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Restful Sleep


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While most sleep experts advise people who are experiencing difficulty in sleeping to consider a variety of strategies, including drugs, Chopra (Ageless Body, Timeless Mind), director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind/Body Medicine in San Diego, relies on the balance and moderation that are keystones of the ancient Indian Ayurvedic approach to health. He suggests that, to enjoy restful sleep, we need to understand more about the nature of the mind and the body, the connections between them and the cycles of nature that are related to sleep patterns. Unlike many sleep specialists, he recommends staying in bed, with one's eyes closed, rather than getting up to read or watch television on those exasperating nights when sleep just doesn't come. He also advocates keeping sleeping logs, gentle daily exercise and discovering and nurturing one's Ayurvedic body type. The latter, understandably exotic to an audience accustomed to Western medicine, is based on three body types-vata, pitta, and kapha-and finding the inner harmony necessary for one's body type. Although not all insomniacs will go along with the Ayurvedic way of thinking, this approach does provide thought-provoking reading-especially on a sleepless night. Harmony is also publishing Chopra's Perfect Weight concurrently. (Oct.)

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