Yoga Therapy for Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by repeated difficulty in falling and/or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia is when a person has disrupted sleep for at least three nights a week for a month or longer. It has been linked to medical conditions such as sinus allergies, hyperthyroidism, asthma and chronic pain. Psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress may also lead to insomnia.
Sedative-hypnotics, such as zolpidem and triazolam, are the commonly prescribed drugs for insomnia; they provide symptomatic relief when used alone
Samkhya Yoga View:
Insomnia is caused by an imbalance of the Wind and Space Elements. As per Samkhya Yoga view, there are two types of insomnia-the positive kind that happens as the body naturally starts demanding less sleep and the negative kind as the body is unable to get enough sleep.
Insomnia can be completely cured without medication by making appropriate lifestyle changes and doing the right type of exercise.
Yogic Lifestyle advice:
Hydration of the body is essential for good sleep cycles. Those with their circadian clocks more attuned to evening-ness should try to find work that allows them to stay up late and wake up late whereas the majority with the normal circadian rhythm must sleep early and wake up early. Caffeine intake is to be minimized. Meditation on light music or reading an uplifting book is recommended before sleeping. Soundproofing the bedroom to prevent external noise entering is recommended. Insomniacs must try to get at least 2 hours of natural sunlight everyday. The asanas of Earth and Water elements must be regularly performed. Insomniacs must commit themselves to at least 90 minutes of strenuous exercise everyday.
Asanas for disease reduction:
The Yogic techniques always start with the physical, in order to bring a state of homeostasis, which leads to symptom reduction. The following are a small selection of simple asanas that will begin the process of recovery from Insomnia.
This article was first published in DNA e-paper. AryaMarga Yoga holds the copyright for the content and pictures.