According to a Lancet study, about 5.4 percent or about 28.8 million people aged 30-69 have a moderate or severe risk of sleep apnea, which is a prevalent one.
Inadequate sleep has been linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, a weakened immune system, and endocrine disorders. Studies have also shown a link between lack of sleep and premature aging, as well as an increase in chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and kidney disease.
Sleep experts warn that insomniacs should avoid relying on medication and instead consider lifestyle adjustments and addressing underlying conditions, such as depression, that may be the root cause of their sleeplessness. .
How to get enough sleep at night?
Incorporate healing and relaxation rituals to promote better sleep, which is where yoga and naturopathy can come in handy:
Quick and Light Dinner:
For optimal sleep, it is advised to have dinner at least two-three hours before bedtime and include easily digestible foods. Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime can reduce sleep quality and hinder digestion.
Research also suggests that having an early breakfast is beneficial, as late eating increases the risk of acid reflux and acidity. It is recommended to avoid or significantly limit alcohol consumption in the evening, as excessive consumption can cause significant sleep disturbance despite its initial calming effect.
Acupuncture is a technique in which a small needle is inserted through the skin at a specific point on the body. This process can help reduce stress, depression, and pain and is commonly used to treat insomnia.
Acupuncture is considered one of the safest methods for treating insomnia. In a small study conducted in 2017, researchers gave either traditional acupuncture or sham acupuncture (where the needles are not inserted deeply) to 72 individuals with primary insomnia. Participants received treatment three times a week for four weeks.
The results showed that acupuncture was more effective in improving insomnia symptoms, sleep efficiency, and total sleep time than during treatment. Sleep wakefulness and self-rated anxiety also improved significantly after two and four weeks of treatment.
Massage therapy is a well-known stress reduction technique that can help release the tension that has accumulated throughout the day. This therapy can improve blood circulation and reduce physical pain to a great extent, which can prevent individuals from getting a restful night’s sleep.
In addition, it can also unblock and release negative energy, which can contribute to overall discomfort. The calming effect of massage on the body and mind can make it easier for people to switch off and fall asleep. Massage, especially done late in the evening, can promote a good night’s sleep.
Yoga and meditation are powerful tools that can help address the underlying causes of sleep issues, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, without any negative side effects. These ancient practices serve as relaxation techniques, helping to calm the mind and soothe the body, leading individuals to a state of inner peace.
Practicing pranayama and meditation before sleeping can help in removing the root causes of sleep problems. In fact, one study reported that 55 percent of yoga practitioners experienced improved sleep, while more than 85 percent reported decreased stress levels. In addition, there are several studies that have demonstrated the positive effects of yoga on sleep for individuals from various backgrounds.
yoga asanas for good sleep
Here are some yoga poses for better sleep.
Child pose or Balasana:
Balasana, also known as Child’s pose, is a kneeling yoga pose that offers a variety of physical and mental benefits. This pose involves stretching the lower back while relaxing the entire body. To perform Child’s pose, begin in a kneeling position with your buttocks resting on your heels.
Exhaling, lower your body forward, extending your arms in front of you until your forehead rests comfortably on the mat. Keep your arms relaxed and alongside your body. You will feel the stretch in your shoulders, buttocks, spine and arms. This pose is a great way to release tension in the body and calm the mind.
Corpse pose or Shavasana:
Shavasana relaxes the nervous system, controls anxiety and stress and deeply relaxes our body and mind. To do this asana, lie down on your back and keep your eyes closed and do not allow any thoughts to enter your mind. Pay attention to your natural and spontaneous breath. Stay in this position for five minutes, allowing your body to completely relax and recharge.
Crocodile pose or Makarasana:
This is a deeply relaxing yoga pose that involves lying on your stomach with your arms crossed under your head. Rest your forehead on your wrists and allow your heels to turn outward, while relaxing and flopping your feet. Close your eyes and focus on releasing tension from your body as you take deep breaths.
Alternate Nasal Breathing or Anuloma Viloma:
Anulom Vilom has a balancing effect on the nervous system. It provides relief from mental stress, insomnia and high blood pressure. To do this, sit comfortably. Press the right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left nostril.
Hold the breath for some time and then press the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale through the right nostril. After exhaling, inhale through the same nostril and hold your breath for some time. Then exhale through the right nostril. Exhalation should be longer than inhalation. Practice ten rounds.
Humming Bee Breathing or Bhramari Pranayama:
It is a popular yogic breathing exercise known to have a calming effect on the mind and nervous system, making it an effective tool for stress relief and relaxation. The vibrations created by the humming sound stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. Bhramari pranayama is believed to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and depression.
simple diet changes for better sleep
The role of food and diet in maintaining a healthy daily routine cannot be overstated. It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet to ensure that your diet does not negatively impact your sleep or overall health. If you are struggling with insomnia, it is recommended to stop consuming alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, as these substances can disrupt your sleep cycle and harm your health.
Additionally, it is important to reduce sugar intake, as it can lead to energy bursts and uneven blood sugar levels. Instead, eat foods that promote restful sleep, such as carbohydrate snacks like whole grain crackers, which are rich in vitamin B6. Magnesium-rich foods, such as wheat bran, cashews, whole grains, almonds, legumes and seeds, are also recommended to aid in better sleep.
eat – meditate – sleep – repeat
It is important to continue practicing naturopathy and yoga techniques regularly to achieve better sleep and get relief from sleep disorders. It is important to maintain consistency in efforts, and within three months of regular practice, one can expect to see significant improvements in sleep quality, as well as daytime energy levels and overall performance.