By Dr. Carrie Demers, MD
Ayurveda agrees with conventional practices for improving sleep hygiene, but adds some Vata-calming suggestions like:
- Oil your body daily, especially before bed
- Soak in warm tub
- Practice breathing and relaxation more often than just before bed
- Eat a whole foods diet that emphasizes warm /cooked food with plenty of protein and ample oil.
- Take herbs that calm and nourish the nervous system
Most health food stores carry natural sleep aids with nervines, herbs that nourish the brain and nervous system, which are mildly sedating, grounding and stabilizing. Gentle and non-toxic, these herbs usually take effect after 4-6 weeks of use.
Jatamamsi (Indian valerian)
Board-certified in internal medicine, Carrie Demers, MD, is the director of the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center.
Read the rest of Dr. Carrie’s article on insomnia, “A Good Night’s Sleep” in the spring 2012 issue of Yoga International.