People suffering from insomnia know what it is like, to spend endless nights with little or no sleep. Apart from feeling tired and cranky through the day, with little or no energy left, insomnia also brings in series of ailments disrupting the entire body system. Alternative healing offers several remedies, with little or no side effects, for sleep deprived people. These techniques may not have an immediate impact, but will surely improve the condition in a matter of time.
Yoga is one of the best tried and tested alternative remedies for insomnia. Here are few yoga techniques that specifically help in achieving better quality of sleep.
Kriya Yoga: Kriya Yoga, a form of meditation, is an effective remedy for stress-induced insomnia. Apart from getting rid of any obstructions involving mind and body, this form of meditation brings in calmness and controls mind and body. According to research, patients with insomnia reported improvement in quality of sleep, total sleep time, sleep latency, total wake time, sleep efficiency, and other such parameters when practicing this form of meditation.
The Spinal Roll: The exercise, also called â€˜rocking exerciseâ€™, strengthens the vertebrae, keeping it youthful and flexible. It is helpful for people suffering from insomnia, and also helps in awakening from a state of drowsiness that insomniacs face when waking up every morning. After several practice sessions, this technique can also be combined with deep breathing exercises for more benefit.
Yoga Nidra: Also known as the â€˜sleep of the yogisâ€™, Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice of consciously relaxing the body, allowing it to remove stress and relax completely. Apart from helping in complete relaxation, it regulates the breathing process, as it restores balance in the bodyâ€™s energy centers and brings in harmony.
Few other simple stretches done on daily basis, such as Standing Stretches, Whole Body Stretches, Gentle Swings, can all help ensure that a moment invested on yoga is, after-all, that much less time taken for falling asleep.
Other alternative remedies for insomnia:
Herbs: Lavender, Neroli, chamomile, valerian, are some of the essential oils or herbs that can be massaged or burnt in diffusers, or served as tea, as they are known to promote tranquility, thereby reducing stress levels.
A cup of chamomile tea, in particular, is recommended an hour before bed time, as it is a wonderful tranquilizer for stress and anxiety induced insomnia.
The valerian is an herb commonly used to treat stress and insomnia, and can be consumed as capsules or as tea.
A few drops of lavender oil can be added to the pillow at bedtime, as itâ€™s calming and pleasantness will render a relaxing effect.
Flowers and Seeds: The celery seeds have medicinal value and can be used as a relaxant or tincture. They are used in treating insomnia, anxiety and nervousness and contain Vitamin A, B, and C. They are available in the form of fresh or dried seeds, capsules, oils and extracts.
All parts of the Passion Flower plant bear medicinal value, as the narcotic properties of the flower help in relieving stress and inducing sleep. It can be used as tea, or in the capsule form or in combination with other herbs.
Healing Crystals: If well-cleansed and energized, they can be placed by the bedside or under the pillow. These ideal soothing stones, including amethyst, agate, blue lace, chrysopase and green tourmaline, help in relieving anxiety, improving relaxation.
Healing Colours: Choose soothing pastel shades for bed linen and walls, as they bring in relaxation to the mind. Such colours, including pink, green, mauve, peach, light green and sky blue are colours that resonate at a higher level, bringing in energies into balance.
Acupunture: Acupuncture has been traditionally used by Chinese practitioners in treating insomnia. The procedure involves planting of needles on the skin at specific acupuncture points. This is considered a good method to cure insomnia.
Other relaxation techniques: Meditation is a simple, but effective technique in curing insomnia. It is an age-old way of calming the mind, relaxing the body, and allowing it to unwind, thereby helping with a better nightâ€™s rest after a stressful day.
A minimum of 45minutes of physical exercise in a day is a must. It could be walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics or sports that you are comfortable with.
Try to maintain the regular sleep pattern, adhering to a regular sleep and wake up time, listening to soft music, reading an interesting book, cutting back on caffeine, just before bed time, are other tips to be taken care of.
Note: All the yoga techniques are best done with an experienced practitioner, after consultation with a physician for specific ailments if any. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before trying out any of the said remedies.