Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and wellbeing. But how highly do we prioritize our life around achieving a night of deep, high-quality rest?
In a world packed full of activities, work, responsibilities, families, and distractions, it is easy to fall into patterns that lead us to restless nights.
According to Ayurveda, deep, high-quality sleep is the most restorative and healing part of our day. Yet many of us don’t prioritize our daily schedules and activities around achieving this.
You’re not alone. Only 1 in 10 Americans, according to The National Sleep Foundation, views sleep a top priority compared to physical fitness, work, hobbies, and socializing. And while we live in a world of a high-stimulus, over-achieving tasks, and expectations, it’s easy to forget the importance of our sleep.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP
There is nothing quite like the feeling you have waking up in the morning after an amazing night’s rest, feeling fully restored, clear-headed, energetic, glowing and ready to take on the new day. Your Ojas is high!
Ojas is the Ayurvedic term for “vigor” and “the physiological expression of consciousness”. It is the subtle essence and life force we have in our body that allows us to feel radiant, peaceful, stable, and centered despite external influences.
High-quality sleep influences and increases our healthy ojas significantly, but why? During this time:
- Your body has detoxified.
- Your muscles have restored.
- Your hormones have rebalanced.
- Your immunity has boosted.
- Your energy has reintegrated.
- Your mind has fully processed and reset.
You wake up as a new-and-improved, upgraded version of yourself, allowing the time and space for your body to do what it was designed to do!
NOT ALL SLEEP IS EQUAL
You may believe that sleep is sleep and hours are hours, but not all sleep is equal. While it is widely recommended to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night, the actual timing and quality of our sleep are just as important.
Timing – According to Ayurveda, the more deep sleep we achieve before midnight, the more healing we allow internally. This difference in timing is due to solar energy. For several hours after the sun sets, solar energy remains in our atmosphere until around midnight. Our bodies can then utilize this energy for further healing when we are in deeper states of sleep.
Quality – There is nothing like a great nap. But the healing you achieve from a nap low compared to all that happens during a full night’s rest. Throughout the night, you go through stages called REM (rapid eye movement) cycles which last around 90-120 minutes. The longer you sleep at night, the more cycles you experience. As the night passes, the deeper the cycles become, providing you with more healing and restorative sleep.
YOUR NIGHTLY ROUTINE
Actively practicing mindfulness by creating a soothing space for yourself each evening will naturally begin to shift your mind and body into a state of rest and relaxation.
Preparing yourself and your environment for a deep night’s rest is vital to setting the stage. You can read more about Ayurvedic rituals and guidelines here.
Supporting your mind and body during sleep with healthy herbs and supplements, such as My Healthy Mood, will also support the healing and detoxifying process within the body.
Everyone deserves to wake up feeling restored, rejuvenated, and refreshed each and every single morning. Taking the simple steps to prepare yourself both internally and externally will allow you to wind down perfectly, dream vividly, and heal automatically. Let’s all start the trend and hit the pillow early tonight!
AUTHOR – CAROLYN CREWS (YOUVEDA WELLNESS CONTRIBUTOR)