Sleep is a physical and mental resting state of a person. During sleep he becomes inactive and will not be aware of surrounding environment. His senses do not respond to external stimuli.
According to ayurveda sleep is
“ yadaa tu manasi klaante karmaatmaanaha klamaanvitaaha |
Vishayebhyo nivartante tadaa swpiti maanavaha ||”
When mind , sensory and motor organs are exhausted they disassociate themselves from their senses and stimuli. This makes a person to go to sleep.
Effects of sleep:
According to ayurveda sleep has both beneficial and harmful effects depending on sleeping time and duration. A good sleep nourishes body, strengthens it. It increases memory power, knowledge, virility and longevity.Untimely sleep leads to unhealthy conditions and reduces longevity.
Day time sleep:
Sleeping in daytime is harmful to health. But persons who are exhausted by physical work, travel and trauma can take afternoon nap. Singers, emaciated persons, children and elderly are benefited by day time sleep. Persons who have undergone purifactory therapies can sleep in daytime. During summer nights are shorter than days, hence daytime sleep is recommended for everyone. In these conditions day time sleep nourishes body tissues (dhatus) and rejuvenates body.
Benefits of good sleep
A good 6-7 hrs of sleep is necessary to keep our body healthy. People who sleep less than 6-7 hours are at the risk of developing diseases. The benefits of sleep are as follows
1. It keeps our heart healthy
2. It Reduces stress and calms mind.
3. Good sleep helps to reduce pain and inflammation
4. Body repairs its tissues in sleep.
5. 6-7 hours of sleep boosts memory power and increases alertness.
6. It helps to overcome depression
Ayurveda Home remedies to induce sleep.
1. A good massage with vata balancing oil and warm water bath before going to bed helps to induce good sleep.
2. Consume warm light food like rice and milk before going to bed.
3. A clean and comfortable bed with good surroundings helps to induce sleep.
4. Avoid sleeping in daytime
5. Do not watch television before going to bed
6. Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco before going to bed.
7. Reduce stress levels with yoga and meditation.
8. Exercise regularly in daytime.
9. Massage your foot with warm oil and take a foot bath in warm water for 15 minutes.
10. Avoid consumption of oily foods at night.
Ayurveda description of Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition in which a person will be having trouble in getting good sleep. The term “Anidrata” is used in texts of ayurveda to describe this condition.
Causes of Insomnia:
1. Psycological causes like Depression, anxiety, stress etc
2. Medications like steroids, diuretics, blood pressure medications etc.
3. Diseases like asthma, cancer, persistant body pain etc.
4. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea
According to ayurveda Insomnia is caused due to fear, anxiety, anger, over exertion (physical and psychological) , fasting, uncomfortable bed, diseases like colic pain etc. Panchakarma which has not been performed methodically may also lead to insomnia. Vitiated vata causes sleeplessness.
Effects of Insomnia:
Inadequate sleep causes
2. Lowered energy levels
3. Delayed reflexes.
4. Ability to learn, remember and concentrate are affected
5. Mood swings
7. Erectile dysfunction
8. Increased blood pressure
9. Cardiac risks etc.
10. Dark circles under eyes
11. Dry skin
12. Appearance of wrinkles on skin.
13. Hair loss