Sleep is perhaps the number one healer of ailments. Whether we have a cold, fever, allergies, or body aches and pains, sleep does wonders to aid the recovery process. When we are active, all organs and cells are in full swing to support the activity. It is only when we rest at night that the cells start repairing themselves in preparation for activity the next day. So what is sleep? Sleep is a deep state of rest and relaxation, where the activity of the brain and the organs have slowed down, and the process of rejuvenation is turned on. We have all experienced at one time or another how the lack of sleep or rest feels – body aches, mental slowness, lack of energy etc. Over time, low levels of sleep speeds up the cellular aging process, where the biological age surpasses the chronological age. Prolonged states of sleep deprivation accelerates organ aging and degeneration – a sure recipe for health disaster.
Our fast paced life style combined with long work hours has revved up activity levels, leaving little time for sleep and nutrition. The repercussions of this are the early onset of chronic and mental ailments. The amount of money spent on disease and recovery is in the trillions of dollars. Using drugs to boost sleep has other unintended consequences on the body, the side effects of which surface after prolonged ingestion of the drug.
Prevention is always better than cure. The first step towards that is to be well rested. So does the recommended 8 hours of sleep create restfulness in the system? According to the yogic perspective, it is less about the number of hours of sleep, more about bringing a restfulness into the system, which might seem contrary to the current medical recommendation. The reason being that yogic science views this from an inside-out perspective. What does that mean? One major benefit (amongst a multitude of others) of yoga is that it brings the entire system (mind, body, and energy) to a deep restful state which – with regular practice – can last for the entire day, in spite of rigorous activity. Regular practice lowers the pulse rate slowing down the system to mimic restorative sleep state. So the inner state of the body is that of restfulness, even while activity is being performed on the outside. This keeps the entire system stress free and “at rest” the entire day whether you are at home, at work, at the grocery store, with friends etc. As a result the need for sleep naturally decreases. However, your entire system feels alive, alert, young, healthy and ready to take on any type of activity.
Isn’t this what we all want? Everyone understands the benefits of yoga and meditation. But many are unable to dedicate the needed time for practice. While not everyone wants to do yoga, the need for sound and restful sleep is universal. Play this sleep meditation video and put yourself to “sleep like a baby”. Nighty night!
47 Most Famous Motivational Quotes of All-Time
49 Greatest Love Quotes
37 Inspirational Quotes that Will Change Your Life