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Have you been lying in the bed staring at the ticking clock instead of going straight to sleep at night? Or have you been dozing off at wee hours and not able to wake up afresh the next morning? Considering the fast-paced life that we lead in today’s world, stress and anxiety are common problems leading to sleep disturbances and insomnia. You might have tried various methods to shut your hyperactive brain and put it to rest but in vain. Well, not to worry anymore. Here are some sleep remedies in Ayurvedic herbs that will help you slumber just like a baby.
Ayurvedic Sleep Remedies to have a Peaceful Night –
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, suggests some herbs to attain sound sleep at night.
Ashwagandha is a small woody plant with yellow flowers. It aids sound sleep by rejuvenating the body and lowering the production of cortisol – the stress hormone. Researchers have found an active compound in it, known as triethylene glycol, which works wonders for sleeping issues. It also treats people from their daily woes such as anxiety, stress and exhaustion. 2 tsp (200–400 mg) of Ashwagandha extract a day is safe and effective to treat insomnia.
Brahmi is named after one of the highest states of consciousness. The leaf of this Ayurvedic herb looks like cerebellum and is primarily used to promote memory and to relax the central nervous system. It is simultaneously calming and stimulating, improving daytime alertness while reducing stress throughout the system and improving the quality of sleep at night. Taking it internally as a powder, a tablet or as a liquid extract reaps its full benefits.
Scientifically known as Acorus Calamus, this herb is a nervous system tonic that will ward off stress and various other issues. Furthermore, Vacha has calmative effects on your brain, helping you to cure tension and insomnia. Acting as a coolant, it relaxes the nerves thereby inducing sleep. It is an ideal herb for the meditator, students, musicians and all who need deep focus and attention in their work. Taking along with Amla, Brahmi powder at bedtime gives the best result.
The flower’s shape and size of this Ayurvedic herb resembles the shape of conch or ‘shanka’ and hence the name Shankhpushpi. It is recognised among the layman and medical fraternity because of its effectiveness for the brain. Thus, brain tonic is a common way of knowing it. Shankhpushpi contains flavonoids, glycosides and alkaloids that help soothe your nervous system by bringing relief to mental fatigue. The use of Shankhapushpi is good in case of sleeplessness. Consuming 40-80 gm of Shankhapushpi milk (1 glass) and Jeera (little amount) together provides good results.
Sarpagandha is an erect, evergreen shrub, merely 15 to 45 cm high. Using the roots of this herb for medicinal purposes is a customary tradition. Also known as Rauwolfia Serpentina or Indian Snakeroot, Sarpgandha contains more than 50 alkaloids in it. According to a study, these alkaloids help in reducing high blood pressure or hypertension that can cause sleeping issues. The appropriate dose of this herb depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions.
Spikenard, popularly known as Jatamansi, has been used extensively in Ayurveda for ages. It has relaxing and calming attributes which makes it an important ingredient for various herbal medicinal products. The biggest advantage of Jatamansi is that it is a good sedative. It helps in inducing sound sleep while rejuvenating and nourishing the nervous system. The stem of this herb is powdered and traditionally consumed with honey, ghee or water.
Indian gooseberry, better known as Amla, is power-packed with a host of nutrients offering tremendous health benefits. Amla may not be pleasant to the taste buds because of its sour and astringent taste but that should not deter one from eating this salutary herb. It can be used to alleviate stress and help in treating sleep disorder like insomnia as it contains sedative properties. Before going to bed, drink the juice of Amla to get a good night sleep.
The botanical name of Bala is Sida cordifoloia. Bala in Sanskrit means strength and this herb is very useful in cases of neurological disorder and restless leg syndrome. Both these diseases are associated with sleep disturbances and can be treated with the consumption of Bala. Apart from this, it is also used widely in a variety of Ayurvedic medicines and oils to improve the strength of bones, muscles, and joints. Consuming 3-6 gm of Bala powder per day is the recommended dosage.
9. Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola is an ancient Ayurvedic herb used both in culinary and therapeutic purposes. It belongs to the Apiaceae family. This herb is especially useful when the person has anxiety and fear associated with sleep problems. The leaves are made into chutney and used along with the diet, while the power is consumed after the food is taken. However, its overdose may cause drowsiness. Thus people taking this herb may feel excessively sleepy and therefore should consider consulting a doctor to reduce its dosage.
10. Rose Petals
When all else fails, try rose petals! Using them for peace and relaxation is a traditional norm. They exhibit antidepressant, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, cleansing and hypnotic properties. Rose petals have shown effective results in inducing sleep comparable to diazepam which is a drug used to calm muscles and reduce anxiety. Inhale some steam with fresh rose petals in boiling water just before going to bed. You can also sip some rose tea or add dried rose leaves to a glass of warm milk to induce sleep.
Ayurvedic Tips for Better Sleep
Consider the following tips to have a sound sleep;
1. Dark Room: Darkness helps to calm the mind quicker. It assists in avoiding unnecessary thoughts and self-chatting which are barriers to sound sleep.
2. Bed Spread Colour: Light colours soothes your brain after a tiring day! Thus, make sure the bedspreads, covers and pillows are light in colour.
3. Keep your Arms in the Right Position: Your arm in a comfortable position is critical for better sleep. Some people get good sleep while they keep their arm above the head level.
4. Fixed Timing: It helps you keep a proper schedule for sleeping. Moreover, it sets up the body rhythm.
5. Avoid Screens: You should not watch TV or use computer screens for at least one hour before going to bed. Avoid horror movies, books, and serials as well.
6. No heavy Dinner: Since the energy requirement at night is less, it is better to avoid heavy dinner at night. Light dinner will not interfere with your sleeping patterns.
7. Light Music: Playing some jazz at low volume or light music will help relax your mind. Also, it will help you sleep better.
8. Shirodhara: It is an Ayurvedic procedure to induce deep mental relaxation. Finally, it de-stresses the mind and our body.
- Coffee/Tea at least 3 hours before sleep time.
- Spicy Foods.
- Sweets and fried foods
- Heavy Food.
- Foods that cause bloating – such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and dairy products.