AyuKarma Ayurveda

Insomnia

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it tough for you to sleep well or may cause you to wake up early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel fatigued when you wake up. Insomnia does not only absorbs your energy level and mood but impact your physical health as well. It affects your quality of life, your personal and professional duties.

Although how much sleep one needs depends on person to person, most adults need seven to eight hours a night to feel rejuvenated.

The condition can be short-term (acute) or can last long (chronic). Usually, acute insomnia lasts from one night to a few days, while chronic insomnia happens at least three nights a week for up to 3 months or even more.

In a few cases, insomnia is a result of some other medical conditions or medications, like diabetes, hypertension, and weight gain.

Initially, sleepless nights can still be managed with changes in daily habits or lifestyle changes. However, for an insomnia disorder, where your sleep is affected heavily, you may need treatment.

Types of Insomnia

There are two types of insomnia- primary and secondary.

  • Primary Insomnia: This means your sleep issues are not a result of other health conditions or problems.
  • Secondary Insomnia: This means insomnia is a result of some ongoing medical conditions, such as stress, depression, kidney problem, arthritis, cancer, asthma, etc. Medications or pain or substance abuse can also make you prone to insomnia.

The other types of insomnia include:

  • Sleep-onset insomnia: This means you have trouble feeling asleep.
  • Sleep-maintenance insomnia: This means you have trouble having a sound sleep as you wake up more often throughout the night.
  • Mixed insomnia: With this type of insomnia, you may not fall asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
  • Paradoxical insomnia: Paradoxical insomnia is when you underestimate the time you are asleep. It means you sleep a lot less than your usual sleep.

Causes

Insomnia can be a result of medical or nonmedical conditions, including:

Primary causes of insomnia include:

  • Stress: Stress related to events like job loss, divorce, changes in your home, death of a loved one.
  • Things that can disturb your sleep include noise, light, or temperature
  • Research has agreed to the fact that insomnia may run in families.
  • Changes to your sleep due to jet lag, bad habits you adopted, a new shift at work, etc

Secondary causes of insomnia include:

  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
  • Medications for colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma
  • Pain or discomfort at night
  • Caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol use
  • Hyperthyroidism and other endocrine problems
  • PMS and menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental health disorder that affects brain activity and brain development
  • Other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome

Risk Factors

Your risk of insomnia is greater if:

  • You're a woman. Changes in the hormones during the menstrual cycle and menopause can play a role. During menopause, hot flashes often disrupt sleep.
  • You're over age 60. Because of changes in sleep, insomnia is quite common as one ages.
  • You don't have a fixed schedule. For example, changing shifts at work can disrupt the sleep and wake cycle.

Ayurvedic treatment for Insomnia

As per Ayurveda, changes in lifestyle and diet can affect the Vata in the body that travels through the channels of the head, causing sleeplessness. Vata is aggravated when your intake of stimulants like tea and coffee is more, especially when you sip them before going to bed. Other causes include the intake of dry and cold food, beans, peas, rice, cauliflower, broccoli, and smoked foods.

Ayurveda places special attention on emotions in the healthy perception of the body. So your emotions like worries, anger, stress, overexcitement, and illness can also affect your sleep cycle.

So the focus of ayurvedic treatment is to pacify the aggravated doshas to restore health. Also, when your mind is stressed, you are not able to sleep well. When you begin your ayurvedic treatment, most of the problems related to the sleep subside, and your normal sleep cycle returns.

AyuKarma also suggests patient consuming a diet based on your body type. In Ayurveda, this is called an ayurvedic diet or Satvik diet. One should consume the ingredients that do not possess any metallic extrusion rather are organically cultivated.

Apart from this, one should avoid anything that may stress your mind, including cardio in the latter part of the evening. Instead, do activities like yoga and stretching to relax the imbalanced doshas.

If you need help on ayurvedic treatment for influenza, let us know.

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