Free Press Journal

Sleep well to live well


The Universe, by virtue of the laws of nature, has provided all humans four sources of energy; namely food, breath, sleep or deep rest and a meditative state of mind. A Guru or an accomplished teacher unravels these secrets in any reputed wellness programme or course. Our bodies and minds get resuscitated to execute the work on hand in a systematic and proficient manner.

Happiness programme – The Art of Living Way

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has delineated all these sources of energy for the benefit of humanity with consummate ease and dexterity, which enables a person to recharge his batteries and feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated to enhance their inner potential.

Stuck with our unhealthy quotidian patterns, our mind and body become enervated and sapped and performance levels get amortized. However, by practising the unique rhythmic breathing technique of “Sudarshan Kriya”   humans are able to remain in the present moment and give their hundred per cent. But then this breathing technique is to be practised unflinchingly every day. The practitioner needs to attend the weekly follow-up without fail in order to achieve maximal results. In his impish manner, Gurudev says, “Practising Sudarshan Kriya is like romance with breath.”

Tale of a luxuriant family

Raghav (name changed) is pursuing engineering from an estimable institute and older sibling Rohan (name changed) works as a strategic manager in a multi-national organisation. Their parents are highly proficient troupers who run a theatre academy and are perpetually on the move.

It is reckoned the quartet hadn’t had a meal together for aeons. When the father was wheeled into the ICU for myocardial infarction a few days back, some relatives hesitatingly ventured that the family were so busy, stressed and burnt out that many had feared that something calamitous as this was waiting to happen.

In their quest for perfection, the family neglected their health. Apart from poor dietary habits, they hardly exercised and rarely gave their bodies any rest.

The perspicacious medical practitioner attending on the father ordered a battery of tests on the family members too. The actress mother and the two sons were suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Soon, they were directed to break the glass ceiling of being too busy by drastically modifying their dietary habits, to ensure a modicum of exercise and to take adequate rest apart from medication.

What is sleep?

As per Wikipedia, “Sleep is a condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes are closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness gets practically suspended.”

An Art of Living teacher subsumed with energy and exuding radiance, purveyed the participants and asked, “How would a person feel the following morning after sleeping for fourteen hours a day?” In unison, the participants replied, “phlegmatic and sluggish.” His next question was what if the individual sleeps for barely a few hours a night. The answer, in unison was, “The individual would feel restless and irritable.”

In either situation, the performance of the individuals would be below par.

Quantum of snooze

A baby between the ages of two weeks and two months sleeps anywhere between 15.5 hours to 17 hours during a day, while a normal and healthy adult ought to sleep between 7 to 9 hours to feel refreshed and recharged. As children we have no option, but to follow the principles laid down by nature. However, as adults, as we lose our innocence and humans of their own volition violate the rules of the game and end up suffering from various disorders and maladies.

Human potential

Humans lack the sagacity or perspicacity to compute or quantify the repository of energy or the full potential within their selves. The nature of a human being is akin to that of an atom. The nucleus of an atom is positive, while negatively charged particles are smeared on the circumference. Antipathetic and Sisyphean thoughts and actions are not an integral part of human nature; it merely resides on the circumference.

An individual who appreciates that the Divine lives within become calm, steady and radiant. Such a human being automatically becomes a magnet for other people. Abhorrence and violence are verily not an integral part of human nature, it is potentially indicative of violation at the subterranean and the domain level of a human being.

Silence and siesta

It is noteworthy to mention that a person suffering from any ailment is prescribed several medicines to recuperate. But sleep is the wonder tonic which expatriates all the toxins accumulated in the body. Adequate rest and sleep are an integral part of our healing process.

It is paramount for a human to eschew violence and ferity, even if it is in thought. It is important to rediscover the inner potential and become peaceful.  Peace dawns on the human mind when there is innocence and what better way to cocoon the mind with efficacious thoughts than to remove the swathes of cobwebs.

Humans need to observe the mind, the thoughts which cannonade it and the noise it generates. This noise is often generated in pursuit of accumulation and at the cost of fulfilment. Aggregating and acquisition of fame, recognition and wealth by offering sacrifices at the altar of humanism is certainly not the sign of a wise person.

The seminal British painter, poet and print maker William Blake who was virtually anonymous during his lifetime put it succinctly, “Think in the morning and act in the noon. Eat in the evening, sleep in the night.”