Dealing with insomnia, muscle ache and anxiety in menopause with Ayurveda
Vatas are creative, imaginative, innovative, playful, sensitive, intuitive, healing, empathic, sometimes spiritual. Combining space and air, Vata dosha can be drying, spacey, restless, ungrounded. There can be pain, cold feet, tremors, constipation, arthritic conditions, overall weakness, chronic fatigue, degenerative bone disorders, insomnia and anxiety. In terms of the menopause or perimenopause, there are specific symptoms that relate to vata imbalance:
Vata imbalance In menopause / perimenopause
· Mood swings
· Dry skin
· Feeling cold or cooler than normal when not flashing
· Crying spells
· Tension headaches
· Joint and muscle aches
· Irregular cycles
· Urinary urgency or frequency
· Heart palpitations
· Fluctuating blood pressure
· Joint and muscle aches
· Leg cramps
· Irregular, scanty, periods.
· Abdominal distention from constipation
· Vaginal dryness
Insomnia affects over 50 percent of women at this time in their life.
To help with insomnia:
Reduce stimulating activities in the evening especially after 9 pm. Rather than watch TV or work on your computer read a book or make a to do list to put your mind at ease.
Eat a light easy to digest a meal for dinner. Avoid eating meat, cheese, potatoes or salad in the evening. Meat and cheese are heavy and hard to digest and potatoes and raw vegetables aggravate vata in the digestive tract. All can disturb your sleep with overactive digestion.
Eat your dinner by 7 pm. Eating dinner early improves sleep and also helps prevent joint pains and sinus congestion caused by Ama caused when the food is not digested properly.
Avoid alcohol in the evening as it interferes with sleeping through the night and can trigger hot flushes.
Avoid caffeine which can trigger both hot flashes and make it harder to get to sleep.
Apply a little coconut oil to your scalp and the bottoms of your feet. Oil is the most vata balancing physical substance and coconut oil chills out your pitta.
Use meditation to reduce stress
Good sleep hygiene – in bed by 10pm dinner 3-4 hours before, incorporating some complex carbohydrates such as grain but a light meal, screens off by 9 pm - 9.30pm, try a soothing bath or paper book (not kindle) as an alternative.
Ways to Balance Vata
Symptoms of vata imbalance during menopause / perimenopause may benefit from following a diet and lifestyle plan that works specifically towards bringing Pitta into balance. This has been set out for you in a related post - ACCESS HERE
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