What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. People who have insomnia have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, they may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep. This may cause fatigue and irritability during the day.
Why does Insomnia Occur ?
Insomnia is predominantly due to excess energy of movement or “Vata” in the body and mind. This is mainly created by wrong eating habits and lifestyle.
Vata, in Ayurveda governs movement, thinking and activity. It is responsible for nervous system coordination. Too much Vata leads to hyperactivity, especially in the mind. You are unable to stop the constant flow of thoughts, leading to anxiety among other health conditions.
- Excessive use of caffeine or other stimulants especially before going to bed.
- Long term use of alcohol, anti-depressants, or sedatives, that gives temporary relaxation but may lead to shallow sleep patterns.
- Medical problems such as hyperthyroidism.
- Being overweight.
- Restless leg syndrome. (Muscles in your lower legs twitch or tense up during sleep)
- Pain and other discomfort caused by an illness such as arthritis.
- Poor sleep habits, including going to bed at different times or in a noisy environment, or eating or working in bed before sleeping.
- Changes in sleep patterns because of different work hours or travel (jet lag)
- Excessive travelling or thinking.
- Depression, anxiety or excessive worry
- Being workaholic and highly demanding
Beneficial Food to Treat Insomnia
- Grounding and nourishing : fresh whole wheat flour, brown rice, baked potatoes with purified butter or Ghee
- Relaxing : hot milk with finely chopped almonds especially one hour before sleeping, chamomile tea, sipping hot water throughout the day
- Rich in iron : apricots, raisins, apples, meat and poultry, whole wheat, red beans.
- Dark Green Leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, brocolli and cabbage are rich in magnesium and may be added to your diet – must be well cooked and preferably eaten for lunch. Magnesium helps keep the muscles relaxed.
Lifestyle Changes To Treat Insomnia
- Sleep 8- 10 hours
- Moderate exercise such as yoga, walking and lightweights.
- Head massage with calming and warming oils. i.e. AYU Head Relax Oil or AYU Head Rejuvenate oil once a week.
- Slow rhythm, light pressure and passive massage.
- Planned and regular routine.