"A good night sleep brings happiness, nourishes the body, provides strength and vitality, gives knowledge and life." - Charaka Samhita
Ayurveda teaches us how to maintain our vital, physical, mental, spiritual and psychic harmony. Ayurvedic medicine is a branch of Ayurveda, being considered one of the oldest medical systems in history. Inherited from ancient India, it is a complete medical system that helps us regain lost balance, the true cause of the disease. Ayurveda offers several tools to improve sleep.
Digestion and sleep
To have a good night, it is important to have COMPLETELY DIGESTED your meal but also all the mental and emotional experiences of the day. Deep sleep is essential to regenerate the mind. It constitutes the natural form of meditation regenerating our whole being. For this reason it is best to eat early (before 19:00) to digest properly before going to bed. Taking a few minutes to breathe and calm the mind before going to bed is also a habit to take to promote good sleep. The alternate breathing for example is excellent.
Sleep and doshas
In the evening (18:00-22:00) is the time of the Kapha dosha, naturally, it brings a heavy body and mind. Going to sleep before 10pm is therefore ideal for the quality of sleep. Too much sleep increases the Kapha dosha. People with Kapha dominance (or with Kapha imbalance) should avoid sleeping during the day. If one falls asleep easily and has trouble waking up, this shows an excess of the dosha Kapha. People with a predominant Vata (or with Vata imbalance) need a lot of rest to regenerate their nervous system, they must avoid going to bed too late. Having difficulty falling asleep, having a light sleep or waking frequently during the night (especially between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning), shows an excess of the Vata dosha. Pitta-dominated people sleep deeply and generally have less need for sleep than the other two doshas. Waking up around midnight shows an excess of the Pitta dosha.
Ayurvedic inspirations for good sleep
- Avoid mental activity in the evening, strong music, stimulants, food too heavy (meat, cheese, dishes in sauce, excess sugar ...
- It is good to join the bed around 22:00 (from 22:00 to 2:00 in the morning, it is the Pitta dosha either the fire comes in, your spirit will be stimulated and hunger too).
- Take a bath or a hot shower to get free of your day. Before your shower, you can massage your body with hot oil selected according to your dosha *.
- If your nights are light and if you experience insomnia: Before bedtime, apply warm virgin sesame oil to the top of the skull or forehead and under your feet. Keep the oil all night. (lay a towel on your pillow to avoid stains). The massage of the scalp brings a sensation of calm and tranquility.
- Drink a cup of hot milk boiled with nutmeg and ghee (1 hour before going to bed) or a tea valerian Indian + chamomile. If you take triphala, take 1h30 after the meal and wait at least 1h30 after the triphala to drink your milk. Otherwise, digestion will be disrupted during the night.
- Recite the RAM or SHAM mantras while focusing on breathing or on the heart chakra. These two mantras induce peace.
The decrease in melatonin Prolonged exposure to electromagnetic waves reduces the production of melatonin (hormone secreted at night to promote rest and sleep), which is why electrosensitive people suffer from insomnia. This hormone is also necessary so that the brain can repair our bodies during our sleep, replacing lost cells every day and eliminating free radicals. Its antioxidant capacity is five times higher than that of vitamin C and twice that of vitamin E. The secretion of melatonin begins at 21:30.
The Ayurvedic massage
The ayurvedic abhyangha massage acts on the nervous system and calms the mind. This traditional massage with herbal infusion oils is recommended for general health improvement, to restore inner harmony, regulating the circulation of energies. Ayurvedic massage helps prevent energy blockages and remedy them. It also has an effect on the fascia, enabling it to achieve its function of purification, toxin elimination and tissue regeneration. It improves blood circulation, function of the digestive system, strengthens the nerves and eliminates fatigue.
Some Ayurvedic herbs have a certain effect on the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner to be directed to a herb that suits your constitution.