Good, calm and sound sleep is called ‘Sukh Nidra’ in Ayurveda. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of life as it restores and renews the body. Without sleep, organs deteriorate at rapid pace, and mind loses its sharpness. Most Ayurvedic principles, if adopted in life can improve sleep. Unlike as commonly believed, Ayurveda does not dictate eight hours of sleep every night. The quality and quantity of sleep required by an individual to completely recharge one’s mind and body and to rejuvenate new cells are considered crucial for health and longevity.
The word ‘nap’ is referred to a short period of sleep during day time, and people all over the world, across all ages, enjoy afternoon naps for different reasons since ancient times. Ayurveda suggests that afternoon naps are best only in the ‘Grishma Ritu’ which is the summer season. Therefore, from Ayurvedic point of view, a healthy person need not nap during other seasons, unless having some health conditions. Also, very weak, young, old or diseased are recommended to sleep longer than 15 minutes at noon, as sleeping during the day is believed to produce ‘ama’ or toxins.
Ayurveda says that naps can increase Kapha dosha and hence, good for those of vata constitution. People who exert physically, or whose job involves physical labour, can ideally enjoy a nap in the afternoon.
When sleeping, Ayurveda recommends sleeping on the left side. This is called ‘Vamkukshi’ in Ayurveda. It is said that sleeping on the left side helps digestion, and also improves hunger and maintains body temperature. Listed here are some of the benefits of sleeping on your left side, which is very strongly recommended in Ayurveda.
- Sleeping on left prevents snoring.
- When taking a nap after meal, ensure that you take a small walk or stroll, and then get to bed. Then, if you sleep turning to your left side, it helps in proper digestion of meals.
- People with back and neck pain can experience relief when sleeping in this position.
- Sleeping on the left filters and purifies toxins, lymph fluids and wastes. In fact, it prevents any serious illness as accumulated toxins are flushed out easily.
- This sleeping position helps in better functioning of liver and kidneys, and also enables smooth bowel movements.
- Sleeping on your left reduces workload on heart and its proper functioning.
- It prevents acidity and heartburn, and also reduces fatigue in the morning.
- Sleeping on your left, helps in easy digestion of fat.
- It leaves a positive impact on brain by delaying the onset of Alzheimer and Parkinson.
- On the whole, sleeping to your left is considered the best sleeping position in Ayurveda.
Although sleeping habit may vary from one individual to another, we now know about the various benefits of sleeping on the left side. If there are so many benefits associated with sleeping on the left side, you must, after-all give it a try!