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Thread: Question on night shift and ama

  1. #1
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    Question on night shift and ama

    Namast, all,

    I've read in the past that being awake through the night-time hours, and particularly doing night shift work, leads to a build-up in ama and resultant health problems. I didn't pay the knowledge much heed, until now.

    I was laid off of my job and accepted a new position with night shift hours. After several weeks of sleeping 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and working 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., my health has become worse. I have frequent headaches, and nausea that sometimes keeps me from eating (even gentle food like kichadi), only briefly aided by ginger lozenges and peppermint tea. On my one day off each week, I'm usually shaky and very tired, and can only rest and do simple household work.

    I do plan to see a physician sometime this week, but meanwhile, does anyone have any advice on lessening these effects? (I'm Vata constitution, if that's useful information.) I can't change my job hours, but my habits, sleeping times, and diet are all somewhat flexible.

    Any help is greatly appreciated...

    Indraneela
    ===
    Oṃ Indrāya Namaḥ.
    Oṃ Namaḥ Śivāya.

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    10 p.m to 4 a.m. are the best hours to sleep. A lot of sadhakas sleep around this time and wake up in brahma muhurta. Staying up late inscreases vata, so maybe you could go to bed a little earlier. Take it easy for a while, don't overexert yourself during the day. You could practice some hatha yoga and pranayama before bedtime. Also watching tv will increase mental tension which will not be condusive if you can only sleep 6 hours. The doctor will probably tell you that you need 8 hours of sleep which is true for the average person, but if you practice yoga discipline diligintly, you will need less sleep.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 17 January 2011 at 06:22 AM.

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    I've been sleeping day time and staying awake all night for some months... Should I worry even if not feeling much bad?

    I think my Pita really makes me refuse to go to sleep. Staying awake sounds so much better! hehehe

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    Not being able to sleep is often vata related. Staying awake during the night and sleeping during daytime will increase vata as well, so it's a vicious circle. Vata causes you to stay awake and staying awake increases vata, so you become a night owl. In western thinking you are either a night owl by nature or a morning person, but in Indian thought, there's no good reason to stay awake at night regularly. Only for spiritual reasons do people stay up late which is called jagran and is done only on occasion. This jagran does not increase vata, since your mind is completely attentive to your spiritual practice. Not being able to sleep could be related to tension whether it is mental, muscular or related to your breathing.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 16 January 2011 at 10:37 PM.

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    Namaste Indraneela,

    The condition you are describing here gives me a case of hyper-acidity due to your keeping awake at night and also because you are using stimulants to keep you awake.

    Do you feel the taste in your mouth going acidic/sour ? If it is, then that is a case of induced hyperacidity. In Ayurveda, it is a condition of "Pitta kupita" (Pitta (Bile) going bad). This, in severe condition, would create nausea and you would feel relieved on vomiting. However, frequent vomiting would harm the food pipe, throat & would also induce debility.

    It is better if you can afford to get good night sleep as the night was made to sleep and not to work. We all have bilogical clocks inside us which makes our body to perform specific task at proper time. When this natural course is disturbed you attract such diseases. My advice :

    a) Even if Night duty is unavoidable, please avoid Coffe, Tea, Cigarettes etc. to keep you awake. You can use self-suggestion very effectively. The body slowly liseten to that & gets used to new routine.

    b) Include plenty of butter-milk in your food. It would help you very much. If you can add a little salt & some powdered roasted cummins into it, it would be better. It is better if the butter-milk is cold.

    c) Take some saunf (fennel seeds), make paste with a little of water and sugar. Make "sherbet" by adding the paste into a glass of water. If you want you may add some ice. If you take this "sherbet" on getting up in the morning .... it would help you.

    d) In Homoeopathy, you can take Nux Vomica-30 which is the typical drug for this condition. It should be taken two-three drops directly on a clean tongue having empty stomach at night or in the morning. You may take it thrice in 24 hours. This has no side effects as the drug is highly diluted.

    I hope it helps.

    OM



    Quote Originally Posted by Indraneela View Post
    I've read in the past that being awake through the night-time hours, and particularly doing night shift work, leads to a build-up in ama and resultant health problems. I didn't pay the knowledge much heed, until now.

    I was laid off of my job and accepted a new position with night shift hours. After several weeks of sleeping 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and working 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., my health has become worse. I have frequent headaches, and nausea that sometimes keeps me from eating (even gentle food like kichadi), only briefly aided by ginger lozenges and peppermint tea. On my one day off each week, I'm usually shaky and very tired, and can only rest and do simple household work.

    I do plan to see a physician sometime this week, but meanwhile, does anyone have any advice on lessening these effects? (I'm Vata constitution, if that's useful information.) I can't change my job hours, but my habits, sleeping times, and diet are all somewhat flexible.
    Any help is greatly appreciated...
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    Vannakkam Indraneela: This is just a thought, but sleep is related to light. Many people in darker parts of the world, (i.e. - northern countries) have sleep problems due to the lack of light. Sometimes artificial light is brought in during daytime (like in Inuvik) or rooms are darkened in summertime. I know I have trouble in June/July when it stays light until 10 or 11. While teaching, I certainly observed more tired and therefore less functional students during June that any other time of the year. Just a thought.. perhaps of use, perhaps not.

    So those suffering from this use items like curtains to trick their bodies.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    Sorry to drift this topic a bit, but my following question is sleep related.

    I could get a little better sleep these days, so suddenly I am disturbed by these very disturbing dream images with elements from the past and distorted present elements and disconnected anxious feelings and images. I really hate these kind of dream experiences.

    However, I went to sleep clean, very spiritually minded, nothing bad or out of the ordinary.

    How much is it in our control these kind of experiences? Can we really avoid these disturbances ourselves?

    Or is it just like going out for work, we have really no control over what can happen to us outside of our own choices?

    I even turned on the computer (here I am now) to see if anything bad has happened.

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    Namaste Pietro,

    Quote Originally Posted by Pietro Impagliazzo View Post
    I could get a little better sleep these days, so suddenly I am disturbed by these very disturbing dream images with elements from the past and distorted present elements and disconnected anxious feelings and images. I really hate these kind of dream experiences.

    How much is it in our control these kind of experiences? Can we really avoid these disturbances ourselves? Or is it just like going out for work, we have really no control over what can happen to us outside of our own choices?
    The dreams don't come out of blue & are not uncontrollable. They are our own creation. When I say, "Our", let's remember that "we" are not really one that we think we are because this apparent "I" during our waking time and the "I" when we are sleeping are projections of our essence i.e. SELF but they are not exactly same because in the changed environment the patterns of thoughtwaves which make "us" changes (some emotions become stronger and some become weaker, some traits become stronger and some weaker etc.). Both these "I"s are bundle of thoughts i.e. mindwaves superimposed on the Reality.

    Both these "I"s and the environment around them keeps varying with our thoughts. These are creations of our own past impressions, our habits, our various emotions. Again these past impressions, our habits and our various emotions are cultivated by us alone over time .... may be carried over from births after births. It is therefore, in our own hands to break the pattern which are unhealthy for us.

    For your dreams, you have to first analyse what are unwanted traits in you. Are you afraid of your future or death or anything ? Are you excessively anxious over any anything ? If these are not there then this is certainly carried from your past lives or some distant past which you don't readily remember. There are various cultivated emotions within us are the cause of disturbances in our lives and they shape our personality, our environment and our fate.

    In my opinion, the reason behind your disturbed sleep are anxiety, fear or both. The best way to overcome these problems is taking following steps :

    a) Do your best to overcome your anxiety/fear. For this :

    i) Analyse the rationale behind your anxiety and fear.
    ii) If it has valid reason, please find out what you can do to eliminate them and work accordingly.

    b) It is all but God's "leela" (act on a stage called this world) where you are playing a part & it is very temporary. There is nothing which affects you unless you get attached to this world.

    So, leave everything in God's hands with complete faith in His love for you and

    i) Pray to God for helping you get over the problems.
    ii) Be ready to face any eventuality believing firmly in God in all circumstances. Remember Lord Krishna's words, "Karmanyewadhikaaraste maa faleshu kadaachan" (You have only your actions in your own control & not in results).

    The last point is very very important and cultivating this with the above three will certainly make you free from your anxiety, fear and your bad dreams.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    The other night I wanted to reply to this, but our second littlest son has pneumonia and so I just couldn't break away. With a household as large as ours it's a common occurance but with him it's always worse. So please forgive the tardyness.

    Sometimes, but not for everyone, dreams are a window into hidden things.

    What causes these things, I do not know. I am sorry you are also disturbed and seeking what could be wrong.

    Perhaps it would be good to write your dreams all down? I have learned that even these most upsetting visions are the harbingers of things to come. Writing them down also helps you work out what is prompting them. Could be fear and worry, or something more profound.

    Sometimes they are meant to warn us, to help us...even though they seem positively horrifying.
    Last edited by NayaSurya; 23 January 2011 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Not important.

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    Re: Question on night shift and ama

    Hello NayaSurya, but what if they don't even make any sense? That was the problem, Devotee was right, I was very anxious and agitated.

    Now things are better, I just came back from the samskara of 7 days of passage of a person that passed away.

    Om Shanti

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