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Last updated on April 26, 2011 at 12:00 am EDT by in5d Alternative News
by Deepak Chopra, Ph.D.
The quality of rest we achieve has a direct effect on our level of
Sleep is an elemental part of life. The average human being sleeps 6 to
8 hours a night, almost 50 hours a week, and more than 2,600 hours a
year—about 182,000 hours during one’s life. That means, on average,
that we spend almost 21 years of our lives asleep. The duration of our
sleep and the quality of rest we achieve has a direct effect on our
level of energy and our effectiveness during our waking hours. Without
concentrated and reinvigorating durations of sleep, the quality of the
remainder of our life—work, relationships, and other activities—can
Good sleep should be in rhythm with your daily life, but also with the
universe. When your physiological and biological rhythms are in sync
with nature’s—the movement of the earth, sun, moon, and stars; the
cycle of the seasons, and the pull and push of the ocean tide—sleep
becomes effortless. This type of naturally induced sleep produces an
internal state of euphoria that’s both health promoting and
Your body is the best pharmacy in the world. It makes natural healing
substances that protect you from various illnesses. This pharmacy is
strengthened when your body is in balance. Exercise, sleep, proper
diet, and maintaining biological rhythms are all interconnected and
dependent upon each other.
One of the best-kept secrets for restful,
rejuvenating sleep is the quality of your experiences during the day.
When you live each moment completely and fully appreciate the world
around you, you do not accumulate stress; therefore, dynamic daily
activity directly benefits the quality of your sleep.
Stress is the most frequent cause of disturbed sleep. Whenever you
perceive physical or psychological threats or whenever you believe that
your needs aren’t being met, you activate the stress response: Your
blood pressure rises, your heart beats faster, your platelets get
stickier, and you pump out stress hormones from your adrenal glands.
Over time, these stress changes—in addition to causing restless
sleep—can lead to hypertension, heart disease, and immune deficiencies.
The secret to good sleep is dynamic activity during the day, and the
secret of dynamic activity is deep, restful sleep at night. The two go
hand in hand. When this equilibrium is achieved, good sleep is
The most important fact about sleep is this: You cannot force yourself
to sleep. You cannot command your body to sleep. You cannot will your
body to sleep. It’s not possible to make yourself go to sleep in the
same way you can make yourself run, exercise, read, or do any
other voluntary activity.
Since insomnia is a very common problem, many people try to force
themselves to sleep at one time or another. Sleep is a natural process,
and “trying” will have no positive effect. In fact, it will probably
aggravate the insomnia because the harder you try and less successful
you are, the more frustrated you’ll feel. Trying is not the way in
which nature functions.
It’s important to note that perhaps the single most important tip with
respect to improving the quality of your sleep and rest is not to get
uptight about things as you take steps to ensure that sleep becomes a
natural and effortless aspect of the rhythm of your life.
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