Insomnia is generally associated with dry Vata constitution. When fluids are depleted, the heart, which houses the mind in Chinese Medicine, becomes deficient and beats rapidly. It can no longer ground the mind and thus the mind "wanders homeless at night".
Among the many reasons people report insomnia include racing thoughts, waking up to go to the bathroom, depleted electrolytes, digestive disturbance, and pain. Are there any physical sensations accompanying night time restlessness? The location and nature of these physical sensations will tell you which organs are disturbing your slumber.
Trying to fall asleep makes your nervous system hypersensitive to stimuli. Praying for others can help redirect your mind towards others, which calms the psyche. Repetitive type prayer also helps relax the mind. Avoid empty bowl meditation or other practices which lift your attention to the mind.
When you have insomnia, stay in bed. Do not watch TV, use the computer, or do other mentally stimulating or eye straining activities like reading. Keep the lights off. Gentle stretching is okay.
After a night of poor sleep, sunbathe for at least ten minutes to restore liver strength. Soothe prana vayu with aromatic herbs like cumin, coriander, and fennel tea. Massage your digestive tract and eat easy to digest foods only. Apple sauce will gently cleanse as well as strengthen your liver. Take a nap in the afternoon during kidney time (3pm-5pm).
Avoid activities an hour before sleep, especially those that engage the eyes such as reading or watching TV. Try to go to be before 10pm. After 10pm our energy ramps up for nightly organ cleansing and repair activities. This 'second wind' last until 2am. If we are awake during that time, the brain steals the energy and our organs lose their chance to repair.
Do you have trouble falling asleep?
What wakes you up? heart racing, mind ruminating, restless leg, night-time urination, indigestion, noise, pets, children, etc.?
Do you feel too exhausted, frustrated, anxious, irritated to fall asleep?
When you wake up can you feel your pulse more strongly in the abdomen, chest, head or anywhere else in your body?
Are you in pain anywhere in the body?
Do you have a regular meal and bed time schedule/routine?
What are your stress levels?
Do you get cold or hot easily? Neither?
Do you often have indigestion, gas, or bloating at night?
You can't control when you fall asleep but you can control when you go to bed. Here are some other tips when you can't fall asleep:
Avoid using eyes. Make tiny, relaxing circles with the eyes to relax them.
Pull down butt cheeks. This brings the contact point with the mattress to the upper sacrum instead of tip of the tail-bone.
Pray for others redirects the focus away from your body and the concerns of the day. Also, a person needs lees sleep when focused on spiritual growth.
Create loving, tender thoughts for whatever wakes you up.
Repetitive prayers calm the mind and bring on a meditative state.
Exercise during the day helps.
What to do after a long night of insomnia:
Oil the skin (Abhyanga)
Sit in the sunlight for ten minutes. This helps the liver.
Eat easy to digest food only such as soups.
Include ingredients with beta-carotene such as carrots to help the liver.
Cilantro Juice / Amalaki
Establish a routine time for going to bed. Routine is required for stability.
Touch the toes then reach for the sky. Then gentle twisting poses in the chair to reset the circulatory system.
While meditation wakes up the mind, alternate nostril breathing can clear and relax the mind.
1/4tsp of salt in warm water or a magnesium supplement before bed encourages sleep. 5-10 drops of Bhringaraj Oil on the top of the head helps soothe the mind before sleep. A warm glass of milk with a 1/8tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp Ashwagandha and 1/4tsp Dashamoola will encourage sleep. If milk is too difficult to digest, try almond milk instead.
Augment your diet with these specially chosen ingredients below which may be useful for 'Insomnia'.
Individual results vary depending the cause of your imbalance and by constitution.
Please research the ingredients below to find which are most helpful for you, and check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care.
Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'INSOMNIA'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
According to Ayurveda, one or more of the following
and biocharacteristics may aggravate 'Insomnia'.
If you have an excess of one of these doshas or biocharacteristics below, Ayurveda recommends reducing foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate them.
Click on the biocharacteristic to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be reduced.
Symptoms Tell A Story
The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms.
Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances.
Symptoms show you where your body is weakened.
Ultimately, all disease has a root in tissues too weak to defend itself.
Ayurveda describes these patterns of weakness using doshas & biocharacteristics.
If you notice a biocharacteristic or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms,
it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTS
Everything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using biocharacteristics (gunas).
Biocharacteristics are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body.
Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism.
Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism.
For 'Insomnia', you should select foods with the following biocharacteristics.
Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
FOODS TO FAVOR
CONDITION IN YOUR BODY
ABOUT HEAVY BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Heavy is identified by sedation, sluggishness, or increased weight.
Literally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
An herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias. Generally, liver tonics are oily, cool, sweet, mildly sour, or has beta-carotene.
INSOMNIA IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE 2 - AFFECTING BLOOD & EMOTIONS
Affecting Blood: Initially, imbalances are localized, often in the digestive tract.
As an imbalance grows, it starts to affect your body systemically, via the blood.
If you have symptoms in this category it means that your imbalances are starting to spread,
have entered the bloodstream, and are now systemic.
Pay particular attention to the biocharacteristics, tastes, and doshas out of balance systemically,
so you know how to strengthen your body as a whole, and reduce physical stress on your organs.
At this stage of imbalance you will begin to experience generalized discomfort, imbalanced emotions,
and may develop sensitivities to temperature.
It may take several weeks of strict adherence to a specific remedial diet to clear blood level imbalances.
Blood cleansing herbs may reduce symptoms.
A several day cleanse may shorten the recovery time.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITS
The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Insomnia'.
See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type.
Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
Biocharacteristics of the 13,627 People Reporting Insomnia
On average the biocharacteristics
of people reporting Insomnia were less aggravated than 53% of other symptoms.
From the 13,627 people who reported Insomnia in this research study of 74,671 individuals,
average deviation in biocharacteristic levels were the following:
Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic,
systemic approach, instead of focusing only on the disorder in question. Ayurveda
shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them
using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't
take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you.
Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an
exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?
Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type,
which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths).
It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders.
Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder.
It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of biocharaceristics (gunas).
For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc.
This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalanced biocharacteristics.
By eating an optimal diet that balances your biocharacteristics, your whole body is strengthened
and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease
are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies -
such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance
To get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body
type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so
by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.