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Importance of sleep in Ayurveda

It's common knowledge that sleep is equally as important as proper nutrition for humans to survive. But let's take a look at the concept of sleep and it's importance from the perspective of Ayurveda. 

In Charaka Samhita, its written as below

Nidraayattam Sukham Sukkham
     Pushtih Kaarsyam Balaabalam
Vrishataa Kleabathaa Gnaanam
   Agnaanam Jeevitam Nacha


Happiness or misery, plumpness or leanness, strength or weakness, knowledge or ignorance, inshort, the very life or death depends up on sleep. 

Lack of sleep:

It is said that keeping awake at night causes dryness of the tissues, as fat consumption increases and imbalances the lubrication of tissues.  . Sleeping in day time increases in the fat in the tissues. 

Judicious Sleeping:

Children require more sleep than adults and upto 12 years they may require 9-10 hours of sleep per day. In Adults, it is said, that 7 to 8 hours is ample. Sick people and convalescents require more sleep than healthy. 

Early to bed and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  According to Sukraneetisaara and Kaamandaka Raajaneetisaara, it is said that one should sleep by 9 PM and wake up after 3AM. Ayurveda prescribes one who wishes to protect their health should wake up at Brahma Muhurta - which is 48 minutes before Sunrise. 

Sleeping during day time:

Sleeping during daytime is recommended in summer, owing to debilitating dry heat of the sun and also on account of the short durations of the night. 

Other than that sleep is generally prohibited during daytime except for those who are weekend by strenuous activities. 

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