The Indian science of life Ayurveda places great importance on sleep. Night rest in Vedic medicine is called the “nurse of the world”, because it allows you to relieve the accumulated tension, put your feelings and thoughts in order, and prepare for a new day. In order for sleep to be of high quality and healthy, certain recommendations should be followed.
Sleep in Ayurveda: how to prepare for it?
Night rest is a special ritual, a sacred action, and if you perform it according to all the laws and rules, then all the elements in the body — watta, pitta and kapha will be in balance. It is on this that prakriti and the harmony of the inner world depend, and hence all health according to Ayurveda as a whole. The first thing to remember is that you can’t eat up two hours before bedtime, and this applies to both physical and spiritual food. When immersed in the kingdom of Morpheus, any digestive processes in the body must be completed, so you need to have dinner 4 hours before going to bed. The exception is milk — you can drink it immediately before a night’s rest.
In bed, only sleeping is allowed, but for reading, writing and thinking, it is better to find another place. Ayurveda also recommends taking a bath before going to bed. If it is not possible to wash the whole body, then hands, feet and face should be washed. A foot massage with sesame oil will complete the ritual, as well as a short meditation that can give vent to the negativity of the past day.
Ayurveda medicine about proper sleep
Every little thing matters, like the location of the bed:
- the ideal option is to set the head of the bed to the east. According to Ayurveda medicine, this will provide meditation sleep;
- lying with your head to the north means losing your own potential, bringing disharmony to the balance of the three doshas. Such an arrangement of a sleeping place will facilitate travel to the astral plane, but you will have to pay for it with your own well-being;
- a headboard directed to the south will open the gates for feeding energy channels and your health will improve;
- if the head “looks” to the west, then bad dreams will occur.
Ayurveda recommends maintaining health by sleeping on an orthopedic mattress. It maintains the natural position of the spine with all its physiological features, preventing the displacement of the vertebrae, muscles and ligaments, as well as pinching of nerve fibers and blood vessels.
As for the choice of position, therapists and orthopedists recommend sleeping on your back. It will be good if you pick up a low pillow that reduces pressure on the spine. Women who dream of prolonging their youth should think about the appropriateness of this pose, because it eliminates pressure on the skin of the face, which means it acts as a prevention of early aging.
Ayurveda does not advise health support by sleeping on the stomach, because in this position the load on the spine and cervical vertebrae increases. The negative impact of this position is experienced by the cervical region and the digestive tract. In addition, there is pressure on the chest. A person who spends most of the night in this position wakes up broken, tired, with pain in the neck and lower back. But resting on the side relaxes the muscles. Moreover, suffering from heartburn, it is better to sleep on the left side, and with a deficiency of gastric acid — on the right.
Health according to Ayurveda depends on the duration of sleep
Perhaps, the Vedic system attaches the greatest importance to this factor, because the duration of a night’s rest directly affects a person’s well-being. Actively interacting with the forces of nature, Indian teaching prescribes to get up and go to bed according to the sun. In the evening, the time of kapha comes — the best moment to get rid of the negativity accumulated during the day. Staying awake after midnight can aggravate Pitta and Vata. Pitta will increase appetite and provoke a desire to satisfy hunger, which is strongly discouraged, and heightened watta, which controls sleep just before dawn, will reduce its quality during these hours.
According to the laws of Ayurveda, overfilling is very dangerous, and not so much for the body as for the spirit. Too much rest leads to the development of a state of inertia and laziness. Therefore, you can sleep no more than 8 hours a day.
The science of life about proper awakening
Awakening is a whole science and the balance of doshas and health in general depends on what it will be. The ideal time to wake up is between 4 am and 6 am. According to the fundamental treatise on Ayurveda — Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita, you need to get out of bed during Brahma Muhurta, that is, 48 minutes before dawn. This not only develops a useful habit, but also determines the success of the whole day, and in the long term, spiritual development and the choice of life priorities in general. Those who get up at sunrise get up together with all the saints, starting meditation and other self-improvement practices, thereby setting the harmony of their inner world.
A little about daytime sleep
Ayurveda medicine has not bypassed daytime sleep. But if you want to lie down and relax during the day, seasonality must be taken into account. During the summer, when the days get longer and the nights get shorter, daytime naps can be a good idea, but this may not be for everyone. Overweight people are not recommended to sleep during the day in any season, as this contributes to even more laziness and apathy. A short rest during the day is recommended by the science of life Ayurveda if:
- you are very tired, doing mental or physical labor;
- suffer from any diseases or are in psycho-emotional stress;
- it is useful for small children and the elderly to sleep during the day;
Ayurveda medicine considers yoga nidra to be the ideal form of sleep. It provides for complete physical rest, provided that the clarity of mind and sensitivity of consciousness are maintained. Therefore, correct and healthy sleep aims to get closer to this ideal in order to most fully fulfill the mission of the coming day, prepare yourself for a new incarnation and realize the divine plan.