How’s your sleep? How is it now compared to how it was six or eight weeks ago? Are you finding that you’re more tired, or more energized? Are you finding that with perhaps more flexibility in your schedule that your sleep rhythms of when you wake up and when you go to sleep have slipped or shifted?
There is no one size fits all approach to how much sleep we need and exactly when. Western research indicates that under “normal”circumstances, adults do well with about eight hours of sleep a night. Ayurveda suggests that WHEN we sleep is as important as HOW many hours we spend sleeping. Ayurveda is a branch of Eastern Medicine that functions on BALANCE. The aim in Ayurveda is to achieve balance, and one way we do that is through attuning our biorhythms.
In Ayurveda everything and everyone are viewed through the lens of energy, and we leverage nature as a way to explain these often times invisible energies. When we talk about sleep, we’re talking about the energies of the sun and of the moon. The sun gives us solar energy that charges action, ambition, metabolism, and transformation. Solar energy is considered masculine.
The moon, on the other hand supplies us with lunar energies that support our quieter side—the aspect of ourselves that is intuitive, restorative, integrative and feminine. In other words, when the sun is up, we DO; when the moon is up, we BE. Each night we are graced with a sacred period of intuition, and integration, through the power of rest.
THE SPIRITUALITY OF SLEEP
Most of us know that sleep is critical in our biological ability to combat stress, regulate hormones, and optimize our immune system. What may not be as commonly known is that sleep is imperative for our spiritual bodies. I will not get on a soap box or go on a rant about spiritual theories on why we are experiencing a pandemic at this point in time, but it’s worth noting that all of our lives have been interrupted. Many of us are if not by will, then by necessity, are re-evaluating our priorities:
- What matters to me?
- How do I want to spend our time?
- Where are my resources best spent?
- What challenges am I facing?
- What inner strengths am I uncovering?
- What lessons are before me right now?
- What am I learning? How am I growing?
These are all questions that are considered by and animated through the spirit body. That is to say, right now our spiritual bodies are undergoing a transformation, and this transformation may require more rest. So if you’re feeling tired, even if you’re getting eight hours of sleep, and still feeling tired—this could be the reason.
TOOLS FOR A BETTER REST
To close, I thought you might benefit from tools to promote reparative, integrative, transformational rest:
In closing, thank you for reading this. Know that you are loved. Know that we are all growing. Know that goodness is always present in the here and now, and sometimes a good nights sleep is just what we need to be reminded of ubiquitous goodness.