“They can do most who sleep best”. This is a famous quote from a western scientist and it is true entirely. But in this fast-paced competitive world, people have forgotten things like natural healing. This is resulting in all kinds of psychosomatic and mental disorders, which is hovering over our new generation. In this article, we will talk about the importance of sleep and relaxation, as per Ayurveda.
People suffering from any kind of illness need more modes of entertainment and relaxation than any normal person. A good healer always wants his patient, not to overthink his particular disease. This can happen only when the patient is mentally busy with something interesting most of the time. In times of illness, consolation, hope, positive vibes, and entertainment play a major role in reducing the intensity of any disease and help build resistance against psychosomatic instances too. This sets you free from a severe illness called insomnia.
Analyze the sleeping pattern
In Ayurveda, there is a description of sleep which emphasizes the quality over quantity of the sleep cycle. A 24 hours’ day is divided in 3 hour cycles or Pahar which means there are 8 pahar in a day. If you aren’t able not to sleep much during the day and tend to go to sleep in 2nd pahar of night. Whereas you wake up at 4th pahar of the night around 4 am is considered ideal. This sleep pattern allows all the elements of the body to come in a holistic balance. Tiredness and laziness stay away from such a person, body absorbs nourishment properly, adds to the beauty of mind and body, enhances vigor and vitality, and digestive power increases as well.
Give attention to sleep
If we keep on working and do not give attention to proper sleep then one fine day we will be totally at sixes and sevens, not able to do the simplest of chores. People either develop some serious mental issues and even die due to ailments that arise due to improper sleeping pattern or bad quality of sleep. As we told already, there is huge importance of sleep in Ayurveda.
It starts very early in life that mothers wake up infants from deep slumber to feed them while not understanding that deep sleep is great nourishment in itself. Same happens during adolescence, when students try to study late night to compete at various levels. Vision impairment, frequent headaches and insomnia start to develop in youngsters due to unhealthy sleeping habits.
A few pointers highlighting importance of sleep in Ayurveda
1. For good sleep, any of exercise that you like, should be practiced daily.
2. Hard working people always get a better sleep while couch potatoes always find it difficult and spend night tossing and turning on bed.
3. Having a positive outlook and happy mind is best for sleep. Cutting off your mental attention from world outside before sleep is better way for sound sleep.
4. Have your dinner before sunset so that your digestive work is done before you hit the bed for relaxation. An empty stomach and full stomach, both are villains to good sleep.
5. Clean bowels also play a major role in sound sleep. Make sure you are cleansed before going to sleep. Cleaning eyes, faces, hands, and private parts, half an hour before sleep is good.
6. Silent and tranquil place is best for sleep. Clean bed and bedsheets add to comfort. You should avoid to use too soft mattress..
7. The way person sleeps effects the quality of sleep as well. In general, the turn you find it best should be taken to get good deep sleep but to sleep flat on your back usually makes you dream and lot and deep sleep is missing in most times.
8. Sleeping straight on back does not allow body to function at optimum level. The blood pressure decreases and body feels a bit tired.
9. Sleeping on your left side in a straight line is the best way to sleep. This way your air pipe is straight and breath movement are absolutely at ease. When a person sleeps on the left side (the lunar side) it allows the breath to naturally enter through the right nostril which is the solar side. A semblance creates, which is beneficial for you, but you shouldn’t practice with people with any kind of heart problems
10. Some experts emphasize on sleeping on belly which helps digestive process of body. But one must keep in mind not to face downwards while sleeping or eyesight will suffer a lot.
11. A light walk in the balcony, a simple book on poetry, soft music help in easing the nerves and allows you to easily drift into good sleep.
12. Mental repetition of SOHAM mantra is very beneficial. When the breath comes in, mentally recite SO which is the sound breath makes while entering. On exhalation chant HAM/HUM mentally, it’s the sound of the exhalation. 10 minutes of SOHAM practice is good meditation before sleep.
No doubt the importance of sleep is described in Ayurveda. Still, if you have sleeping disorders, please consult your yoga teacher about the issue. Practice inversion and asana like Shav Asana, Rabbit pose, Paschimuttan Asana, etc. which provides the right hormonal secretion of the brain for perfect deep sleep.