Sleep is a natural phenomenon in which we rest and restore our mind and body. But many people encounter problems sleeping when they go to bed. Some people go to bed but cannot fall asleep, while others wake up at night and cannot resume sleep. Insomnia is the condition of sleeplessness. When it persists over extended periods of time, the consequences can be debilitating and devastating. Our bodies must have rest to function.
According to Ayurveda, a normally functioning kapha humour provides a healthy sleep and rest. But when vata and pitta humour take over and kapha is reduced, insomnia can result.
People who toss and turn, unable to fall asleep with an active mind are suffering a vata-type insomnia. Those who experience intermittent wakefulness, or who wake up frequently with palpitations, body pain and emotional disturbances such as fear, anger and sadness are suffering from pitta-type insomnia.
Causes of Insomnia
- Improper diet and lifestyle leading to aggravation of vata and pitta
- Regular use of stimulants such as tea and coffee
- Excess cold, dry, fried, spicy food
- Supressed emotions
- Over-excitement and emotional disturbances such as worry, anger, and overwork
Ayurvedic approach to insomnia
The ayurvedic approach to insomnia is to re-establish balance throughout the body and restore the natural sleep-wake cycle. According to the teachings of Ayurveda, most of the chronic conditions, including insomnia, are triggered by a build-up of impurities in the body. Poor diet, weak digestion, excessively busy lifestyle, and too much stress can generate toxins and impair our body’s ability to get rid of them. Accumulated toxins interfere with our biochemistry and disturb our metabolism, including sleep functions.
At Vibrant Ayurveda, we use a holistic approach to examine the root cause of your insomnia. We look at your dosha, diet, physical fitness, allergies, mental health, lifestyle and much more. We recognise that balance across many aspects of your health and wellbeing is important for curing insomnia. Our treatment programs are designed to address the root causes of your insomnia, remove impurities, strengthen digestion and metabolism, balance the doshas and improve your natural healing mechanism.
An experienced ayurvedic doctor from our team will identify the imbalances at the basis of your insomnia and tailor detoxification therapies, diet, herbal combinations and lifestyle changes to bring you back into balance and sound sleep.
Panchakarma for insomnia
Panchakarma and other allied therapies are recommended to detox the body and remove the physical and mental toxins that can give rise to insomnia. Treatments include:
Vasti (medicated enema) Most of the time, sleep problems have a relationship with your gut health. The colon is known as the seat of the vata dosha. Colon cleansing using therapeutic herbs helps to re-establish balance in your vata dosha and lower intestine. An ayurvedic specialist will plan the right type of therapeutic enema for you.
Shirodhara is an excellent treatment for insomnia and related stress, and anxiety as it profoundly relaxes the nervous system. A stream of warm medicated oil is poured very slowly onto the centre of your forehead (the location of the ‘third eye’) for about 30-45 minutes, followed with a gentle scalp massage and reflexology treatment. The effect is amazing! Shirodhara is non-invasive and enables non-pharmacological management of insomnia. For best results, it is ideal to experience Shirodhara several days a week for about a month.
Shiroabhyanga (massage of the head) Therapeutic massage of the head helps to calm the nervous system. During the massage, we use medicinal oils tailored to your condition, which absorb well on the head, scalp and hair roots.
Padabhyanga (massage of the feet) Padhabyanga is soothing, revitalising and calming. It stimulates vital marma points, thereby providing balance for disturbances of the autonomic nervous system.
Abhyanga (body massage) Therapeutic massage of the whole body with medicated oil helps improve blood and lymphatic circulation through the body. It balances the body’s chakras, nadis (energy channels) and marma (energy centres) and can bring deep peace and happiness to body and mind.
Yoga and meditation Ayurveda suggests relaxing therapies such as yoga and meditation to support good sleep.
Management of insomnia at Vibrant Ayurveda
Ayurvedic management of insomnia at Vibrant Ayurveda begins with an initial assessment by an ayurvedic doctor to discern your primary dosha and any current imbalances. An experienced ayurvedic doctor will tailor your personalised detox therapies, herbs and dietary plans. If you or anybody you know is seeking management of insomnia, make an appointment today to meet our team of doctors at either our Brisbane or Gold Coast centre. We have a personalised ayurvedic approach to manage your imbalance and treat the underlying cause.