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Written by Dr.Sumita Prajapati   

Sound sleep remedies

Good, calm and sound sleep is called Sukh Nindra in ayurveda.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of life since it restores and renews the body. Without sleep, organs deteriorate at a rapid pace, and the mind loses its acuity. Unfortunately, many people struggle to achieve a truly restful sleep. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that at least 40 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Sleep deprivation or poor quality of sleep impacts both short-term and long-term health with frightening consequences, like depression, obesity, loss of mental clarity and fatigue. If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, consider
following Ayurvedic principles known to improve sleep.
A
yurveda does not dictate eight hours of sleep every night for everyone. Quality and quantity of sleep required by an individual to completely recharge in mind body and to rejuvenate new cells are considered crucial for health, bliss and longevity.

Napping
Ten-minute naps are good for Vata types. Long naps are permitted in the hot part of the summer, when days are long and nights are short. Sleeping during the day increases Kapha. Only the very weak, very young, very old, those exhausted by sex, diseased, overwork, under the influence of intoxicants and other emotional or physical trauma should sleep longer than 15 minutes in the afternoon.  Sleeping during the day produces Ama.

Sleeping Positions
Sleeping on the left side (Vama Kukshi) helps digestion. It promotes the functioning of the right nostril and is good. The right nostril heats and activates the body and when it is finctioning a person becomes more interested in food and sleep.
Sleeping in a sitting position provides the most alert sleep and is the best. Yogis often sleep sitting up.
Sleeping on the right side is relaxing, and it activates the left nostril, which cools and relaxes the body, making it easier for self-control (which is good for Yoga).
Sleeping on the back disturbs Vata. It activates both nostrils at the same time, which produces disease by (encouraging energy to leave the body). Sleeping on the back harms the brain.
Sleeping on the stomach disturbs everything. It causes disease by obstructing deep and healthy breathing.
It is best to sleep with the top of the head facing east and the feet facing west (this promotes meditative sleep). Facing south while sleeping draws energy into body.
Sleeping facing north draws energy from the body, and disturbs the body, mind and spirit. Sleeping with the head facing west causes disturbing dreams.
Before going to sleep it is best to wash the hands, feet and face. Then it is good to massage the feet and temples with a little warm sesame oil or ghee and meditate for a while to allow the negative impacts of the day to dissipate. Then perform some Pranayama before sleeping.

Home remedies, tips and lifestyle for sound sleep
• It is best to go to bed only to sleep and not to read, write or think. It is best to rise immediately after awakening.
• Do not allow pets to sleep in the kitchen or where food is prepared as the subtle vibrations will get into the working of their digestive tract and disturb their sleep.
• It is best to wear the least amount of clothing possible and one should especially avoid socks.
• Do not cover the face while sleeping so as to breathe properly, otherwise a person breathes his own deoxidized air.
• The bed should be at least 12 inches above the ground. Sleeping on a damp or wet surface is very bad. The level of the head should be above that of the feet.
• Sleeping under the moon is very good, relaxing and calming Pitta, but sleeping under the sun increases Pitta.
• Sleeping while hungry is not good for health. Sleeping after lunch will increase Kapha and body weight.
• It is not recommended to sleep during the sunset hours, as it is said to cause poverty, disturb the bodily systems and impairs digestion. Sex at this time is also not good. Reading at this time hurts the eyes. During sunset hours there is an increased chance of having an accident during walking and driving.
• To stop wet dreams a person can wash his legs with cold water before going to sleep, as this draws energy from the genitals which reduces the chance of nocturnal emission.
• Create an optimal sleeping environment in your bedroom by using room-darkening shades and dim lighting.
• Schedule your dinner for early in the evening. A dinner between 6 and 7 p.m. is less likely to interfere with your sleep. Keep dinners light and free of strong spices.
• Attempt to set a regular bedtime before 10 p.m. or about 3 hours after the sun sets. Wake about an hour before the sun rises.
• Brush or comb your hair to lightly stimulate your scalp.
• Sleep in comfortable fabrics such as cotton.
• Drink a cup of tea before going to sleep. Make your tea with sleep-inducing herbs such as chamomile, cinnamon and lemon.
• Breath deeply through your nose. Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Focus on your breath and visualize yourself in a relaxing place as you fall asleep.
• Engage in some form of exercise on a daily basis.
• Try taking a warm bath before going to sleep.
• Do not exercise within 2 hours of going to sleep.
• Do not smoke or drink alcohol, especially right before bed.
• Refrain from drinking coffee or other stimulants close to bedtime.
• Avoid doing work in your bedroom.
• Refrain from sleeping during the day unless you have done hard physical labor. 
• If a person feels refreshed and inspired after he wakes up, then he has slept a right amount of time. If after waking up one feels tired and drained he is not sleeping the correct amount of time (usually too much). You can change sleeping time by 15 minutes a day increments to see/check what is the proper amount of sleep one needs.
• Sleeping during the day disturbs gases, bile,lymph and blood flow. It causes disturbances of breathing, heaviness in the head, chest regions disorders and other problems.
• It is alright to sleep during the day for a person who has done hard physical labor, one in pain or a person with nausea. Also for a person with gastric disorders, alcoholic intoxication, and a person who is on a fast. In extremely hot weather it is alright to take a nap at the hottest time of the day.
• The best time to sleep is from three hours after sunset to 90 minutes before dawn. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
• Going to sleep on a full stomach diverts the body’s energy from recharging the system and also causes bad dreams.
• Since human beings are diurnal creatures, following Nature’s pattern of sleep and wakefulness means rising with the sun or shortly before, and getting into bed early—no later than 9.45 p.m. Getting up before 6 a.m. is ideal, and 6-10 p.m. is the Kapha time of the evening, when sleep will come most easily. Follow this routine at the weekend as well.
• Arise and go to bed at about the same times each day. This helps your body and mind relax as the appointed bedtime approaches. Over time it conditions your physiology to fall asleep at that time.
• Ayurveda decrees morning the best time to exercise. If you exercise in the morning, it will help you fall asleep easier at night. Working out late in the day is not recommended as this will raise energy levels and set you up for activity rather than sleep. Exercise moderately, according to the needs of your constitution, every day.
• Do not eat a heavy dinner, and avoid spicy foods at night. Ayurveda recommends a light dinner eaten at least three hours before bedtime. A one-dish meal of a vegetable soup or mung bean khichadi is nourishing yet not too heavy. Do not drink too much water or other beverages after 6.30 p.m. drink a cup of warm milk at bedtime to help lull you into sleep. Lace the milk with a large pinch of nutmeg for Vata, cardamom for Pitta and dried ginger for Kapha.
• A lower limb massage with warm sesame oil, almond oil or olive oil before you get into bed is also a pleasant, relaxing activity and helps improve sleep quality. Your bedtime massage oil can be spiced up with a few drops of essential oil of lavender. Take a very small quantity of oil in your palm and massage your lower legs, from your knees to your toes, and your lower arms, from your elbows to your fingertips, with easy up-and-down strokes.
• Keep your bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature so that you are neither too warm nor too cold. Wear comfortable sleepwear to bed—cotton is ideal. Your bedroom should be quiet, clutter-free and free of work-related material. Do not have a TV in your bedroom.
• Do not drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages as they impact the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Avoid nicotine as well.
• As bedtime draws near, try to get your mind and body to settle down. Avoid working or reading/watching stimulating entertainment at least an hour before bed. Calming activities such as listening to soft relaxing music or just sitting quietly and practicing deep breathing can help your mind and body wind down gradually.
• Avoid napping during the day; it makes it harder to fall asleep at night. If stress or worrying keeps you up, learn and regularly practice a meditation technique. This will help strengthen your ability to deal with day-to-day stresses and worries.
• ¼ tsf Poppy Seed with a warm glass of milk an hour before bed will help you fall asleep easier. Poppy Seed, Jatamansi and Brahmi are ayurvedic herbs that help promote restful sleep, and lavender and sandalwood are relaxing essential oils that help promote ease of falling sleep and getting a better quality of sleep. Our products Somayu Ayumedha and Brahmi are found very useful for sound sleep and feeling fresh in the morning.

Bedtime
Vata persons should go to bed by 9 p.m. and sleep on their left side. Pitta persons should go to sleep between 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. and sleep on their right side. Kapha people should go to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm and sleep on their left side.
Kapha persons like to sleep 9 hours. Sleeping this long slows down their metabolism and causes them to put on weight. It is best for them to wake up between 4:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. and then take a walk. This amount of sleep will make the body feel better and help them lose weight.


Going to the Root 
 
There is a solution in ayurveda for the problems mentioned here-under
• RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS • HEART DISEASE • IMPROVING MIND &  STRENGTHENING  MEMORY 

• CHRONIC DEPRESSION • OSTEO ARTHRITIS • ANXIETY  • INFERTILITY • OBESITY  • KIDNEY PROBLEMS • DIABETES  • ASTHMA • INFERTILITY • HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE • IMPOTENCY • CHRONIC PAINS • VIRAL DISEASES • CANCER • HORMONAL IMBALANCE • PIMPLES AND SKIN PROBLEMS

 

Ayurveda- A Complete Science of Life, Health & Longevity


Welcome to read about the most ancient and traditional science on one of the most modern systems - the internet. How can this ancient system of healthcare be relevant to people of today, when technological advances have radically altered our food, lifestyles, environment and medicine? We are living fast lives but forgetting our roots, diet, fresh foods and stress free easy lifestyle habits. We are exposed to chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and pollutions. Our present generation is fond of consuming fast foods, frozen, micro waved and instant foods which have no life and are considered as dead food according to Ayurveda.

 


The principles of Ayurveda are an invaluable link to understanding, in detail, naturally healthy living. People everywhere are realizing the importance and benefits of taking responsibility for one's own wellbeing, making Ayurveda the perfect system of health knowledge for today's world.

Ayurveda is a science of life.  So to know more about it, we must know what is life. Life according to Ayurveda is a combination of senses, mind, body and soul. So it is clear from this definition of life that Ayurveda is not only limited to bodily or physical symptoms but also gives a comprehensive knowledge about spiritual, mental and social health.


“Man is Universe” - Yajurveda.
The words like soul and spirituality might sound outdated or create a negative thinking in some of you as they have no place in modern science. As soon as we hear about these topics, we become uncomfortable. Actually, it is our fault. No one has ever spoken about these things. We are always trapped in the attractions of the external materialistic world in order to gain happiness and peace. 

Modern society, education, culture and the television - everything speaks about materialism. If this was everything why is it that most of us are unhappy? There is stress, fear, anxiety, mental tension, fighting and terror everywhere despite best efforts being made to stop them. This is because some part of our mind and body is not being nourished properly.


What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda literally means "Sience of life and longevity" and is considered to be the traditional system of medicine of India which is the oldest science, more than 5000 years old, and is proved, tried and tested on all living beings including plants, animals and insects. Ayurveda is a science - it is a complete system. It is a qualitative, holistic science of health and longevity, a philosophy and system of healing the whole person - body, mind and on spiritual levels.

The origin of this system goes back to a far past, in which philosophy and medicine were not separated. Therefore, philosophical views have strongly influenced the Ayurvedic way of thinking.

What is unique about Ayurveda ?


There are several aspects to Ayurveda that are quite unique:
Ayurveda offers reference points for managing treatment decisions specific to each case. Ayurvedic theory is profoundly useful in analyzing individual patient constitution called Prakruti and understanding variations in disease manifestation called Vikruti.

The Ayurvedic framework can be used to structure working models of the unique state of each patient, and to project a vision or goal for a whole state of health, again unique to each case.


Ayurveda offers specific recommendations to each individual on lifestyle, diet, exercise and yoga, herbal therapy, marma, Panchakarma, Home Remedies and even spiritual practices to restore heal and maintain balance in body and mind. Ayurveda sees a strong connection between the mind and the body, a huge amount of information is available regarding this relationship.

This understanding that we are all unique individuals enables Ayurveda to address not only specific health concerns but also offers explanation as to why one person responds differently than another.


Origin of Ayurveda
Historians have not pin-pointed the exact time Ayurveda came into being. Most agree that Ayurvedic classical texts were written in India between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago, though some suggest an even longer history. According to Rishis, ayurveda is created by Lord Bramha before creating the world for the healthy and disease free life for people living on earth.

Legend -  The origins of this system of course are lost in time. According to legend it is said to have been taught by the creator, Brahma, to the Daksha Prajapati. (One of the lords of the animals) who taught it in turn to the divine twins called the Ashwinikumars. Ashwinikumars are the heavenly healers. They taught Indra, the chief of the shining ones. The personages mentioned were deities of early Vedic times. When mankind started suffering from various diseases wise men like Bharadvaja learnt from Indra the knowledge of medicine. Gradually a vast amount of knowledge accumulated was divided systematically into different branches.


What is Health according to ayurveda?
There are many definitions of health in every science and field of medicine.  Some say it is merely absence of diseases. Some say to be healthy is to be mentally and physically happy.  Some says health is spiritual awareness and focus. WHO says a healthy balance mentally, physicaly and emotionally is Health.


But ayurveda says beyond all the definitions it says :


 

Sushrita Samhita 15:38

"One who is established in Self, who has balanced doshas, balanced agni, properly formed dhatus, proper elimination of malas, well functioning bodily processes and whose mind, soul and senses are full of bliss, is called a healthy person."


Physiology -  All matter is thought to be composed of five basic elements ( panchamahabhutas ) which exhibit the properties of earth (prithvi), water (jala), fire (tejas), wind (vayu) and space (akasha). These elements do not exist in isolated forms, but always in a combination, in which one or more elements dominate. According to Ayurveda, the human body is composed of derivatives of the five basic elements, in the form of doshas, tissues (dhatus) and waste products (malas).


Balanced Doshas
The most fundamental and characteristic principle of Ayurveda is called "tridosha" or the Three Humours. Doshas are the physiological factors of the body. They are to be seen as all pervasive, subtle entities, and are categorized into vata, pitta and kapha. Vata regulates movement and is represented by the nervous system. Pitta is the principle of biotransformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body. Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids. Together, these three doshas determine the physiologic constitution of an individual.


Balanced Agni
For the metabolic processes in the body, there are three main groups of biological factors, probably exhibiting enzymatic functions (agnis). Jatharagni is responsible for the digestion and the absorption of nutritious substances During this process, digestion takes place in three stages: first the digestion of sweet (madhura) and salty (lavana) nutrients, then the digestion of sour (amla) nutrients, and finally the digestion of sharp (tikta), bitter (katu) and astringent (kasaya) nutrients. The respective products of these 3 stages are sweet, sour and bitter.

Panchabhutagnis containing five types of biological factors, is responsible for the processing of the five basic elements into a composition useful to the body’s 7 separate Tissue Fire (Metabolic Fire) Dhatvagnis. The third group contains seven types, each for the assimilation of the seven tissues. This assimilation takes place successively. From the absorbed nutritious substance, plasma (rasa) is produced first; from plasma, blood (rakta) is formed, then muscular tissue (mamsa), adipose tissue (meda), bony tissue (asthi), bone marrow (majja) and the reproductive cells (shukra).

Every tissue has its own digestive fire which converts one tissue into the next tissue which has a different colour, form, consistency and shape.

Balanced Dhatus
The tissues are classified into seven categories: Rasa(plasma), Rakta (blood cells), Mamsa(muscular tissue), (Meda)adipose tissue,(Asthi)bony tissue,Majja(bone marrow) and Shukra(the reproductive tissue). The tissues should be in proper proportion.   If they are very high or low or out of balance then the person is considered as unhealthy.

 

For example too much bone tissue will give extra teeth or rib, calcaneal spur and bone enlargement.  In the same way less bone tissue will give osteoarthritis , osteoporosis, weak bones, tendons and ligaments, degeneration in the bones and vertebral column and a person becomes prone to fractures and ligament tear or injuries.


Balanced Malas

Three main waste products are urine, faeces and sweat. The quantity, colour, consistency and frequency of the excretory products should be not too much or too less.  It should be balanced.  Then only a person is healthy. He should pass stools, urine and sweat at a proper time and proper quantity with proper color and  consistency.

For example, in diabetes, frequency of urine and sweating increases and in UTI it reduces.  Both are not healthy situations. In prostate cancer the smell of urine is like crab and so it is called Karka Roga (Kark is a Sanskrit name for Crab). In jaundice the urine is yellow and in UTI it is white.  All this are imbalances.  Healthy urine should be clear, without foul smell and in proper quantity.

Stools are frequent in IBS, diarrhea and dysentery but less in constipation. So both conditions are not healthy. The colour of stool is yellow in Pitta related problems and white in obstructive jaundice 

Stools should be floating in the water. Then digestion is considered as good.  If it has a foul smell then it indicates aam , indigestion and mucus.


Last Updated on Friday, 12 February 2010 19:10