Ayurvedic treatment for Parasomnia

What is Parasomnia?

Parasomnia is a group of sleep disorders characterized by abnormal behaviors, emotions, perceptions, or dreams that occur while falling asleep, during sleep, or upon waking. Individuals with parasomnia may move around, talk, or exhibit unusual behaviors while asleep, and often do not remember these events upon waking. These disturbances can occur at any stage of life and can significantly impact the quality of sleep and daily functioning.

Types of Parasomnia

Sleep Talking

Sleep talking, or somniloquy, involves talking during sleep without being aware of it. It can range from harmless mumbling to loud shouts.

Sleep-Related Groaning

This condition involves exhaling slowly and deeply, producing sounds like roaring, loud humming, or high-pitched cracking noises during sleep.

Nightmares

Nightmares are intense, distressing dreams that provoke feelings of anger, anxiety, or fear.

Night Terrors

Night terrors cause a person to wake up suddenly in a terrified state, often accompanied by crying, screaming, a fast heart rate, sweating, and skin flushing. These episodes can last from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

Bedwetting

Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is involuntary urination during sleep, most common in children under six years old.

Confusional Arousal

Confusional arousal occurs when a person wakes up in a very confused state, having difficulty understanding their surroundings or actions.

Teeth Grinding

Sleep bruxism involves clenching or grinding teeth during sleep, which can lead to dental issues and jaw pain.

Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking, or somnambulism, involves walking or performing other activities while asleep. It often occurs early in the night and can also happen during daytime naps.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)

RBD involves acting out vivid dreams during REM sleep, with behaviors like grabbing, punching, shouting, kicking, and jumping. Unlike sleepwalking, individuals with RBD can usually wake up easily and remember the dream

Symptoms of Parasomnia

  • Unusual movements or behaviors during sleep
  • Talking or making noises while asleep
  • Difficulty waking from sleep episodes
  • Confusion or disorientation upon waking
  • Memory loss regarding sleep events

Causes of Parasomnia

Parasomnias can be triggered by various factors, including:

    • Genetic predisposition
    • Stress and anxiety
    • Sleep deprivation
    • Medications or substance use
    • Neurological disorders
    • Sleep environment disruptions

Allopathic Approach for Parasomnia

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help address the underlying psychological factors contributing to parasomnias.

Medications

  • Topiramate
  • Antidepressants
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Melatonin
  • Levodopa
  • Benzodiazepines (e.g., Clonazepam)

Home Treatments

  • Scheduled Awakenings: Waking a child 15-30 minutes before they spontaneously wake up can help minimise sleepwalking and night terrors.
  • Safer Sleep Environments: Removing dangerous items, locking windows and doors, placing the mattress on the floor, and using extra padding can reduce injury risk for sleepwalkers or those with RBD.
 

Ayurvedic Approach for Parasomnia

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas made from chamomile, lavender, and passionflower can calm nerves and promote sleep.

Aromatherapy

Using calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile in a diffuser or warm bath can help one unwind before bed.

Ayurvedic Herbs

Herbs such as Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Shankhapushpi, Jatamansi, and Vacha can be taken in capsule form or as tea to treat sleeplessness.

Brahmi Ghrita

Brahmi Ghrita is a ghee-based herbal formula used to manage central nervous system issues. It balances vata dosha, reduces anxiety symptoms, improves memory power, and reduces fatigue.

Yoga and Meditation

Practices like yoga and meditation relax the body and mind, aiding in better sleep.

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