Family life, tight schedules, appointments, work commitments, living in NYC, moving and grooving with the hustle and bustle of the city can be exhilarating and rewarding but draining at the same time. As yogis, we all value the well being of our bodies, physically and emotionally. A very important key to reaching your personal best state of health is sleep. Sleep is often under looked as an important factor of health but it is extremely important for mental health, physical health, quality of life, safety, and even weight loss. Coffee can only do so much for us before we have to solve the root of the problem!
Sleep is important to keep your brain alert and engaged. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.
Symptoms of sleep deficiency can be seen immediately or over time. Usually we hear of the danger of sleep deficiency on our physical health, but it can also take a toll on our mental wellbeing. Studies show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. Yoga is a great tool to keep our bodies and minds healthy and daily exercise is essential to over wellbeing; but after working our muscles and stretching our bodies need sleep to recover. Sleep is also involved in the healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Of course, there is a solution to this lack of sleep problem, First, make sure that you allow yourself enough time to sleep. With enough sleep each night, you may find that you're happier and more productive during the day. Another solution may be to try out some yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is one of the practices of pratyahara where the awareness is internalized. Literally, yoga nidra means 'psychic sleep’ - sleep with full awareness. In the practice of yoga nidra the body sleeps but the mind remains awake listening to the instructions. In psychology, the state achieved in yoga nidra is termed the hypnogogic state, a state between sleep and wakefulness. Some of the incredible benefits of yoga nidra include decreased physical and mental tension, greater mental relaxation and focus, clears up the unconscious, and awakening of creativity,