muscles, which will help you sleep better.
2. Keep your bedroom clean, quiet and dark
Keeping your bedroom only for sleeping and a relaxed ambiance helps in inducing sleep.
3. Be disciplined with your sleeping rhythm
Have a designated time when you go to bed and wake up. Be sure to be in light either direct or indirect every morning since it sets your biological clock in order.
4. Avoid napping during the day for more than 30 minutes
Too much rest in the afternoon will result in sleeplessness at night, so keep it short and sweet if you do need to nap.
5. Good Posture while Sleeping
Sleeping in the right posture that makes the mind and body relax. A good pillow that supports your neck in a neutral position. Sleeping on your stomach should be avoided as it is bad for the neck.
6. Avoid caffeine before Bed
Even small traces of caffeine can interfere with later stages of sleep. Remember that we are exposed to caffeine via coffee, tea, sodas and even small amounts in chocolate and decaffeinated coffee.
7. Get regular Exercise
Exercise improves quality of sleep. Walking, swimming, running, aerobics, etc. are all good forms of exercise. Gentle and subtle yoga also induces good sleep.
8. Choose your food and beverages wisely before bedtime
Warm milk or chamomile tea is excellent for promoting good sleep. Alcoholic beverages interrupt the sleep cycle later on in the night. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime as they can cause acid reflux at night.
9. Counterbalance Unwanted Noise
Simple traffic noise or your child’s cough is impetus enough to disturb your sleep. In this case, use “white noise” to cover up the unnecessary disturbances. You can utilize a fan, an air-conditioner or a white noise generator.
10. Calm Your Mind
It is important to leave the worries of the day behind. Wind down at least an hour before sleep-time. Take a warm bath or even gently massage your feet (as they have nerve endings) to the rest of your body.
Learning to control a racing mind through simple breathing techniques. Reducing stress levels by prioritizing work and effective time management. These will support healthy sleep patterns.
Enjoy good sleep and feel refreshed every morning!
Contact Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga & Naturopathy hospital for chronic disease and lifestyle consultation.
by Pragya Sinha