Ayurveda for Insomnia - Treating Sleeplessness

Shivani K ·
Ayurveda for Insomnia - Treating Sleeplessness

Treatment for insomnia in Ayurveda

You! Yes, you, who has been tossing and turning, scrolling through social media or worse - clicking the next episode tab on Netflix. We are not superhuman, our bodies really do require sleep. You might have mastered the art of bouncing back from sleepless nights, but it could have a chain reaction on your immunity, heart health and cognitive function in the long run. Does getting elusive sleep seem like a pipe dream to you? You can rely on Ayurvedic wisdom for your night owl behaviour. The ancient text - Ashtanga Hrydayam says “Happiness, unhappiness, nourishment and emaciation, strength and debility, sexual prowess and impotence, knowledge and ignorance, life and death all depend on sleep.”

According to Ayurveda, sleep or Nidra is one of the pillars of health along with Ahara (food) and Brahmacharya (energy management). If you are wounded with thought, unable to fall asleep, Ayurveda for insomnia has shown promising results. These potent herbs and rejuvenating treatments are much safer than popping prescription pills.


The wondrous universe of Ayurveda recommends this marvellous therapy for better sleep. Shirodhara is a powerful and effective Ayurvedic therapy that restores and tranquillizes the mind. The insomniac lies down on warm bedding, eyes closed. A careful blend of herbs are made into oil and a steady thin stream is poured directly on the forehead. It is usually administered as a Panchakarma detox process, but it works wells as a stand-alone too. Shirodhara is performed to relieve anxiety, purify the mind, expand awareness and reduce awareness  (1).

Abhyanga for sleeplessness

Coating yourself in oil is compared to coating yourself in love in Ayurvedic scriptures. The healing properties of oils are enhanced after a warm bath. Ayurvedic Abhyanga oil massage is one such remedy that calms your Vatta. This self-care ritual before bedtime involves massaging in a circular motion from the crown of your head to toe. Kadiliphaladi oil, Karpuradi oil and Balahatadi oil are some effective oils recommended by experts to relieve insomnia (2).

Panchakarma or Detoxification

Ayurveda places huge importance on bringing normalcy in Dosha, Dattu, Agni, and Malakriya. Panchakarma has shown remarkable improvements in sleep according to the journal of the northeastern Institute of Ayurveda. Panchakarma is a method of removing the toxins of the body through lubrication. It is both a preventive and curative treatment for not only sleep but for stress, anxiety, depression, digestion and tissue regeneration. The 5 karmas are

  • Vasti - Medicated enema
  • Shirodhara - Oil pouring
  • Shiroabhayanga - Head massage
  • Padaabhyanga - Feet massage
  • Abhayanga - Body massage

4. Nasya- Balancing Doshas

Nasya is a Sanskrit term that refers to applying medication through the nasal cavity. Nasya reverses the cycle that is caused by your Vata fuelled brain. The nasal passages are cleared by the insertion of healing oils. If your insomnia is the cause of underlying congestion, this technique not only enables you to breathe better but also has a direct calming effect on your nervous system. Individuals who have undergone the treatment have witnessed its benefits in tension relief, stress build-up and mental clarity (3).

Herbs and Herbal Medicines

Restore your natural sleep cycle with the power of the green world. It is possible to re-establish your body’s balance through herbal combinations of Brahmi, Shankapushpi, Vacha, Sarpagandha, Jatamansi and Ashwagandha. These Ayurvedic herbs can help to fix your wee hours sleeping routines or short-term insomnia (4). These ancient herbal remedies have been time tested for centuries-long and have been deemed safe by individuals undergoing herbal treatments. Herbal sedatives have been shown to give results on the hyperactive brain or as Ayurveda calls it ‘ The Vata mind.‘

Ayurvedic treatments take into consideration your doshas, diet, fitness and lifestyle. These remedies might only work when the rest of the areas are perfected too. It goes beyond the pill for every disease approach and focuses more on bringing in holistic harmony.

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