When we sleep, we rejuvenate. From an ayurvedic perspective, a large part of that is cleansing. Our system pulls out everything that needs to be eliminated from the body ready for the morning. In a healthy person, there will be a bowel movement in the morning to remove all of this waste from the system.
When we don’t sleep, we become stressed and tired and it sometimes makes the elimination process more difficult for our body. How often do we find that if we’re not sleeping well, our digestion can often be the first thing to suffer. And then, with poor digestion, stomach ache and indigestion we often find it even harder to sleep.
So what can we do?
A great way to resolve digestive issues like this is to take more good oil in our diet. I know that sounds strange, but the body needs oil, especially for the digestive process. In the stomach, our food is processed into liquid in preparation for its nutritional content to be absorbed. Unless that liquid has a slightly oily quality, our body has a hard time digesting it.
Ayurveda talks of the “digestive fire” and uses the metaphor of a ghee lamp. With a bonfire, we need fuel to be dry in order to burn – but a ghee lamp needs oil to burn. I’m sure you remember seeing one of those public safety commercials about the dangers of a chip pan fire, don’t you? In order to “burn” or digest our food, we need oil to help light that fire and keep it burning.
You might be wondering how you can get more oil into your body? It seems like an odd thing to want more of, in this world where everything is either low fat or non-fat doesn’t it! Healthy fats can make a massive difference to how your digestive system works as well as your hair and skin and providing numerous other benefits.
Examples of great sources of healthy fats are ghee, olive oil, coconut oil and avocados. Don’t be afraid of oil, your body needs it.