Insomnia: Causes And Treatment As Per Ayurveda

Article by Vd.A.Rangaprasad Bhat.
Insomnia is explained as Anidra in Ayurveda. It is a problem with low Kapha Dosha and high Vata Dosha. So, all factors leading to these two Dosha stages can cause or worsen insomnia. 


Causes for insomnia as per Ayurveda:
virekaH kaayashiraso:  – Having undergone the purgation and nasal errhine therapies of shodhana category opf pancha karma,
vamanaM – after undergoing Vamana karma,
raktamokShaNam – after undergoing blood letting therapy,
dhuumaH – persons who have undergone the inhalation of medicated fumes of shodhana procedure of Panchakarma,

kShuttRRiT – one who experiences excessive thirst and hunger,
tathaa harShaH – and in those who present with  eroticism,
shoka – or afflicted with depression,
maithunabhiikrudhaH – in persons who indulge in violent sexual activity,
chittotkaThaa – [due to above factors], the mind gets furious
asukhaa shayyaa –  and causes discomfort or difficult in procuring the sleep,
sattvaudaaryaM – [at which time the] satva gets liberated from its control over the mind
tamojayaH – and the tamas occupies the mind.

ruukShaannaM – More so when such persons indulge in foods of dry nature and
vaa’hitaaM – indulge in unwholesome foods,
nidraaM vaarayanti – the sleep gets further deprived,
anuSha~NgiNiim – and thus it becomes habit [of sleep deprivation].
eta eva cha nidraayaaH j~neyaa naashasya hetavaH – These are the causes for the disturbed sleep or insomnia..
kaalaH – the insomnia when becomes chronic and unaddressed becomes the cause for the following health conditions,
shuulaM [vRRiddhi:] – increase in the intensity of existent pain,
kShayo [vRRiddhi:]– increase in the depreciation of the body tissues causing emaciation,
vyaadhi: [vRRiddhi:] – increase in the severity of the existing disease,
anilapittayoH [vRRiddhi:] –  increase in the quantum of vAta and pitta doSha of the person habituated to insomnia.
Read related: 20 Simple Ayurveda Sleep Tips On How To Sleep Better

Ayurvedic treatment

Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia:
The management or treatment of insomnia is devised based on various factors involved in the aetio-pathogenesis of it.
Kaiyadeva explains about the food to be partaken, treatment to get done and the activities to be indulged with, to beget proper sleep in the following verses.
Read related: Ayurvedic Herbs To Improve Sleep: Chronological List

shiilayen mandanidrastu – In occasions of disturbed sleep follow [these],
kShiiramikShurasaM rasam –  intake of milk or sugarcane juice or meat soup
aanuupaudakamaaMsaanaaM – water and meat sourced from marshy land
bhakShyaan gauDikapaiShTikaan – sweet cakes [paiShTika] prepared from sugar molasses [gauDika],
shaalidhaanyaani – partake of varities of rice,
madyaani – fermented drinks,
kilaaTaan – inspissated milk,
maahiShaM dadhi
ambhu – intake of water,

aNga udvartana – rubbing or kneading the body in pratiloma [against the hair course] direction
snaana  – bathing,
muurdhashravaNatarpaNam –  shirobasti or karNa pooranam,
chakShuShastarpaNaM – netra tarpanam,
lepo _ shiraso vadanasya cha – application of herbal pastes over the head and face,
pravaate surabhau deshe sukhashayyaa yathochitaa – sleeping in comfortable position in a place getting exposed to breeze from a fragrant [surabhi]area [deshe],
kaantaa baahulata ashleSho nirvRRitiH  kRRit akRRit yataa –  embracing or not one’s beloved partner [kAntA] which ever pleases one’s mind,
manonukuulaa viShayaaH kaamaM nidraasukhapradaaH – indulging in activities pleasing to one’s mind induces an undisturbed sleep,

saMvaahanaM sparshasukhaM chittaj~nairanujiivibhiH – massaging of body provides comfort to the mind through the proprioception,
muShTibhirhananaM pathyaM karairvaa mardanaM sukham – stroking [hanana] with the muShTibhi: [closed fists] is befittingly wholesome to the body and so is kneading of the muscles [mardanaM], both of which provides comfort,
saMvaahanaM maaMsaraktatvakprasaadakaraM param –  massaging the body aids the well being of the muscles along its associated blood supply and skin,
priitinidraakaraM – promotes sleep,
vRRiShya – increases the virility,
kaphavaata  shramaapaham – and mitigates the tiredness by controlling the kapha and vAta doShas.
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