Sleep deprivation : Causes, symptoms and home remedies for sleep

        Most of the people nowadays are sleep deprived; in some cases it becomes obvious with dark circles around their eyes or having baggy and puffy eyes. Lack of concentration at work, getting irritated at the slightest reaction etc. are also signs of sleeplessness. In case, this lasts long, people fall prey to various disorders. Let us try to understand the reasons for sleep deprivation, its effect on us and the home remedies for sleep according to Ayurveda.

Sleep deprivation

1. Causes for Sleep deprivation

  1. When the body has an injury or pain

  2. Dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhoea etc.

  3. Cramps in the calves due to excessive exercise or strenuous work

  4. If for some reason, there is an increase in vāta (gases) or pitta (acidity)in the body

  5. Harmful effects of medicines: Undertaking procedures like virēchan (purging) or vaman (vomiting) or putting strong doses of medicines in the nose

  6. Fasting (To feel hungry)

  7. Due to mosquitoes, ants, bedbugs etc.

  8. Uncomfortable bed

  9. Sleeping in a constricted or odd posture

  10. Excessive smoking

  11. Pricking of conscience due to non-completion of some task

  12. When some urgent or important tasks are incomplete

  13. Sorrow, anger and fear

  14. Premonition about an impending crisis

  15. After harassing or cheating someone

  16. Excessive blood loss

        When an individual is unable to sleep due to the above reasons, he becomes uneasy and starts taking medications for getting sleep.

        When Sattva component evolves, Tama component becomes negligible and nominal sleep is sufficient.

2. Symptoms of Sleep deprivation

  1. Yawning and laziness

  2. Headache, heaviness of the eyes and body

  3. Indigestion or dyspepsia

  4. Inability to concentrate on reading

  5. Feeling exhausted with slightest exertion

  6. Increase of vāta and pitta in the body, bodyache

  7. Experiencing illusions and lethargy

  8. Disorders arising from increase in vāta

3. Home remedies for Sleep deprivation

  1. Massage the head, face and backbone with oil.

  2. Put a few drops of oil in the ears.

  3. Apply sandalwood paste to the forehead

  4. Massage and press the body.

  5. An individual with a pitta constitution (As per Ayurveda)Note 1 should bathe with cold water and one with a kapha (cough) or vāta constitution should bathe with hot water.

  6. Diet – Sweets, ghee (clarified butter), buffalo milk, grapes, sugarcane juice, pomegranate juice, curd rice help in getting good sleep.

  7. Sleep on a clean and soft bed.

  8. Sleep in a peaceful and assuaging environment, with minimal sound and lighting.

  9. Medication – Powder of mahālung (Citron fruit) powder mixed with honey.

  10. Instead of watching stimulating programs on the television at night, listen to soft melodious devotional songs.

  11. Sleep in East-west direction with the head towards the east and not in a bent position in any other direction.
  12. Aviod sleeping with the feet towards the south or in the north-south direction.
  13. Avoid sleeping with our ankles crossed.
  14. Sleep on the left or right side. It activates the chandranadi or suryanadi respectively and keeps the chetana in the cells in an awakened state, thereby protecting the body from negative energies. Sleeping on left side increase in the prana-shakti (Vital energy) in the individual’s body.

Note 1: vāta, pitta, kapha – These 3 doshas in Ayurvedic practice have particular qualities or attributes which characterize their effects on the human body

Reference: Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text ‘How to sleep peacefully ?