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Sleep is a natural medicine but…do we know how to sleep?

Medical science, as our readers are aware, generally agrees that on an average 7/8 hours of daily sleep is necessary for an adult. Sleep is widely believed to be a natural medicine against various ailments. It also helps to soothe frayed nerves. However, is it not true that we do not come across as many articles on quality of sleep? For example, is 5/6 hours of sleep sufficient if the quality of sleep is good? A common-sense approach seems to suggest so. If it be so then does it not make sense to understand how to sleep better? Let us explore it.

Recently we came across the titled Living Within. It is a compilation of excerpts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother of the Pondicherry Ashram. We approached the topic with curiosity and a tinge of scepticism. But the succinct explanation of the art of sleeping bowled us for. A few sections are quoted for the benefit of the readers.

  • “If one is physically very tired, it is better not to go to sleep immediately, otherwise one falls into the in conscient.”

  • “If one is very tired, one must stretch out on the bed, relax, loosen all the nerves one after the another until one becomes like rumpled cloth on one’s bed, as though one had neither bones nor muscles.”

  • “When one has done that, the same thing must be done in the mind. Relax, do not concentrate on any idea or try to solve a problem or ruminate on impressions, sensations or emotions you had during the day.”

  • “And then the mind also – the mind, try to keep it like that, without any activity. You must put upon the brain the force of peace, great quietude, of silence if possible and not follow ideas actively…” (Does it not sound familiar with the third step of Quality Mind Process – QMP – elaborated in the previous Issue?)

  • “I guarantee that if you do this carefully, you are sure to sleep, and also sure that instead of falling into a dark hole you will sleep in light, and when you get up in the morning you will be fresh, fit, content, happy and full of energy for the day.”

The four steps highlighted above indicate the need for a steady and persistent effort for mastery oversleep. Both for fevers and for mental trouble sleep is a great help and its absence undesirable – it is the loss of a curative agency. Adoption of the above method of sleeping augurs well not only for the senior citizens but also for persons who are actively pursuing their respective careers. On a lighter note, come to think of it, saving two hours of sleep daily can be utilized for pursuing activities for which we apparently do not get time!


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