Sleep According to Ayurveda

Sleep According to Ayurveda

Sleep promotes proper growth. Sleep is bodily inertia with mental relaxation. This quiet state gives the body and mind a chance to renew, refresh and restore themselves.

Today’s over-stimulating lifestyle often keeps our minds and bodies tense throughout the day. Many people, despite spending 8-12 hours in bed, wake up feeling exhausted. Without the practice of relaxation, the person may only experience light sleep or a dream state where energy is still being expended. The restful state of deep sleep may never be reached.

Without proper sleep, our bodies have no energy and our minds are inefficient. Loss of sleep, or insomnia, interferes with our ability to work and think clearly. Our bodies feel heavy, lethargic and sometimes achy. The appetite is weakened and digestion is impaired.

The amount of Sleep needed:

If a person feels refreshed and inspired after they wake up, than they have slept a correct amount of time. If after waking up one feels tire and drained they are not sleeping the correct amount of time (usually too much). You can change sleeping time by 15 minute a day increments to see what is the proper amount of sleep one needs.

  1. People who do more physical labor need more sleep than people who sit behind a desk all day.

  2. People who are working need more sleep than a person who is retired.

  3. A person over 21 should not sleep more than 8 hours. If a person does they will have an excess of Tamas (Ignorance) in the system, which will cause a person to feel tire and listless.

  4. The amount of sleep needed varies according to age. The list below is for extraordinary persons and is not for the average persons, but it gives an idea of the amount of sleep one needs according to age.

    1. First seven years one needs 10 to 12 hours sleep.

    2. 8 to 10 years old needs 8 to 10 hours.

    3. In the third seven years of life a person needs 6 to 8 hours sleep.

    4. In fourth seven years a person needs 5 to 6 hours.

    5. In fifth seven years a person needs 4 to 5 years.

    6. In sixth seven years a person needs 3 to 4 hours.

    7. In seventh seven years a person needs little sleep.

  5. Persons in a service position need more sleep than a person in an administrative position.

Ayurvedic way of sleeping:

Following the simple wisdom of Ayurveda, we can experience more relaxation in the body, helping us to ease into deep, restful sleep and wake with energy and vitality to meet the day.

  • Sleeping during the day produces Ama, unless a person has been awake all night. Sleeping during the day disturbs gases, bile, lymph and blood flow. It causes disturbances of breathing, heaviness in the head, chest regions disorders and other problems.

  • It is especially bad to sleep during the sunset hours, as it is said to cause poverty, disturb the bodily systems and impairs digestion. Sex at this time is also bad.

  • Sleeping on the left side helps digestion. It promotes the functioning of the right nostril and is good for a person. The right nostril heats and activates the body and when it is working a person becomes more interested in food and sleep.

  • Sleeping sitting up provides the most alert sleep and is the best. Yogis often sleep sitting up.

  • Sleeping on the right side is relaxing, and it activates the left nostril, which cools and relaxes the body making it easier to control (which is good for Yoga).

  • Sleeping on the back disturbs Vata. It activates both nostrils at the same time, which produces disease by (encouraging energy to leave the body). Sleeping on the back harms the brain.

  • Sleeping on the stomach disturbs everything. It causes disease by obstructing deep, healthy breathing.

  • It is best to sleep with the top of the head facing east and the feet facing west (promotes meditative sleep). Facing south while sleeping draws energy into body.

  • Sleeping facing north draws energy from the body, and disturbs the body, mind and spirit. Sleeping with the head facing west causes disturbing dreams.

  • Before going to sleep it is best to wash the hands, feet and face. Then it is good to massage the feet with a little oil and meditate for a while to allow the negative impacts of the day to dissipate. Then do some Pranayama before sleeping.

  • To stop wet dreams a person can wash the feet and legs with cold water before going to sleep, as this draws energy from the genitals which reduces the chance of nocturnal emission.

  • It is best to go to bed only to sleep and not to read, write or think. It is best to rise immediately after awakening.

  • It is best to wear the least amount of cloths possible and one should especially avoid socks.

  • Don’t cover the face while sleeping so you can not breathe properly, otherwise a person breathes their own deoxidized air.

  • The bed should be at least 12 inches above the ground. Sleeping on a damp or wet surface is very bad. The level of the head should be above that of the feet.

  • Sleeping under the moon is very good and sleeping under the sun is very bad.

  • Sleeping while hungry is not good for health. Sleeping after lunch will increase Kapha and body weights.

  • It is alright to sleep during the day for a person who has done hard physical labor, persons in pain, and for persons with nausea. Also for a person with gastric disorders, alcoholic intoxication, and persons who are fasting. In extremely hot weather it is alright to take a nap at the hottest time of the day.

  • Best time to sleep is from three hours after sunset to 90 minutes before dawn. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

  • Going to sleep with a full stomach diverts the body’s energy from recharging the system and also causes bad dreams.

AHR Team

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