Sleep is one of the fundamental functions required to keep the body from
exhausting itself. It is vital in maintaining health and balance in the body, while
also providing time for the body to heal and repair itself. Sleep is also a
determining factor in creating balance between the mind and emotions.
Sleep pattern can vary individually, some may suffer from irregular sleep, while
others get too much sleep. And imbalance in sleep patterns pose serious health
risks. Improper sleep and insomnia can have adverse effects on the system by
disrupting the body clock. For many, insomnia surfaces with chronic stress,
anxiety or depression. Illness, physical discomfort, seasonal variations and
change in schedules can also cause sleepless nights.
Ayurvedic perspective of insomnia
According to Ayurveda, imbalances of vata or pitta doshas are involved in
insomnia. Pitta dosha is said to cause inability to fall asleep, while vata dosha
can interrupt sleep resulting in being awaken during night time. The Ayurvedic
approach to balancing insomnia is heavily focused on helping the body oppose
the sleep-disrupting influences. The transition into sleep is made easier in this
approach while also helping in maintaining the state of rest until the body is
How to promote sound sleep
For a balanced sleep cycle, Ayurveda recommends calming down the mind,
following a daily routine based on the biological cycle and by reducing stress
and tension in the mind and body.
Following practices can be observed during specific time of the day to promote
Bath – Taking a bath with warm water before bed relaxes the nervous
system, releases tension and calms down the mind.
Drinking milk – A glass of warm milk before sleep is ideal to sooth the
Foot massage – Massaging the sole of the feet with warm oil supports
downward moving energy which promotes sound sleep.
Abhyanga – The Ayurvedic oil massage calms the nervous system while
is also nurturing to the body.
Morning routine – A regular routine of bath, yoga, meditation or
pranayama help set the body clock in order.
Following a good sleep hygiene is also vital to promote sound sleep. This
includes practices which keep away unwanted distractions from the mind and
body while transitioning into a state of rest.
Ambience – The bedroom should be un-cluttered to induce a positive
vibe. The temperature, lighting, humidity and noise levels should be
supportive for an uninterrupted sleep.
Eliminate screen time – It is best to avoid watching TV or using mobile
or laptop right before bed as these can disrupt the biological rhythm that
Eliminate stimulants – Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and soft drinks act as
stimulants that can affect the physiological cycle required for deep sleep.