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19. 01. 2018
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AYURVEDIC REMEDIES FOR SLEEPLESSNESS

Sleeplessness: There are several theories about the factors which are responsible for sleep. Fatigue, the darkness and tranquility of night and habit are some common factors which cause sleep. A normal healthy individual should sleep for about six hours a day. It is always better for an individual to go to bed early and leave the bed also well before the sunrise. There are others, who because of their professional requirements, remain awake at night. They should sleep during day-time for a longer period.

For normal individuals, sleep during the day is prohibited. During the winter it is strictly prohibited. In summer, however, a nap is permitted for a short while during the day. People suffering from indigestion are advised to sleep for about half an hour before taking food, and those suffering from spur syndrome should sleep after eating. Patients suffering from chronic disease and some of the acute ones like fever require more sleep. This helps the promotion of the anabolic aspect of the metabolic system and catabolism is reduced to the minimum.

Among the various age groups, children require more sleep than older people. Those who are exposed to hard physical labour also require more sleep. Mental work also results in fatigue of the brain cells and this leads to sleep. Excessive mental work and less physical work often creates difficulty in sleeping. Normal mental work apart, worry, anxiety, anger, emotional stress and strain causes sleeplessness.

All the factors that are responsible for aggravation of vayu and pitta in the human body result in sleeplessness. Intake of spicy food, stimulating drinks, exercise immediately after meals, environmental factors like excessive heat, cold or rain, exposure to noise and change of environment along with the psychic factors enumerated above lead to sleeplessness. There are many drugs which when taken for the treatment of some other types of diseases result in sleeplessness. It occurs as a normal physiological phenomenon in ladies during menopause, and men during their old age. There are many diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, disease of kidney and liver and other conditions associated with pain in different parts of the body which result in sleeplessness.

Insomnia or sleeplessness may be transitory or may continue for a long time. It causes many other troubles. Glands secreting hormones do their work properly and disturbance in sleep affect them considerably which results in the manifestation of diseases. Heart diseases and high blood pressure follow a prolonged period of sleeplessness. During sleep, bad dreams disturb the patient.

Sleeplessness results in weakness and the patient may get constipation, indigestion and wind formation in the stomach.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Sleeplessness: The causes of sleeplessness should be ascertained and removed. If in spite of that, sleeplessness persists, then medicines should be administered. Brahmi, vacha and amalaki are the drugs of choice for the treatment of this condition. The powder of these three drugs are taken individually or together and given to the patient in a dose of one teaspoon three times a day followed by a cup of ordinary tap water or milk each time. Til oil should be boiled with the powder of these drugs and used for massaging the head and body before bathing which gives sound sleep.

The commonly used home remedy for this condition is ripe banana. To this fruit, about a teaspoon of fried powder of cumin seeds is to be added and taken at night before going to bed.

The best therapy for the treatment of sleeplessness, particularly when it becomes chronic is known as dhara. For the preparation of this therapy, buffalo milk (about two liters) should be boiled with 60 gms. of the powder of amalaki, which is then made into curd. This is then churned by adding water to it and butter removed. The butter-milk should be dripped into the forehead (between two eye-brows) of the patient while lying flat on his back. This should be continued for about 14 to 20 minutes. This is well known for its therapeutic efficacy in curing insomnia.

Diet to taken by sleeplessness patients: Depending upon the digestive power of the patient, he should be given a sufficiently nourishing diet. Heavy food always helps to get good sleep provided the patient has the power to digest the food. Buffalo milk, butter and ghee are considered to be very useful. Hot and spicy food ingredients should be avoided.

Other regimens: Massage and regular bath in cold water is useful. The sleeplessness patient should be made to do physical exercise in addition to mental work. Constipation should be removed. A brisk walk in the evening and early morning is useful. The psychic factors producing stress and strain and factors responsible for anxiety, worry and sorrow should be removed.

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