Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yoga for Sleeping Seizure

Yoga an ancient Indian practice is increasingly becoming a modern approach for treating epileptic seizure disorder. The World Health Organization estimates 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and 25% of these are with a sleeping seizure disorder. There are four types of epilepsy and nine disorders that cause seizures. Yoga helps bring a balance between the individual’s health and what is causing their seizures. Sleep-related epilepsy would be those seizures that have a relationship with sleep, while some are mainly during sleep others are exclusively during sleep and some between the transition between sleep and wakefulness. Physicians are still trying to determine why people have seizures during the night. One theory is that the brain continues to fire neurons during sleep in a rhythmic pattern and that this underlying pattern makes it easier to have a seizure. Seizures disrupt the normal activity of the central nervous system and yoga for sleeping seizures restores the balance to the body and its metabolic systems while increasing physical stamina and calming the nervous system. You can sleep easy by practicing yoga exercises, breathing exercises, and relaxing your mind through meditation to help in prevent seizures.

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Breathing exercises known as the practice of pranayama a controlled deep diaphragmatic breathing helps restore normal respiration. If a person slips into a seizure state they should try to catch and hold their breath as this will change the metabolism, blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. Practicing pranayama can reduce the chances of going into a seizure or stop seizures before they become full blown. Stress and tension are triggers for seizure activity and along with pranayama meditation or dhyana soothes the mind and heals the body. Meditation increases the level of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which keeps the body’s nervous system calm. Increasing serotonin will also increase the production of melotonin which is necessary to fall asleep. Research done in the U.S. concluded that those who learned to control their breathing and practiced meditation improved their seizure frequency.

Diagnosing seizures that are associated with sleep starts with an initial consultation in the doctor’s office as the patient needs to explain the symptoms and pattern of seizures. Medical testing will confirm the diagnosis by an EEG which will test a person’s brainwaves and capture the person’s seizure during sleep. This data will determine which kind of epilepsy the person has. One reason this is important is that the patient that has a seizure disorder and lack of sleep will in turn have more seizures during sleep. If the sleep deprivation becomes chronic insomnia it will become harder to control the seizures. Treatment for sleeping seizures and those awake are usually the same as the anticonvulsant is based on the side effects and not the type of seizure. Some medications cause drowsiness while others will keep you awake. So it is obvious that the sedating effecting medications be taken at night.

Some common triggers of seizures: listening to music, environmental stimuli such as heat and humidity, hyperventilation, alcohol beverages, excessive fluids, irregular sleep patterns, poor nutritious food, lack of sleep, undiagnosed sleep disorders, drug abuse, emotional stress, neglect medication. Over the counter medication and sleeping pills can interfere with anti-seizure drugs, although most are safe with anticonvulsants. Valium on the other hand which some use for sleep deprivation can cause a drug dependence when used over time. If the person stops taking Valium they will go through withdrawals which can actually worsen their seizures.

If the diagnosis is in time (not chronic insomnia) people with sleeping seizures have a better chance to control their episodes than those with epilepsy in general. That is why you should try to add yoga to your nightly routine. As yoga has a positive effect on controlling seizures by reducing stress and increasing relaxation. According to the American Chronicle, an Indian study showed that subjects who practiced yoga for 6 months were able to reduce seizure activity by 86 percent. However, it cautions that individuals already taking medication to control epileptic seizures shouldn't just stop taking it without consulting their doctors.

The content in Yoga for Sleeping Seizure is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.



Meditation is also an important part of the Yoga exercises to help prevent seizures. Stress can be a major trigger to seizures. Meditation can improve blood flow to the brain, slows stress hormones, and helps to increase the serotonin which helps keep the nervous system calm.

Shoulderstand Pose

The Shoulder Stand stimulates and rejuvenates your entire body. In this exercise, you build up both power and a new structure in your back and you relax tension in well-known stress areas like the neck and the lower back. The muscles of your lower back get stronger, the chest and shoulders can move more freely and the back gets straighter.

Headstand Pose

The Sanskrit word sirsha means head. This posture is the well-known headstand posture, and perhaps second only to the padma-asana or lotus posture, is widely identified with the practice of Yoga. During the practice of Yoga exercises, we not only relax the muscles but we also build up strength, structure and stability in the right spots. In Head Stand, you build up power and structure in both the neck and the upper back and at the same time; you train your arm muscles and coordination.

Plough Pose

A lot people complain about stiffness on the neck and lower back as a result of stress and wrong posture. In the Plough Pose, you stretch the neck and the lower back muscles. The Plough is also good for your digestion and it strengthens the kidneys, the liver and the gall bladder.

Corpse Pose

The Corpse Yoga Pose is considered as a classic relaxation Yoga Pose and is practiced before or in between Asanas as well as a Final Relaxation. While it looks deceptively simple, it is actually difficult to perform.



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Shavasana” is relaxation of body and mind in the position of lying on the back. This asana helps in relaxing mind and body and helps in restoring energy. It is a relaxing posture intended to rejuvenate one's body, mind and spirit. While shavasana is a good way to reduce stress and tension it is not recommended for meditation as it has a tendency to induce sleepiness.


• Lie on the back.
• Keep your spine, navel & pelvic in one line.
• Keep feet apart.
• Keep arms on the each side of body, palms facing to sky.
• Keep neck right or left side.
• Close your eyes & slowly try to concentrate each part of the body & try to relax that part.


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This asana is very good for the thyroid gland. This asana improves the reproductive organs in both men and women. It also helps in relieving bronchitis, dyspepsia, and varicose veins and increases digestive capacity. It stimulates the thyroid and para-thyroid glands and influences the brain, heart and lungs, and improves blood circulation. However, those suffering from high blood pressure should not practice this posture. The sarvanga-asana should not be performed by woman who are menstruating, as is the case with all inverted postures (where the legs are raise over the head.


• Lie on your back with legs and arms straight, feet together and palms on the floor beside your body. While exhaling, raise your legs slowly upto 90 and then the whole body and the rest your weight on the arms so that the chin touches the jugular notch.
• Bring the arms and hands to support your body at the hip region (fingers at the back and thumb in front of the body). The entire weight of your body rests on the head, neck and shoulders while the arms are used for balancing.
• Keep the trunk, legs and hips in a straight line and as vertical as possible Focus your eyes on your toes, with your chin pressed against the chest. Retain the posture for one for three minutes.
• While exhaling, return to the lying position by bringing the leg backward and releasing the hands and the palms.


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This asana is very useful for persons suffering from chronic cough, bronchial asthma, congestion, infected tonsils and other respiratory disorders. Problems relating to thyroid and para-thyroid glands can also be overcome be done to derive the full of is recommended that you breath while holding it for between two and four minutes.


• Sit with your legs fully stretched out. Bend each leg at the knees and place your feet on the other hip joint. Both the heels are adjusted in such a way that each presses the adjacent portion of the abdomen. This forms the foot-lock in a sitting position.
• Bend backwards and, exhaling, rest your weight on the elbows. Push your neck backwards and slightly rise the hip upward thus making an arch of the spine.
• Then, by making hooks of the forefingers, hold your toes on the corresponding side without crossing your arms.This posture should be maintained for some time with slow and deep breathing.
• For reverting to the original position, release the foot-lock and return to the supine position by lowering the arch.


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Paschimottanasana is a fine stretching exercise of the body. In one continuous movement, almost all the posterior muscles get fully stretched and relaxed. This helps to improve the functions of the abdominal organs and sets right respiratory disorders. It also helps to improve memory.


• This posture involves stretching of the posterior muscles of the body.
• While sitting, stretch your legs forward and keep them close to each other. Bend a little forward, make hooks of your fingers and hold the big toes on the respective sides.
• While exhaling, bend forward stretching the trunk along the thighs. Rest your on the knees, which should be kept straight.
• Gradually, the tense muscles can be made supple for securing the complete posture. Inhale and return to the original position


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This asana is helpful in cases of dyspepsia and constipation. It improves the functions of the reproductive glands and heart muscles and is of great advantage in checking wet dreams.


• Sit in a kneeling position with the buttocks resting on the heels of the feet.
• Lean forward and place the forearms on the floor in front while keeping the elbows about shoulder distance apart. Interlock the fingers of both hands.
• Place the top of the head flat on the floor with the back of the head pressed against the inside of the interlocked fingers.
• Placing the tips of the toes firmly on the floor while lifting the heels, raise the knees off the floor.
• Hold for the duration of the held inhaled breath. When you can't hold the breath comfortable any longer, slowly exhale and return the back to the floor, slide the legs out straight returning to the shava-asana.
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