Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
Insomnia is a symptom that causes many complications in the physical, mental and emotional quality of a person. When the body is severely attacked by chronic insomnia, the digestive system goes awry, and the liver is often in very poor condition.
The nervous system is progressively destabilized, the person experiences exhaustion and wear, which affects their daily work. A vicious circle: the fatigue and inefficiency that results in the anguish of not finding restful sleep, which in turn leads to increasing difficulty falling asleep.
The Main Cause
Insomnia is mainly due to anxiety. The symptoms appear when the person concerned about something or another in their daily lives. A hormonal imbalance, adrenal glands, in particular, may be the triggering factor. But many other reasons can trigger the phenomenon, emotional shock, stress, change of social status or family, depression or high blood pressure.
The Importance of Sleep
On a physiological level, sleep allows the body to go through the process of decarbonization, characterized by a minimum consumption of oxygen.
In the brain, waves, or frequencies, undergo major changes – these are the delta waves, the theta, the alpha and the beta. To attain natural sleep quality, it is necessary to lower the high frequencies of the brain, which are dominant when we turn our attention to the outside world (beta waves).
The other extreme are the delta waves, characteristic of REM sleep, or the stage of deep sleep. Between these two extremes, a shift occurs from beta waves to alpha and theta waves, depending on the level reached in mental calmness, relaxation and internalization.
On the mental plane, sleep acts as a valve allowing the subconscious to express itself through dreams, beyond the barriers imposed by the conscious personality.
On the spiritual level, sleep is not a passive state, and during deep sleep, the individual becomes very active in the sphere of the unconscious, and is very close to his inner being. Why does sleep give so much energy, so much happiness? The explanation is that there remains a slight veiling between you and your inner self during the phase of deep sleep.”
Sleeping and Waking
People with insomnia often think that simply entering their beds will induce sleep as soon as possible. They forget that sleep is not directed by an order of the physical body, but a mental condition. In short, it is not enough to just go to bed to sleep, especially after a long history of nights disturbed by insomnia.
The problem of sleep must be addressed more comprehensively, and the lifestyle must be changed so that the person calms down and finds a more natural life process. In this context, the number of hours of sleep, bedtime and waking and their quality is extremely important.
The momentum of the morning newspaper is an asset that we must try to find, because the biological rhythm of man depends on the cycle of the sun. Even if last night’s sleep was absent, or of poor quality, the situation can improve by first dragging oneself out of bed on time in the morning. We must try to do things in this dynamic and rewarding time, to address the day with optimism.
Going to bed should be done fairly early (before midnight, is imperative). It is far better to go to bed hungry, since the presence of food in the stomach creates fermentations that disturb sleep. The time interval between dinner and bedtime should be three hours for people on a vegetarian diet and five hours for non-vegetarians.
The number of hours of sleep varies by age, temperament and activity. A person employed in manual labor should have longer sleep periods than someone with an intellectual activity; a child or young person also sleeps much longer than an adult.
The best sleeping position to adopt is to lie on the left side, allowing the heart to work a minimum.
The goal is to energize the body without introducing tension and effort, favoring certain movements to deeper breathing and steady.
Hasta Uttanasana: Yoga that Helps Breathing
- Stand up, feet together, arms dangling. Cross your wrists in front of the abdomen.
- Inhale deeply, raising your arms and stretching them above and beyond your head.
- Slightly bend your neck back and hold your breath a few moments.
- Exhale with open arms at your sides until shoulder height.
- Inhale. Cross your wrists again over the head.
- Hold the breath a few seconds.
- Exhale slowly, lowering your arms forward to regain the starting position.
- Do this exercise ten times.
- During the movement, feel the air go up a more lateral and open chest space.
- At the end, feel the air go out slowly and completely, as the thoracic space closes.
Utthita Lolasana: Eliminates Fatigue
- Stand up, feet apart. Inhale, raising your arms outstretched in front of your face and then over your head. Keep your wrists bent and your arms separated.
- At the end, nudge your bust forward and make sure that your arms, head and trunk sway several times in the space between the two legs.
- Release all tension and stress, keeping fluid flexibility in the movement.
- Make a “HA!” sound on each swing, to completely empty the lungs.
- After five swings, return to the starting position while breathing with your arms raised above your head. Do this exercise ten times.