Did you know our ancestors discovered the science of sleep ages ago and today we can learn this through Ayurveda? Now, more than ever is the time to get back to our roots and understand the art of sleeping.
We are living in a world where over-working is highly appreciated and is viewed as a key to success, which in reality is unhealthy because our bodies are naturally tuned to slow down after sunset. This is the reason why after certain point in the evening we get lethargic and experience hard time concentrating. If you have the privilege to live with your elders then there are chances you might hear them saying ‘avoid working in the evenings’ or ‘it’s not good to work in the night’ right?
So, to adopt a good resting pattern let’s explore Indian science for sleeping.
Blast from the past; the Ayurvedic way
It is interesting to look how people used to spend their time so differently before smartphones and social media arrived. Each of the night rituals our ancestor performed has a meaning attached to it.
Take for instance, our ancestors indulged in ‘early light dinner’ because it is easy to fall sleep. The concept of evening ‘walk after dinner’ was nothing but a process to smooth digestion.
Apart from that, if you notice the elderly go into a ‘state of silence’ or spend few minutes chanting while on bed because it helps in switching off from the external world. On that note, one can even practice ‘Shavasana’ i.e. yoga nidra asana if meditation sounds to be difficult.
Maybe it is not possible for everyone to create a perfect ayurvedic night ritual but that is not even our goal, right? Our goal is to make sure that we receive a healthy restorative rest for 6-8 hours. And this can also be achieved by bringing few changes in our night lifestyle.
After dinner bites
· Having turmeric milk (with or without honey) is the ultimate go to drink at night.
· After dinner, eating curd (not sour*) or drinking warm soup with less spices also helps with good sleep.
Simple relaxing activities
· Self-massaging the feet and head with preferred oil (castor oil or coconut oil is highly recommended) or for similar affect taking a warm shower at the end of the day is very soothing for the body.
· To relax your senses, use lavender, eucalyptus or lemongrass oil either in an oil diffuser or simply add few drops (of any oil) in steaming water and enjoy.
Your Night-time checklist
That’s why there are few common symptoms that disrupt sound sleep like indigestion, low immunity, fatigue, mental and emotional issues like stress/depression or constant mood swings and increased blood pressure. If you are experiencing any of these issues then you might consider following the traditional night habits.
1. Having dinner at least three hours before sleeping.
2. Avoid wearing tight clothes.
3. Clean the mouth, teeth, tongue and throat.
4. Bedding must be clean and neat.
5. The space of resting should be airy.
6. Before sleeping, make sure to excrete urine and faeces by using cold water.
7. If possible, make sure that while sleeping the feet is facing towards the north or west and the sleeping position is on the left side.
8. Either read relaxing books or listen to white noise to signal the mind for rest.
The Science of Ayurveda during Covid-19
Although as per Ayurveda it is recommended to follow all these steps but because of our present lifestyle even carrying few of these activities will go a long way to make our nights a little bit easier.
“Janapada Dvamsa Vyadhi” as in world-wide epidemics, according to the Ayurvedic scriptures, actually give us an opportunity to go inwards and focus on our daily routine. This is the perfect time for all of us to create an online-offline balance. As humans we must not underestimate the power of silence and rest. Thus, switching from a response state to a resting state is like a tiny adventure in our everyday life.
“Rogāhāsaravepimandegnam sutarambhuterānitu” meaning as long as we keep our Agni i.e. digestive system strong, illnesses of all sort will be prevented and hence creating holistic living.
Have a good night!
This Article is written by Vishruta Vasanthrao