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Fri, April 12, 2024

Healthy tips to reduce your sleep quota

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The body needs rest, not sleep. In most people’s experience, sleep is the deepest form of restfulness they know, so they talk about sleep. But essentially, the body is not asking for sleep, it is looking for restfulness. Your mornings would be pretty bad if your nights were not restful. So it is not sleep but restfulness that makes the difference. If you keep your body relaxed throughout the day, if your work, exercise and every other activity is a form of relaxation for you, your sleep quota will go down naturally. The problem is that people have been taught to do everything hard – in tension. I see people walking very tense in the park. This sort of exercise will bring more harm than wellbeing. Don’t go at everything like it is a war. Whether you are walking, jogging or exercising, why don’t you do it easily, joyfully? Don’t battle with life. Keeping yourself fit and well is not a battle. Play a game, swim, walk, whatever you like. You will only have a problem if all you want to do is eat cheesecake! Otherwise, there is no problem about being relaxed with any activity.

Bring Natural Foods in Your Diet

If you are sleeping eight or nine hours a day, one thing to look at is the food you eat. Consuming at least a certain amount of vegetarian material, particularly foods that can be eaten in their natural, uncooked condition is very important for your general wellbeing. When you cook food, a large volume of prana or life energy is destroyed. This is one reason why lethargy can set into the body. If you eat a certain amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, there are many benefits, but one thing you will notice immediately is that your sleep quota will come down.

From Stove to Plate – Make it Quick

In Indian culture, traditionally it is said that any cooked food should always be eaten within 1.5 to 2 hours of being cooked. Keeping cooked food in a fridge for long periods of time and then eating it can raise your sleep quota in addition to causing many other problems to the body. The same is true for canned food. There is something called “tamas” which literally means “inertia.” Food that is kept like this will have a lot of tamas, which can bring down your mental agility and alertness.

How Much to Eat

How keenly you manage your energies is what decides your alertness. To meditate, alertness should be not just of the mind but of your very energy. To assist this, for people on the yogic path, it is said that you should eat only twenty-four mouthfuls, and you must chew every mouthful at least twenty-four times. This will ensure that food is pre-digested in your mouth before it goes in, and it will not cause dullness. If you do this during your evening meal, you will easily wake up at three-thirty in the morning. In the yogic system, this period is called the Brahma Muhurtam. It is an ideal time to do yogic practices because there is an extra support from nature at that time for your sadhana.

Don’t Forcefully Deny Sleep

How much sleep your body needs depends on the level of physical activity you perform. There is no need to fix the quantum of either food or sleep. When your activity levels are low, you eat less. When they are high, you may eat more. The same goes for sleep. The moment the body is well rested it will get up, whether at 3 AM or 8 AM. Your body should not wake up to an alarm bell. Once it feels sufficiently rested, it must come awake. If you forcefully deny sleep to the body, your physical and mental capabilities and whatever else you have will drop. You should never do that. You must give the body how much sleep it needs. But if the body is somehow trying to use the bed as a grave, it won’t want to come out. Somebody will have to raise you from the dead! It depends on how you are handling your life. If you are in a mental state where you want to avoid life, you will naturally tend to eat and sleep more.

Don’t Sleep Right After You Eat

There are quite a few people who are in such a mental state that unless they load themselves with food and make the body dull, they cannot fall asleep. You must give sufficient time for digestion to happen before you sleep. I would say 80% of the food that you eat will go waste if you fall asleep within two hours of eating. If you are in a condition where you cannot sleep unless you have a full stomach, you need to address this issue. This is not about sleep, this is a certain mental state.

The Right Position For Sleep

When the body is positioned horizontally, you can immediately make out that your pulse rate drops. The body makes this adjustment because if blood is pumped with the same force, too much will go into your head, causing damage. The blood vessels which go upward are a finer arrangement compared to those going down. As they go up into the brain, they become almost hair-like, to a point that they cannot take an extra drop. When you sleep, if you place your head towards the north and stay that way for 5 to 6 hours, the magnetic pull of the Earth will cause pressure on your brain because iron is an important ingredient in your blood. It is not that if you sleep this way you will fall dead. But if you do this every day, you are asking for trouble. If you are beyond a certain age and your blood vessels are weak, it can result in hemorrhages and paralytic strokes. Even if your system is sturdy, you may not sleep very well because there is more circulation in the brain than there should be. If you are in the northern hemisphere, East is the best direction to keep your head when you sleep. Northeast is okay. West is alright. South, if you must. North, no. In the southern hemisphere, don’t put your head to the south. READ ALSO:
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MARCH 2024

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