If you have come across the recent spate of news stories about the terrible effects of long-term sleep deprivation and are worried about you yourself missing out on the recommended 7 to 8 daily hours of shut-eye, there is some re-assurance coming your way from India’s traditional healthcare wisdom. The broad area of study called ‘anidra’ in Ayurveda deals with sleep-deprivation and related conditions, and it offers some time-tested solutions.
A recent case study published in AyuHom, the research journal of North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Homeopathy, Shillong has brought out new evidence in support of Ayurveda’s efficacy in resolving anidra- related issues. The case study is authored by Gopesh Mangal, Associate Professor & Head, PG Department of Panchkarma, National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur along with Nidhi Gupta and Pravesh Srivastava, both PG Scholars in the PG Department of Panchkarma at the NIA.
Medical Science has linked inadequate sleep to a number of health problems ranging from obesity to lowering of immunity. Ayurveda also considers nidra or sleep as extremely significant to health. It is, in fact, described as one among the trayoupastambha or the three supportive pillars of life. Ayurveda also considers nidra as one of the essential dimensions for happiness and good life. Nidra leads to a relaxed mental state. Anidra can be clinically corelated with Insomnia which is a common sleep problem worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO), health is a state of complete physical, mental or social well being and not merely the absence of disease, and sleep is one its essential pre-requisites. In the present times of erratic lifestyles, stress and other unpredictable environmental factors, quality of sleep has deteriorated for a large number of people. According to the estimates of the National Sleep Foundation of America, 1/3rd of people the world over suffer from sleep disorders.
Against this backdrop, the potential of traditional Panchkarma therapy of Ayurveda to resolve the problems of anidra cannot be over-emphasised. Returning to the case study, its results provide evidence to the effectiveness of the Ayurveda.
The study report states that the Ayurveda treatment led to a remarkable improvement in the patient’s condition in terms of sleep. The study included thorough examination and assessment grading before and after treatment of all the symptoms which were selected for assessment. This included Yawning, Drowsiness, Fatigue, Quality of Sleep etc., and improvements were noticed in all the parameters.
The case study, thus, puts forward another instance of Shirodhara with Ashwagandha Taila accompanied by Shamana Chikitsa playing a beneficial role in the management of anidra.