Out of the darkness is born light and the journey of every human is from darkness towards light. Darkness prepares us for the light we seek. So it is Ratricharya which prepares us for a smooth transition into the dawn. Ayurveda classifies day and night, having 12 hours each and they remain divided between 6am and 6pm. As the day, night too has been further divided into three parts dominated by kapha, pitta and vata respectively. Ratricharya simply refers to the set of activities indulged in, at night. With these few basics in mind let’s explore Ratricharya.
Ratricharya consists of the following important activities
Dinner at night
Dinner is an important and inevitable event in Ratricharya. A well planed dinner can ensure good sleep and freshness in the morning. One should avoid snacking in the evening before the dinner. Food consumed in the evening may not be digested before consuming the dinner unless very light. If one is used to consuming a couple of biscuits or any other very light food, it may not harm. Avoiding the evening snack preserves good appetite and perfect digestion. One should remember the following things during dinner:
- Dinner should be had before 9 pm.
- Dinner should always be light consisting of only easily digestible food and consumed in warm state.
- Excessively oily and spicy foods should be avoided.
- Avoid raw vegetables and pulses.
- There should be a sufficient spacing of one and a half to two hours between dinner and sleep.
- Make it a point to have some warm water along with food.
- Avoid consuming curds at night.
- If you prefer to eat fruits then they are preferable just before food.
Post dinner activities
- After dinner one can chew a couple of betel leaves.
- Walking a hundred steps after dinner is beneficial.
- After the stroll one should lie in left lateral position for 10-15min.
- Dhoomapana (medicated smoke) is also recommended after food.
One of the manoeuvres recommended under Ratricharya is consumption of Triphala (three myrobalans- Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Embelica officinalis) Along with honey and ghee at bed time. It is very beneficial for the eyes as it improves vision and increases the visual acuity.
Sleep at night is an important activity which should be given due importance as it is the one which provides our body with sufficient rest and relaxation. A good sleep always ensures sound mind and body. Sleep in excess or its deprivation, are both harmful to the body.
Though the amount of sleep necessary for every individual may vary, but there could be some consensus on the average amount of sleep necessary. For an adult on an average 6-7hrs of sleep should be sufficient. It is more in case of children and old individuals. While deciding the exact amount of sleep one has to consider the factors such as the body type of the individual, nature of work the individual indulges in, type of place he resides in, type of food consumed by him and the season.
One should always sleep early, at least by 10:30 pm. Therefore possibly fix a regular time for sleep. One should never sleep with a heavy abdomen. One should ensure that the bedding he uses should be comfortable and sufficiently large with enough covering material. Avoid using your electronic gadgets on your bed at bedtime. Avoid waking repeatedly at night.
Find methods on inducing good sleep along with Ayurvedic views on sex in my next post.