Friday, September 3, 2010

An Interesting Article About Sleep and Ayurvedic Medicine

Below is an article about sleep from an email newsletter. I have been to this health clinic and find its procedures and natural products effective. Here are other articles from this website about sleep from the Maharishi Ayurvedic products website:
Tips on Sleep and Memory
By Mark Toomey,Ph.D., Medical Director, The Raj Maharishi Ayurveda Health Spa
It is said in Charaka, one of the ancient texts of Maharishi Ayurveda that, "proper sleep brings about happiness and longevity in human beings". In my practice at the Raj it is common to see many people who are concerned or unhappy that as they get older their memory is failing them.
Memory is important for human beings. It allows us to function successfully both as a tool for everyday life, for work and personal abilities. Even such little things as remembering where I put the car keys can be a source of frustration or bliss.
The most up to date research is suggesting that as we snooze away at night our brain is actually performing highly specific tasks that process what we have experienced during the day. Like a good secretary, it sorts our most recently formed memories, copies and makes them stable before filing them away for later retrieval.
Why is this important? Well try and be your brain for a minute and think of all the information you process in one day, both consciously and subconsciously. Scary isn't it?
A good night's sleep allows us to retrieve specific information, without having it mixed up or diluted with all the other millions of bits of information. Sleep allows our brains to be specific in the face of overwhelming diversity.
Certain memories can be pruned and others reinforced. Those that we need can have specific channels opened to this for easy recall. It's even possible that while we sleep there is a censor deciding on what's important and what's not. Recent evidence indicates that the brain is "very wise" as to what it actually wants to remember and what is not worth keeping.
This instrument is so refined as to process emotional tags that we have, to say, certain images and can either strengthen them or untie the knots that may bind us to them.
It will analyze our vast storehouse of memories, finding out which are related or not and letting others fade forever. What's even more remarkable is that sleep may even help us find meaning in the knowledge we acquire that day.
It is not just obvious but scientifically proven that a poor night's sleep, or even worse -- deliberate shortening of sleep -- dramatically affects our cognitive processes and our ability to have a good memory.
So if you want a good memory, then get good night's sleep.

Ten Easy Ways to Get Healthier Sleep

Here are ten tips from the Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians for blissful sleep:
  1. Eat three meals during the day - breakfast, lunch around noon and an early dinner.
  2. Do regular balanced exercise - modern research also confirms that moderate exercise can help improve sleep.
  3. Try to go to bed by 10 p.m., during the drowsy Kapha time of night, so that your mind can settle down faster.
  4. Eliminate or severely restrict the intake of stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing to bed - organic cotton is highly recommended
  6. Avoid hot, spicy foods at dinner.
  7. Do not bring work-related material into the bedroom.
  8. Keep your bedroom dark or very dimly lit.
  9. A gentle massage of hands, feet and neck before bed can aid relaxation.
  10. In bed, take long, deep, easy breaths, letting your mind and body relax.
A good night's sleep not only helps you stay alert the next day, but it can also keep you healthy in the long run.
Research conducted at the University of California at San Diego indicates that Blissful Sleep helps people fall asleep more quickly. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Vol. 11, 2003, pg. 223-225)
Maharishi Ayurveda herbal formulations are precise, authentic blends of different herbs, carefully selected to work together and create synergy and balance, so you get the benefits and no side effects. We employ the ancient and time-tested techniques of Ayurveda in their purity while at the same time using the rigor of modern science to validate the safety, cleanliness, and effectiveness of every product. These products work to restore balance in the mind, body and emotions, thereby supporting the body's natural ability to rest and rejuvenate.


  1. Some Ayurvedic practitioners when using Ayurvedic Remedies to help people sleep better and enhance their memory use Ayurvedic Oil for a massage of the scalp. Here is what I have written in one of my recent articles about the effects of Ayurvedic Oil and its effect on the body:
    "When performing a scalp massage with such Ayurvedic oil, it is best to use the oil sparingly. Take only as much as needed and apply it to the area with your fingertips. A slow, circular massage motion enables relaxation of the nervous system and the massage recipient should be able to feel the tension draining away. Conversely, energetic and brisk massaging will stimulate the circulation and increase energy. The two movements can be alternated or mixed as needed."

  2. Thanks, Dave.

    I've also read that the same treatment for the feet before bed can effective also. One might want to take a warm bath or shower to keep the sheets from getting oily, too. A light "sheen" of oil will remain.