Do you stay up till 12 in the night?
Sleep is the most essential but most ignored aspect of human life. Millennials happily trade their sleep for the smallish meaningless things that can very well be done under the light of the sun! Be it binge-watching a complete season or working till 3 at the night, chatting with a friend or scrolling through the social media feeds. It seems staying up all night has become a trend and insomnia a cool hashtag!
Do you know 67% of UK adults suffer from poor sleep patterns and about 23 per cent sleeps less than five hours a night? About 13 per cent of the total population is leaning on alcohol and sleeping aids to sneak some quality sleep.
Sleep deprivation has been a leading factor for disasters! Research suggests that sleep deprivation is the new global epidemic and the damage it causes is far more gruesome than the stubborn acne and ugly dark circles under your eyes. It is the main culprit behind many life-threatening health conditions like heart-diseases, anxiety, depression, arthritis, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes etc. Sleep deprivation also has a direct link with obesity which again is a trigger for a plethora of diseases.
Ayurveda, the 5000-year-old Vedic science of health and healing recommends a peaceful Nidra(sleep) that stretches 8 hours per night. The time-tested Ayurvedic wisdom which is now validated by many scientific pieces of research as more and more studies establish the link between sleep and health disorders. From digestion to cancer, disrupted sleep can cause a cluster of diseases.
Sleeping Pattern according to your dosha
According to Ayurveda, sleep is one of the three vital pillars that hold our health and well-being. Many of the important bodily functions occur only during sleep. It is in the sleep that the body repairs, restores, relaxes and replenishes its energy levels. Wounds heal in deep sleep and questions get answered. Many famous personalities including writers and scientists have credited their dreams for their creativity. It is in their dreams that the stories take form and equations are whispered into their ears.
Ayurvedic Wisdom on Sleep
The traditional Ayurvedic wisdom explains the following reasons for sleep -
1. Sleep due to increased 'Tama Guna' (darkness, fogginess, cloudiness)
2. Sleep due to increased 'Kapha Dosha'
3. Sleep due to mental, emotional and physical exertion
4. Sleep due to all types of external factors such as trauma, injuries, sedatives etc.
5. Sleep due to health conditions
6. Natural, good night-sleep
Ayurveda says that the people of Vata dosha faces the challenges of falling asleep, insomnia, sleepwalking, and staying asleep and are likely to get only 4 to 7 hours of sleep per night. Those with Pitta dosha are thawed by insomnia and intense sleep-disturbing dreams and they end up getting 5 to 8 hours of zzz’s. Last is the Kapha dosha which is deemed as the king of sleep. These people enjoy deep undisturbed sleep and often sleep for more than 8 hours per night.
Ayurveda has stressed on the importance of 8-hour sleep. But that’s just one part of the story. Ayurveda also recommends synchronizing the body cycle with nature’s clock for good health and optimum wellness, which means scheduling our sleep according to the position and energy of the sun. Disrupting the nature’s clock misbalances our circadian rhythm which again opens the doors to an ocean of troubles.
So, what should your ideal sleep routine look like?
It’s the old idiom – early to sleep and early to rise. Go to bed by 9 pm in the night and wake up in the Brahmamuhurtha (Time of Brahma), which is one and half-hour prior to sunrise. This is the most auspicious time of the day, where nature is at its purest. Best time to do Pranayam, meditation, intellectual activities such as reading or studies. This not only keeps you healthy and hale but also preserves your youth, makes you wiser and kindles up your life!
Ayurvedic Tips for sound sleep
- Avoid having tea, coffee or caffeinated beverages in the second half of the day or just before sleep.
- Avoid sleeping in the day time, especially immediately after taking a meal.
- Strictly avoid gazing into the screen before your sleep time.
- Unwind your stress with a relaxing hot water bath.
- Practice abhyanga or Padabhyanga, oil massage Sesame oil.
- Blend camphor with coconut oil and pour a few drops into your pillow for uninterrupted sleep. This one works magic! It’s my personal favourite.
- Include any form of physical activity in your routine, at least 30 minutes a day.
- Eat a banana or drink a glass of warm milk infused with turmeric.
- Try Ayurvedic herbal concoctions with Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Gotu Kola as a natural sleeping aid.
- Make a disciplined sleep routine and always abide by your routine.
- Tune to relaxing music to soothe your senses.
Yoga to improve sleep
- Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Viparita Karani (Legs up in the wall)
- Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose)