Hyderabad, March 19 (IANS) Experts have underlined the importance of sleep for physical and mental wellbeing on World Sleep Day on Friday.
The Shri Ram Chandra Mission (Heartfulness Institute) organised a well-being webinar "A capsule of energy - Yoga practices and sleep" as part of Yoga for Unity and Well-being programme by Heartfulness Institute being held in the run-up to the International Day of Yoga on June 21.
The yoga for unity and well-being initiative aims to unite people across the world by practicing yoga and meditation for 100 days for a healthier and happier life.
The guest speakers included Luke Coutinho, holistic lifestyle Coach and author, Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, and Jay Thimmapuram, Internal Medicine Physician, WellSpan York Hospital, New York. The webinar was moderated by Snehal Deshpande, life coach, entrepreneur and developmental therapist.
Coutinho stressed the importance of sleep as a medicine and how it affects a person's well-being. "Sleep is everything... People may say nutrition is the most important, but it isn't as important as sleep. If you wake up sleep-deprived, you wake up craving carbs, sugar, or caffeine. So, you cannot ignore nutrition. We need to make sure that the food we eat has the essential nutrients," he said.
"To sleep well, we have to eat well. I want to encourage people to be more mindful because our bodies tend to tell us what exactly they want to have. And that's how we build on our self-care plans and what works for us, by reflecting on it," he added.
According to Thimmapuram, good sleep acts as a foundation for wellness and well-being. "Poor sleep increases our susceptibility to stress and anxiety and emotional states such as anger or frustration. Our ability to cope up with the environment goes down," he said.
He referred to a study of behavior and sleep using Heartfulness Meditation. "Both are very well connected. We conducted a study using Heartfulness Meditation for four weeks and found out that when the sleep improved, loneliness also improved. The practice of heartfulness meditation leads to many benefits. The brain starts to slow down and gets cleaned up. This is the reason why after a long meditative session we feel absolutely refreshed and relaxed," said Thimmapuram.
"Meditation produces a deeper and more relaxed state of sleep and when you wake up in the morning you're refreshed and better equipped to go through the ups and downs of your life," he added.
Heartfulness Institute is uniting the leading traditional yoga schools and bringing their practices onto a single platform for the benefit of humanity. The entire series is free-of-cost for participants.
Yoga practice sessions from different lineages, over 30 weekly lectures by Yoga experts, and weekend masterclasses with Daaji will be conducted, from March 15 for the next 100 days on the Heartfulness YouTube channel and social media platforms. Participants can register on https://heartfulness.org/en/yoga4unity/ for free access to all the sessions.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Ayush, the UN Information Center- UNIC - India & Bhutan, Yoga for Harmony and Peace, and the Association of Indian Universities.