Insomnia due to anxiety and stress
Prana Vata is a sub-dosha of Vata (air). It is linked to insomnia, anxiety, and conditions such as depression. As Prana Vata makes the nervous system sensitive, a sensitive nervous system coupled with an aggravated Prana Vata leads to insomnia.
Try: Washing your legs with warm water and massaging your feet with butter, and making a paste of milk and butter and apply that paste over your bregma (crown of head) and feet
Insomnia due to lack of proper nutrition
Tarpak Kapha is a sub-dosha of Kapha (water and the energy that forms the body’s structure), which nourishes the brain cells and facilitates a good night’s sleep. Imbalance of this dosha causes poor nourishment of brain cells, leading to insomnia. This happens to those who are deprived by circumstances and sometimes, to food faddism.
Try: Taking carbohydrate- and fat-rich foods at night before 8pm, and drink fat-rich milk with nutmeg and jaggery or sugar before bedtime.
Beating Jet Lag
As opposed to being a pathological condition, jetlag is also a physiological condition that affect our quality of sleep. It occurs due to alterations in our biological clock when we travel to different time zones and can last from a few hours to 9-10 days, depending on the time zone difference with our own Circadian Rhythm – how our body works in the 24-hour cycle. It is usually influenced by other factors such as light, diet, sleep, and exercise patterns, all of which impact the hormonal mechanism, especially cortisol- melatonin production. Not only is melatonin responsible for facilitating sleep, but it also serves as an antioxidant, removing free radicals from the brain and repairing nerve tissues.
When the Circadian Rhythm is disturbed by our travels to different time zones, it affects hormone production and normal bodily functions such as sleep. In the long term, regular and continuous disruptions can adversely impact hormone production, causing an upsurge of cortisol production and less of melatonin. An increase in cortisol production can lead to hyperactivity and hypertension, while reduced melatonin and the consequent sleep irregularity can lead to decreased levels of thyroid and growth hormones, as well as increased possibility of diabetes by 44%, heart disease by 45%, cancer by 6% and even early deaths by 15%.
Try: Avoiding alcohol and coffee during the journey, sunbathing after the journey, avoiding meals heavy in carbohydrates or sugar, and taking breaks between long travels