Optimal Sleep: The Ultimate Guide | Dylan Smith {Podcast #045)

Sleep is one of the foundational pillars of health.

How can you expect to fully heal any condition and radiate vitality when sleep is not optimal?

Sleep is your main bio-rhythm, so we need to learn to optimise sleep to improve all aspects of health.


In this Solo Show Episode we Discuss:

What actually is sleep

Sleep manifests in the body when:

  • The srotas (channels) of the body become covered by kapha,
  • The body is fatigued by exertion
  • The sense organs are not functioning,

How Dreams Occur

When all the sense organs have stopped cognising their objects but only the mind is cognising them, the sleeping person experiences different kinds of dreams.

Factors Dependant on Sleep:

  • happiness and misery
  • nourishment and emaciation
  • strength and debility
  • virility and impotence
  • knowledge and ignorance
  • life and death.

Definition of Healthy and Proper Sleep

The ability to fall asleep straight away, no waking up in the night and waking up with energy in the morning.

If sleep is not right, we need to look the many causative factors:

  • hormonal
  • “wired and tired”
  • stress
  • musculoskeletal issue - e.g. Sciatica
  • Asthma or cough
  • Full determine in a consultation to address the root cause.

Improper Timed Sleep

Sleep indulged into at improper time, in excess or not at all, destroys one’s happiness.

  • Not sleeping at nights causes dryness of the body; - vata
  • sleeping during the day causes increase of unctuousness, - kapha
  • reclining leisurely without sleeping, causes neither. - This how to sleep in the day. Or sit up.

Diva-Svapna (Day Sleep)

Beneficial during grisma (summer) but perhaps not in mild summers nor for meditators.

Sleeping during the day is permissible for those who are

  • tired from excess indulgence in speech,
  • riding on animals,
  • walking long distances,
  • alcoholic drinks,
  • sexual intercourse
  • lifting heavy weights;
  • anger, grief and fear;
  • those suffering from dyspnoea, hiccup and diarrhoea;
  • the aged, the young,
  • the debilitated, the emaciated,
  • the wounded,
  • the thirsty;
  • those suffering from pain, indigestion; injury, insanity (and other kinds of mental disorders)
  • and those habituated to sleeping at day time.

~ Source: Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata

Atisvapna (Excess of Sleep)

  1. Kapha, not undergoing regular processing because of its increased quantity, obstructs the orifices of the dhatus (tissues);
  2. Obstruction of orifices causes heaviness of the body,
  3. From heaviness follows laziness,
  4. Which in turn causes excess sleep.
  5. This produces diseases.

Methods to Promote Optimal Sleep

Meditation

Regularly meditation. I recommend Vedic Meditation twice a day.

Self-Abhyanga

Ayurvedic oil massage to pacify nervous system, rejuvenate body and promote your body's ability to sleep well.

Learn how to do self-abhyanga here.

Mental State

  • a sense of satisfaction having done good deeds,
  • thinking of things pleasant to the mind
  • and fulfilment of desire

- all these are going to bestow happy sleep.

It’s not about how many hours but when

Sleep before 10pm and wake up with or before sunrise.

Early and light dinner

Hot Milk Elixir

Drink 30-45 mins before bed and sleep like a baby.

Recipe here

Siro-Pichu + Pad Abhyanga

Apply oil to the crown of the head, then massage feet before bed.

Women - massage left foot first.

Men - massage right foot first.

Can put on socks if you don't want to get bed sheets a little oily. I don't and it is fine.

Optimise Melatonin

  • Maintain as much darkness after sunset as possible with little blue light.
  • Wear blue light blocking glasses after sunset.
  • Expose yourself to sun in the day.
  • Dark bedroom at night.
  • Use a dark face mask at night.

Learn more about melatonin here.

Bedroom Environment

  • Sleep free of nnEMF (non native Electromagnetic fields).
  • Sleep with your head in any direction except north.
  • Check your building's biology.
  • Check your vaastu (vedic architecture).
  • A mild breeze is beneficial.
  • Aromatherapy for sleep like lavender.

Cold before bed.

Cold shower or cold environment promotes sleep.

Dylan Smith bathing in cold water

Foods to Promote Sleep

Dylan Smith bathing in cold water

Herbs for Sleep

  • Smriti
  • Manasolassa Vati (best to consult with a practitioner before taking this herbs).
  • Samadhi
  • Stresscom - 2 caps before dinner or with hot milk before bed.
  • Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) - balances brain neurotransmitters and aids sleep.
  • Ashwagandha - prevents release of too much cortisol. And has a sedative effect.
  • Vaca - natural sedative that calms the nerves.
  • Valerian Root - promote relaxation and sleep and decreases stress. It helps fall asleep fast, provides a better sleep quality, and provides relief from restlessness and other anxiety-related symptoms.
  • White poppy seeds - pacify prana vata and overactive mind. Add to porridge or chutney before bed.
Samadhi Powder

If musculoskeletal issues are preventing proper sleep

Attend to the musculo-skeletal issue.

Apply warm MGP oil locally or make a paste with MGP oil with Marma Lepam and apply to the affected area.

Takradhara / Shirohdara (Treatment for Head and Mind)

Takra Dhara and Shirodhara is an ancient treatment where medicated buttermilk or warm oil is poured over the head in a rhythmic mater. This stabilises the mind and everything going on inside it. During this treatment, usually you'll lie in deep, blissful rest, (that is if you haven't transcended).

If you wake up at night and cannot sleep

Do not look at phone.

Do body feeling / yoga nidra.

A-Svapna (Loss of Sleep) - for those who stay up.

If one keeps awake at night due to unaccustomed conditions*, he should compensate it by sleeping the next morning, for half of that period (duration of loss of sleep) without taking any food.

*Unaccustomed conditions can be like like night partying, alcohol, late night or heavy to digest food.

Night Owls

Children and Night Terrors

+ More

Resources

Check the show notes for link to resources 


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


The Vital Short Home Cleanse

5 Days to Revitalise Your Digestion, Metabolism, & Energy Levels

A "DIY" Panchakarma Detox and Rejuvenation Program

The Vital Short Home Cleanse (VSHC) is a short 5 day cleanse and detox designed for those who are ready to feel lighter, more energised and peaceful. It is appropriate for busy people who don't have the time for Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation program) or a similar longer cleanse/retreat.

The VSHC is a "DIY" (Do It Yourself) cleanse consisting of following a daily regimen, a simple and delicious diet protocol, taking a few herbal supplements and perhaps backing up a little from your regular life and giving more time to Yourself and rest.

"DIY" entails that the results are based on the level of your compliance and dedication to the program. How far you take it is up to you. You can choose to retreat and reduce external stimuli to turn your senses inside out to feel the deeper parts of yourself. Or, on the other hand, you can integrate the VSHC at the same time as working full time, which will still reap transforming benefits for you body and mind.

This easy 5 day detox will help stimulate your body's natural ability to burn fat, reset digestion, reduce cravings and eliminate toxins.

When to do the Vital Short Home Cleanse

  • The best time to detox is when you have the time to rest. During the 5 days you should be in bed every night by 9:30-10pm and have minimal social/work commitments.
  • It is important to cleanse and relax on a regular basis or when your lymph is stagnant. (see VSHC eBook for signs of stagnated lymph).
  • You can do the VSHC three to twelve times a year.
  • If you typically experience coughs, congestion, weakened immunity or allergy symptoms during a particular season, it is good to do this cleanse about one month prior to when you usually experience symptoms.
  • Do not do this cleanse during fever, if you are not feeling 100% well or during menstruation.

(Big file, will take time to load).

Vital Short Home Cleanse Kit

  1. Abhyanga Massage Oil - 500ml Medicated Sesame Oil (for cold climates) or 900-gram Medicated Coconut Oil (for hot climates and sensitive skin) to be used for Self-Massage. Supports lymph and blood circulation, pacifies the nervous, collects toxins from deep in the body to be eliminated and more.
  2. Nasika Oil - 15ml Medicated Nasal Oil for Nasya. Nasya pacifies the brain, strengthens sensory organs and more.
  3. Gandusha Oil - 100ml Medicated Oil to for daily Oil Pulling. Not only profound for oral health but also supports Head Neck and Throat health.
  4. Shodana Vati - 300 tablets. To be taken before dinner. General Detoxifying Agent and 3 Dosha Balancing and more.
  5. Copper Tongue Scraper
  6. Tridoshic Digestive Tea
  • Shipping available within Australia (additional handling and postage fee).
  • Pick up from Bronte Beach, Sydney clinic available. 
  • Purchasing individual products are available.

Purchase the Kit Here


Takra Dhara Treatment: A Deep Insight

“Takra” = buttermilk
“Dhara” = to pour

Takra Dhara is an ancient treatment where medicated buttermilk is poured over the head in a rhythmic mater (pictured). This stabilises the mind and everything going on inside it, as the herbs penetrate deep into the brain.
During this treatment, usually, you’ll lie in deep, blissful rest, (that is if you haven’t transcended).

The Science: Neurological (Brain and Nervous System) Relation

In times of stress, conduction of neurone cells (nervous system) is chaotic, messages are not clear, there is an inability to think clearly, thus the nervous system is exhausted.
An exhausted nervous system leads to fatigue, sleep issues, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, and/or other mental issues.

This chaos going on between the nerve cells also produces heat in the brain. This heat is trapped, specifically in the hypothalamus (Sadhaka Pitta), meninges and cerebrospinal fluid (Tarpaka Kapha), which further blocks and aggravates the Life Force/Oxygen (Prana), which is responsible for consciousness, memory, sense function, heart function, inhalation and exhalation and spitting, sneezing vomiting, swallowing, hiccups (Dharna’s).
Hormonal imbalance is also present from disturbed pineal and pituitary glands.

Takradhara regulates and stabilises the mind by improving transmission and movement of impulses by increasing Acetylcholine (ACH), which acts as a mediator between nerve impulses.

Takra Dhara gives stability to the Life Force (Prana Vata), taking the heat out very effectively,  it reduces the speed of neurotransmitters (producing a state of deep relaxation for the patient), enhancing neurological function to pave the way for:

Remarkable Benefits and Transformation:

  • Klama – Mitigates fatigue.
  • Shirorak – Effectively cures headache.
  • Regulates Hormonal function.
  • Ojahkshaya – Replenishes depleted “ojas” (our vitality, our immunity, a vital essence of our whole physiology).
  • Kasaiharana Paristodana – Relives the pain and prick sensations of extremities.
  • Murta dosha – Abnormalities of the urine.
  • Sandhi-Vishlatha – relaxed stiff joints.
  • Hridaya ruk – Cure precordial pain – (the region in front of or over the heart).
  • Aruchi – Improves the taste in the mouth
  • Agni mandya – Improves the digestive power
  • Shiro roga – Diseases of the head
  • Karna roga – Diseases of the ear.
  • Akshi roga – Diseases of the eyes.
  • Dosha Kopa – Alleviates the vitiation of doshas in general.

Takra Dhara is Indicated and Effective for:

  • Mental stress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Headache/Migraines
  • Psychological illness
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Dermatological conditions like eruptions, eczema, etc.
  • Pediculosis (lice)
  • Premature greying of hair (Palitya)

Shiro Dhara (pouring of oil)

Shiro Dhara is same treatment as Takra dhara, except using warm oil instead of buttermilk.

Shirohdara is  prescribed in cases of:

  • If the season or climate is cold – since Takradhara is cooling, for most people it is not suitable in the cold seasons.
  • Neurological conditions like alzheimers, dementia, parkinsons
  • When vata is in the head.
  • If ones blood pressure is low.
  • Other cases that have been accessed by the physician.

Book in for a Takra Dhara or Shiro Dhara at the Clinic – to take a transformative step for yourSelf.

For prices see Therapeutic Menu

Abhyanga + Takradhara/Shirodhara is a great combination.