SLEEP & AYURVEDA

Ayurveda teaches us how Nidra (sleep) is one of the three pillars of health, alongside ahara (food) and brahmacharya (energy management).

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Sleep is considered to be one of the most important pillars of life. Sleep is essential to ensure good health and well-being. Good quality sleep rejuvenates the mind and body, while enabling effective functioning. It is also regarded as one of the most powerful tools to combat minor diseases and imbalances.

An important function of sleep is enhancement of ojas or energy – the master coordinator between mind, body and soul. Ojas, being the fine product of digestion and life-supporting element, helps to insulate the mind from daily stress and exertion.

According to Ayurveda, the correct quality and quantity of sleep is necessary in disconnecting a tired mind from the senses. Partial disconnection of the mind can hamper sleep quality. Pervasive sleep deprivation is a well-known cause of bodily dysfunctions, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and frequent infections. Although people have enough knowledge about the importance of good diet and exercise, however, they tend to ignore the importance of sleep, which can have drastic consequences on health.

 

Your mind, body, and physical environment are the three cornerstones that ensure sufficient, good quality sleep.

INSOMNIA, COMMONLY KNOWN AS ANIDRA IN AYURVEDA, RELATES TO A SITUATION WHERE A PERSON IS UNABLE TO SLEEP OR GETS DISTRUBED SLEEP. IT GENERALLY HAPPENS DUE TO VATA DOSHA IMBALANCE IN THE BODY.

 

Insomnia is a very profound sleeping disorder, generally followed by day time sleepiness, low energy, lethargy, fatigue, irritability. It can also hamper your mental focus and daily tasks, and even develop into depression later onwards. The cases of insomnia are ever growing. Factors like stress, lifestyle habits and dietary choices have a severe impact on sleep and gradually develop into insomnia.

Some common Ayurvedic herbs for improved sleep quality include:

 

  • Brahmi
  • Vacha
  • Ashwagandha
  • Jatamansi
  • Valerian
  • Shankhapushpi
  • Jyotishmati

 

Deep sleep is often accompanied by dreams and visions. Have you wondered what your dreams mean, and what they signify for your wellness?

Ayurvedic thought says that dreams are further evidence of the strong connection between the body, spirit and mind. A little known fact is that dreams in Ayurveda are categorized in the same way as disease diagnosis i.e. using the Doshas.

 

Vata dreams or those with excess vata are categorized by activity and movement, such as falling, flying, feeling frozen with fear and being attacked, chased or locked up.

 

Pitta dreams or those with excess pitta are categorized by intensity and focus, such as intellectual activity, problem solving, studying or teaching. These also include strong emotions such as shame, anger and aggression.

 

Kapha dreams or those with excess kapha are characterized by emotions such as love, lust, satisfaction of desires, material and emotional attachment. The tendency is to not remember dreams at all.

 

While dream analysis has been one of the hardest to scientifically prove, maintaining a dream journal can be crucial in helping one introspect into their mind, body and soul.

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