Sleep Better, Live Healthier
It's as simple as closing your eyes.
Or is it?
Getting a good night's sleep seems to have become a distant dream for millions across America.
Eye-opening sleep statistics
- 70 million: number of Americans who suffer sleep-related disorders.
- 18 million: number of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which the windpipe collapses while a person is sleeping. This blocks the air passages and causes the person to wake up repeatedly during the night.
- 12 million: number of Americans affected by the restless leg syndrome, in which a constantly twitching leg deprives a person of sleep. Altogether, Americans today are reported to be sleeping about 90 minutes less than people did a century ago on an average, according to a recent report in Time magazine.
The reasons why
- Too much caffeine
- Insufficient exercise
- Irregular hours
- A new baby in the family
- An uncomfortable bed
- Tension at work or at home
- Noise pollution
One, some, or all of these factors are everyday realities of life today. There's really no getting away from them. But yes, we can counter them effectively without relying on addictive drugs and tranquilizers.
Evaluate your sleep quotient:* Do you have trouble falling asleep?
- Do you often wake up during the night?
- Do you snore?
- Are you a restless toss-and-turn kind of sleeper?
- Do you often feel sleepy during the day?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to take some positive steps toward the sleep of your dreams.
If you have been a chronic late-sleeper for years, or suffered disturbed sleep for a long time, don't expect your problems to melt away with the first positive step you take. Worrying about lack of sleep is in itself a robber of restfulness! For example, there are people who suffer from "Sunday Insomnia" — a condition when you lie awake Sunday night, worrying that you won't be able to sleep enough to start the Monday fresh!!
So, start small. Begin with three easy changes:
- Cut down on caffeine, especially in the afternoon. The effects of caffeine, as is only too well known, are anti-sleep.
- Eat a light dinner. This will keep your digestive system happy, and with good digestion comes good sleep.
- Invite sleep into your eyes by creating a restful environment. Avoid sense-stimulating activities like watching television, reading a book, or working on an office file. Just lie back and relax. Ideally, being in bed by 10:00 p.m. is a great, sleep-promoting habit to cultivate.
See a Vaidya
An ayurvedic physician will study your pulse and determine which specific imbalances are causing your sleep disorders. Based on his conclusions, the vaidya can recommend herb blends to help restore overall balance, and with it, your ability to sleep well.
Maharishi Ayurveda has in its treasury of herbal healers some wonderful sleep formulations. Blissful Sleep and Deep Rest herbal tablets promote deep and restful sleep. The ingredients in these tablets are time-tested healers — Indian Valerian and Muskroot (Jatamansi) are renowned in ayurveda as natural sleep aids, and Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha) helps balance the mind and emotions.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.