The Sleep Saga

Temporary unconsciousness, that is how researchers term ‘sleep’, which is reversible. we spend 1/3rd of our life sleeping, considering 7-8 hrs of daily sleep. At first sight, this proportion may look huge and we may tend to see this in a negative way, but this 1/3rd part of our life is what is responsible for governing smooth functioning of our body systems and mind for the rest 2/3rd. One thing we must understand friends, that our body too follows the laws of physics and mathematics. So mind well that when you try to compromise on one side, it is going to reflect on another side of the coin. ( unless you are one of those who possess ‘high functioning’ brains, to whom these rules don’t apply at all ). The sleep seems as potent as drug and now as abused.

Ayurveda recognizes sleep as one of the tripods of life, other two being diet and celibacy (  self restrain on sexual relations ) and thus reckons its significant influence over life. Hence actually sleep is one of the support systems on which balance of life stands erect. Sleep keeps  body running , in a ‘get going’ phase and in a good shape. The statement may sound paradoxical though, but true enough to be proved by many studies carried out. A good sleep is associated with energy conservation, growth and restoration of tissues, temperature regulation and further to emotional wellbeing, memory and other brain functions. Every body system is influenced by sleep, be it you heart, your brain, your respiration, almost every vital function has impact of sleep on it. Ayurveda extends this even further to libido, cognitive functions, feelings of your mind towards happiness and sorrow and even to life and death.

Its interesting to know that, our sleep is not a one phase which continues for whole night but there are 2 types which repeats in cyclic manner. I will not go into the medical terms. Lets call them – light and deep sleep. And there are 4-5 cycles of these sleep types throughout the night. Light sleep is when we see the dreams, and our brain is active too. Deep sleep is dreamless and more restful one. Naturally, deep sleep covers major portion of our sleep and light sleep comes in bouts in between. But offcourse these things are subjective, varying from person to person. More the deep sleep, more you feel freshness in the morning.

The sleep is attributed to various systems and diseases  proven by many studies, be it a heart-circulatory system , brain functions , hormones and even obesity and diabetes.

In a nutshell, sleep is a break you apply on bumpy roads, sleep is a pit stop so you can complete the race uneventful, a cooling process before it gets burst out of heat. Sleep is a ‘balancing’ and ‘conservative’ process, our body needs to stay away from breaking down – physically and mentally.

Here are the lines of one of the great writers, William Shakespeare, lining this prominence golden with his poetic but explicable words,

“sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,

the death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,

balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,

chief nourisher in life’s feast”

……………the saga will continue…!

Let All Be Health & Happy !

Dr. Neelesh



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