By: Erin Laughlin
In today’s society, people are overworking themselves. They are putting themselves through copious amounts of stress because they want and need to make money. Thus, resulting in a lack of sleep which, in turn, adds more stress to their lives. It is a vicious cycle. In the book, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom by Acharya Shunya, chapter 2, Celebrating and Awakened Sky, speaks on the topic of sleep cycles. (Read the book review here!)
It is stated in the book that the body and mind should wake up no later than 6:00 a.m. This part of the early morning is called the “brahma muhurta”, or “The time of God Consciousness”. According to Shunya, this is “the time of perceiving the highest truth of universal consciousness”. Because of this, it is the perfect time for meditation or to have some time alone with your thoughts. Early rising has many physical health benefits as well as mental benefits. Waking up during the brahma muhurta provides the body with an increase in energy, it helps to rid the body of depression and it also improves the digestive system. It is also said that waking up during this time is tied to increasing one’s lifespan. Waking up at 6:00 a.m. or earlier allows people to maximize their energy and health.
While sleeping in may be the rough, don’t do it! Extra sleep will have you feeling sluggish and lacking energy throughout the day. Believe it or not, sleeping in actually affects the bowels. In this book, Shunya says “Get out of bed before 6:00 a.m. no matter what!” She has recommended this to many people who come seeking her advice about chronic constipation. As stated in the book, waking up during this time helps the body naturally eliminate waste and gas. Once the body can rid itself of waste, it will allow the digestive tract to be cleared. Shunya states that before she prescribes anything to a client that can help with elimination of waste, such as herbs or even changing diets. She has them try this Ayurvedic method. The clients that have listened to Shunya’s advice, got rid of their bowel problems.
Going to sleep late is another major problem that people deal with constantly. Whether it is staying up late because you have a deadline at work, or the time got away from you while relaxing and watching a movie. To get the proper amount of rest each night, it is pertinent to go to bed no later than 10:00 p.m. and wake up no later than 6:00 a.m. this is the ideal schedule for sleeping according to Ayurveda. However, if you are living this Ayurveda lifestyle and you accidentally stay up late one night, there is an exception to the rule. For the number of hours past 10:00 p.m. that you stay up, cut that number of hours in half, and sleep past 6:00 a.m. based on that number. Thus, making up only half of the time lost from the previous night. Obviously, if you do this in succession this your body’ internal clock will be off, and this Ayurveda lifestyle will not work for you.
Sleep is a very important part of life. Its provides you with the energy needed to make it through the day. While people are very busy with work and families, it is still vital to get the proper amount of sleep. To feel refreshed and vibrant go to bed at 10:00 p.m. and wake up during the brahma muhurta. This will provide you with many health benefits and it help you live a longer and healthier life.