Sleep, Mental Health, and Ayurveda

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May 4

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Sleep, mental health, and ayuverda

Do you suffer from Insomnia?

• Do you get tired by the end of the day but still struggle to fall asleep?
• Despite sleeping for 8 to 10 hours at night, do you still wake up feeling tired in the morning?
• Do you dream a lot?
• Are you having trouble concentrating or have become more forgetful?
If you tick any of the above, then the following piece of information may be helpful for you.

Sleep is one of the three pillars to support life as mentioned in Ayurveda. Sleep is often addressed as Nidra Devi (goddess) due to its quality of nurturing our body.

The benefits of sleep as mentioned by Ayurveda are:
• Sleep creates happiness in life.
• Sleep maintains the consistency of the body.
• Sleep increases strength.
• Sleep increases the power of the brain & mind.
• Sleep nurtures life.

The consequences of not sleeping well are irritability, mood swings, always feeling tired, loss of strength, reduced concentration, memory loss and affect our quality of life.

Our mental health and sleep are closely related to each other. It is a vicious cycle. Our mental health can affect our sleep and if one does not sleep well then this could affect our mental health as well. Mental health is a consequence. If one desires for it, then there is a process to follow.

Sleep is one of the most important factors affecting mental health. Enhancing the quality of sleep can help us support our mental health.

Following the Ayurveda recommended night routine can help us to lay the necessary foundation to calm our mind and get the most out of sleep.

Night routine:

1. Having dinner at least 3 to 4 hours before sleeping.
2. Before going to sleep massaging our feet, ear pinna, and the crown of our head with warm coconut or sesame oil.
3. Practising alternate nasal breathing before going to bed.
4. Not holding the urge of sleep.
5. Going to bed no later than 10 pm.
6. No screen time at least half an hour before bedtime.
These practices will help our mind to relax before we go to sleep and experience complete restfulness from sleep.

Shirodhara

Shirodhara is the continuous pouring of a warm herbal liquid (oil/milk/ buttermilk/ medicated liquids) on the forehead over the third eye.  The choice of liquid depends on several factors like the constitution, imbalanced state, season, etc.

The continuous pouring of the liquid helps to relax the mind, calm the irritated nerves, and enhances sound sleep. Ayurveda recommends Shirodhara treatment if one suffers from sleep disturbances due to stress or overthinking. The vibrations created by the flow of liquid on our forehead have the same effect as patting a baby to sleep. 

If you wish to know more about enhancing your sleep, supporting mental health, or want to experience the relaxing Shirodhara treatment, feel free to contact our sister organisation at Ayurveda Village, phone 8110 4300.

Dr. Shweta Rao Consulting Ayurveda doctor at Aspects of Healing Educator in Ayurveda at EQUALS International

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