Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Insomnia
Deciding to undergo ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for your insomnia may not have been easy. But by now you know, insomnia is much more than mere sleeplessness. It could be the reason behind your irritability, constipation, sleepiness at work, lack of enthusiasm and low energy. Difficulty in concentrating might have started reflecting poorly in your academics or career. If you have started using sleeping pills you may also be worried about your growing dependence on it.
Ayurveda has a very scientific and practical approach to insomnia. A complete course of ayurvedic treatment for insomnia with 3 to 4 weeks of inpatient stay at an ayurveda hospital in Kerala can restore healthy sleep and help you have a productive life.
What is insomnia?
If you have been finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or if you have been waking up in the middle of the night and staying awake for long, you are probably suffering from insomnia. This is different from not being able to sleep well occasionally, on difficult days. But if you have been having sleep problems off and on for some months and have been feeling depleted and exhausted most days, then it is chronic insomnia which has a serious impact on almost all aspects of your health and life. You may need medical attention.
What could be the reasons for insomnia?
Your insomnia could be due to an imbalance that happened as a result of another underlying disease like anxiety, stress, depression, hyperthyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory distress, indigestion, brain tumor, fibromyalgia, chronic pain etc. Some other factors like certain medications and wrong lifestyle habits such as too much coffee or alcohol or excessive use of digital screens could also cause imbalances in the body and the mind leading to insomnia. Identifying the underlying cause is an important step in ayurvedic treatment for insomnia because it lays the foundation for the treatment protocol.
What do we need for healthy sleep?
When we follow the right lifestyle and remain healthy, the three energies / doshas of the body (vata, pitta and kapha) and the three tendencies / gunas of the mind ( satwa, rajas and tamas) stay in balanced proportions and we sleep well. But when disease, wrong lifestyle or long-term bad habits cause an imbalance of these bodily doshas and mental gunas, sleep gets disturbed and may develop into insomnia. During your treatment at the ayurvedic centre in Kerala, you will learn more about how to support your body and mind to enjoy deep, undisturbed sleep every night.
How do chronic diseases and wrong habits cause insomnia?
Chronic diseases like thyroid disorders, stress, pain, long standing anxiety etc, hormonal changes during menopause, jobs involving work at nights, habits like drinking too much caffeinated beverages, taking alcohol, excessive use of digital screens etc. are some factors that disturb the balance of our body’s doshas and mind’s gunas. These are diseases and habits that deplete kapha dosha ( kapha supports sleep ) and aggravate vata dosha (vata supports activity). As a result, vata overpowers kapha and causes a sleepless, hyperarousal state. In the mind, it suppresses tamas (tamas induces rest and sleep) and increases rajas (rajas propels activity). Increased rajas overpowers the weakened tamas and manifests as restlessness, irritability and disorientation. All these imbalances in the body and mind result in a restless, sleepless state that we call by the name insomnia. Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala aims to correct these imbalances and restore balance in body and mind, thus enabling healthy, undisturbed sleep.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR INSOMNIA
When is the right time to undergo ayurvedic treatment for insomnia?
If you have been suffering from insomnia, then it is better to undergo ayurvedic treatment as early as you can. Insufficient sleep leaves you perplexed, disoriented and fatigued the next day. Over time, it can potentially cause altered blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, migraine and many other health issues. Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia is not about inducing sleep with sedatives. Your physician at the ayurvedic centre in Kerala will analyse the root cause behind your sleep disturbances and determine the right treatment to rectify the underlying cause and restore healthy sleep.
What are the different stages in the ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala?
Ayurveda treatment in Kerala for insomnia is done in a step by step manner:
Address the underlying cause of insomnia: Any known cause for insomnia such as chronic pain due to another disease, alcoholism, medications etc. should be shared with your treating physician prior to starting the treatment. This helps the physician identify the underlying cause and administer the treatment to address the condition.
Correct the imbalances in body and mind: Correcting imbalances in the doshas of the body and the gunas of the mind is very integral to insomnia treatment in Kerala. This is done mainly through detoxification using panchakarma treatments like virechana (therapeutic purgation), nasya (nasal instillation of medicines) etc. Nasya is done to clear the neural and hormonal pathways in the brain, reduce the heaviness of head caused by chronic insomnia and cleanse sense organs. It also calms the nerves and gives sound sleep.
Restore healthy sleep: Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala involves neuro modulation to correct sleep disturbances. Therapies like shirodhara which have therapeutic effects on the brain are used to optimise the functions of hypothalamus and regulate levels of neurotransmitter hormones like adrenaline and serotonin.
Optimise brain functions: Ayurvedic medicines like medhya rasayanas may be prescribed to rejuvenate the tired brain and optimise the functions of neurohormones, achieving tranquility and imparting deep relaxation. Unlike sleeping pills and sedatives, these medicines do not cause any drowsiness or drug dependency.
What are some therapies used in the ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for insomnia?
Apart from internal medicines, ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for insomnia uses specialized external therapies like shirodhara, shirovasti, shiro pichu, thalam etc.which are highly effective in restoring the normal sleep pattern. Full body massage either with oil (abhyanga) or with some medicated powders mixed in oil (utsadhanam), padabhyanga(foot massage with oil) etc. may also be advised by your physician. Among these, shirodhara with buttermilk (takradhara), cow’s milk, water or a medicated oil prescribed according to your condition is considered the best therapy for insomnia. It helps in normalising the levels of hormones like adrenaline, serotonin etc and optimises the functions of hypothalamus.
What are the treatment methods used in the ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala?
Apart from the pharmacological therapies mentioned above, psychotherapeutic counselling sessions as well as yoga and meditation sessions are part of ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala. These sessions help in normalising the activity of rajas and tamas and relax the mind.
How long does it take to complete a course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for insomnia?
The first part of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for insomnia usually requires 21 to 28 days of inpatient stay at an ayurvedic hospital in Kerala. This is followed by discharge medicines to be taken at home for about 3 to 6 months. In chronic cases of insomnia with psychiatric or serious psychological involvement, a follow up treatment may be advised in the next one or two years to ensure sustained benefits.
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala?
Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala gives excellent results in most cases. Insomnia of recent onset may be cured completely with a single course of ayurvedic treatment. Even in chronic cases of insomnia, ayurvedic treatment is often able to achieve astonishing results. In almost all cases of insomnia, ayurvedic treatment improves sleep duration and continuity. The effect of the treatment is long lasting. The results of ayurvedic treatment in an individual depend on their underlying cause of insomnia, age, overall health status etc. Besides, unlike the sleeping pills used by the western system of medicine, Kerala ayurvedic treatment does not cause harmful side effects and drug dependency.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
What is the role of diet in the ayurvedic treatment for insomnia?
Here are some general dietary guidelines for people with insomnia. However it is best to plan your dietary changes in consultation with your physician at the ayurveda centre in Kerala so that your body constitution, overall health status, presence of other disease conditions etc can be considered.
Finish your dinner at least 3 hours before your bedtime.
Have meals with complex carbohydrates - include whole grain cereals like brown rice, whole wheat, barley, unprocessed oats etc in your diet. Avoid spicy food.
If you do not have any milk intolerance, have a glass of warm milk half an hour before sleep, preferably with a pinch of turmeric powder. Tryptophan, an amino acid in milk, helps the body secrete melatonin, the hormone that maintains regular sleep cycles.
Completely avoid vata aggravating food like processed and canned foods and dried varieties of legumes and lentils (dals, dried beans, peas, bengal gram etc.) Fresh lentils and beans are absolutely fine.
Walnuts, almonds, seafood like tuna and salmon, poultry and turkey are rich in tryptophan which helps sound sleep, so include these in your diet.
Include a moderate amount of eggs and ghee in your diet to keep your kapha dosha balanced.
Reduce your caffeine intake by limiting tea, coffee, green tea, soft drinks etc. as these stimulate rajas and worsen conditions like hyperacidity and anxiety. If you cannot avoid it completely, stick to one small cup, preferably in the morning. In any case, don't have a stimulant late in the evening.
What is the role of lifestyle in the ayurvedic treatment for insomnia?
Even with the best ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala, you will need to design a healthy lifestyle to be able to continue to enjoy deep sleep. Here are some tips:
Nicotine disrupts sleep cycle. So no cigarettes, no alcohol
Exercise regularly, but do not exercise around bedtime.
Light of any kind and even dim light reduces the secretion of sleep hormone, melatonin. So make sure your room is dark while you sleep. (Learn more)
Blue light from screens of phones, tablets, computers and TV screens is the most sleep disruptive light - blue light makes it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep and reduces the number of hours of deep sleep that you get. Blue light may also damage retinal cells. So have a self imposed screen curfew at least from a couple of hours before your bedtime. (Learn more)
Keep your phone out of the bedroom. If you can't do that, keep it switched off or put it on airplane mode.
Follow the same sleep routine and timing everyday, including weekends.
Make sure your bedding and clothing are comfortable enough to allow you the right posture through the night and give you adequate temperature control.
Do not sleep during the day.
Practise yoga, meditation and pranayama.
Do not dwell on stress inducing thoughts.
Ayurvedic self oil massage and bath promote sleep; consult your ayurvedic physician and get the right oil recommendation for you.
Sound sleep is everyone's dream. But today we see that more and more people are having problems with their sleep thanks to anxiety disorders, the rise of chronic conditions like thyroid diseases, overuse of digital screens, dependence on caffeine to get through the day etc. Ayurveda understands sleep disorders to be a result of disturbances in the doshas of the body and the gunas of the mind. Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala therefore focuses on addressing the underlying cause of insomnia as well as restoring the balance of bodily doshas and mental gunas. Complete detoxification of the body, regulating levels of neurotransmitters as well as cleansing neural pathways are integral to ayurvedic treatment. Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia requires an initial three to four weeks of inpatient stay at an ayurveda hospital in Kerala followed by a course of medicines to be taken at home for a prescribed period. Treatment is found to be highly effective and successful - often the condition is cured forever and in most people, sleep improves significantly in quality and duration for the long term.
Does ayurvedic treatment in Kerala offer permanent cure for insomnia?
Yes, ayurvedic treatment for insomnia offers permanent cure to patients provided they do not fall back into the wrong lifestyle that caused their insomnia in the first place. Since insomnia is often the result of an underlying disease like anxiety disorder or thyroid imbalances, treatment results also depend on how well the underlying condition can be addressed. In most cases, ayurvedic treatment for insomnia is highly successful in improving the quality and duration of sleep.
Can I withdraw sleeping pills after taking ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for insomnia?
With the start of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala, you will be able to slowly reduce the dose of the pills and withdraw it completely by the end of the treatment period.
What is the recommended hours of sleep for children and adults?
The recommended sleep duration for school going children is not less than 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and for adults, it is not less than 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.
Can insomnia lead to complications if left untreated?
Yes. Chronic insomnia increases the risk of metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc. that could lead to life-threatening conditions like stroke.
Insomnia may sometimes be an indication of a more serious disorder like sleep apnea where your airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep leading to a pause in breathing and drop in oxygen levels. This condition could prove fatal if ignored. Poor sleep also increases the risk of road traffic accidents, substance abuse including abuse of sleep medications and even mental disorders like depression. Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia in Kerala treats the underlying cause and restores healthy sleep.