Sleep vs. Resting

By Angela Glaz

Ayurvedic Specialist & 500 Hour E-RYT

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When it comes to taking care of our bodies and minds, we are actually very similar to our electronic devices. We need to both shutdown and restart to maintain optimal health.

Turning Off

When we turn off or shut down our electronic device, we are shutting everything down completely. This is usually best done when we need to add, change, or repair our hardware. In relation to our bodies and minds, this is sleep. This is the time of day we turn off completely to digest our day’s experiences.

Just as our electronic devices will will repair their hardware, our bodies restore our muscles, tissues, and cells. Our minds will actively process all of the input we took in throughout the day, sort it, and process it so we aren’t left feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

We do most of this processing between the hours of 10pm and 2am, that’s why Ayurveda encourages us to be in bed by 10pm. During this window of time, the Pitta (fire) within all of us is more dominant and for a good reason. Fire is the transformer and processor of the five elements. Again… we need that fire to help us mentally digest. When we don’t properly digest, physically or mentally, ama (toxins) begin to accumulate, which can then lead to disease.


Restarting

When we restart our electronic devices, we are rebooting all systems that are already in place and then firing them right back up. In relation to our bodies and minds, this is meditation, yoga nidra, maybe even just sitting in stillness for a few minutes.

This process of slowing down or resting the body and the mind are necessary to give both our nervous system and our immune system a reboot so that they don’t “overheat,” or get depleted. Taking the time to find stillness or rest within our day also makes our sleep digestion process a lot more efficient.

Think of it like this, if we have a day that is filled with a lot of talking, interacting, and experiences, it can almost be like shoving too much food in a pot to cook. The cooking is going to take longer and not everything might get cooked fully. Resting is like eating ginger or mint after a meal to help promote the digestion process, ensuring that everything gets fully processed and digested while you are sleeping.

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