Sleep disorders , a group of conditions that disturb the ability to sleep well. It involves issues related to the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, which result in daytime distress and impairment in body functioning.
Importance of Sleep:
Sleep is important for both physical and mental health.
There are two types of sleep that generally occur in a pattern of three-to-five cycles per night:
Rapid eye movement (REM) – It is the time when most dreaming occurs
Non-REM – It has three phases, including the deepest sleep
How much sleep we need completely depends on age and from person to person. As per National Sleep Foundation it is critical for adults to tak seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night.
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP DISORDERS
- difficulty in sleep
- daytime fatigue and weakness
- unusual breathing patterns
- unusual movement or other experiences while asleep
- lack of concentration
- weight gain
There are 5 basic types of sleep disorders seen mostly-
- Insomnia- It refers to a condition in which a person is not able to sleep at night . It can be temporary due to jet lag or sometimes due to stress , anxiety, hormones, or digestive problems.
- Sleep apnea- Sleep apnea is a condition in which there is a pause during sleep. It can also cause you to wake up during the night.
- Parasomnias- It comes from a latin word which means “around sleep,” It is characterized by abnormal sleep behaviors or physiological events that occur with specific stages of abnormal movements during sleep. They include-
- sleep talking
- teeth grinding or jaw clenching
Sleep behaviors aren’t limited to these, though. Any number of potential behaviors can occur while you’re sleeping.
- Restless leg Syndrome ( RLS) – It is an immense need to move the legs. Sometimes it is accompanied by a tingling sensation in the legs. While these symptoms can occur during the day, they are most prevalent at night. It is a neurological movement disorder characterized by unpleasant feelings in the legs associated with a need to move. These sensations may include:
- Burning sensation
- Feeling of bugs crawling on the legs
- Narcolepsy- In this condition you suddenly feel extremely tired and fall asleep without warning. This can be profound and may lead to falling asleep in inappropriate situations, such as while working or driving a car.
According to Ayurveda, Insomnia is explained as Anidra. The management or treatment of insomnia in ayurveda comprises of –
1. Shiro dhara (Head Massage)
Shiro means head and Dhara means flow means pouring or applying stimulating oils like Bhringaraj Taila, Til Taila, Ksheerabala taila on the Shira (head) and pressing down on the scalp in gentle, circular motions remarkably soothes the mind. This boosts blood circulation to the central nervous system and helps overcome sleeplessness.
2. Abhyanga (Body Massage)- means oil massage
This reviving procedure involves a harmonizing full body massage with aromatic essential oils such as almond, rose, jasmine, lavender and sandalwood.
3-5 drops of Anu taila, cow ghee or sesame seed oil in the nostril helps to release stress and tension from the head and improves mental clarity.
4. Medhya Rasayana
A class of herbal medications, Medhya Rasayana literally translates to the rejuvenation of brain power and intellect.
Herbs such as-
- Ashwagandha- Ashwagandha is an adaptogen which contains an active compound known as triethylene glycol, which works wonders to induce sleep. Ashwagandha treats people with anxiety, stress and exhaustion.
- Brahmi- Brahmi or Bacopa is one such herb that supports a restful sleep, calms emotional turbulence and also helps improve concentration and alertness. Brahmi, in Ayurveda, is called a brain tonic. This herb that cools the body and mind may provide an effective tonic for pitta dosha.
- Shankhpushpi- Shankhpushpi is a herb that contains flavonoids, glycosides and alkaloids that help soothe your nervous system by bringing relief to mental fatigue. It acts as a natural tranquilizer for anxiety neurosis that further helps in sleeping better.
- Jatamansi- its a brain tonic and a memory enhancer, it also facilitates calmness and relaxation to a hyperactive mind. It helps in inducing sound sleep while rejuvenating and nourishing the nervous system.