Can meditation reduce sleep
Meditate or sleep
Meditate or sleep
Sometimes when you are tired you wonder whether it is better to meditate or sleep. On the one hand, you should really meditate every day. On the other hand, the body also needs sleep. In any case. If you are permanently tired, you shouldn't sleep too much. Then it is better to meditate more.
Meditate or sleep from a yogic point of view
There are several ways to answer this question.
One would be to consider how meditation can replace sleep.
The second would be to address the question of whether, if you can meditate adequately, you can forego sleep altogether
The third possibility is to ask how you really know when you are sitting, whether you are meditating or whether you are perhaps in a meditative state of dozing and sleeping in meditation.
Can meditation replace sleep?
Yes, to a certain extent in any case. If you've slept seven or eight hours so far and you want to meditate for 20 minutes a day, then you can probably reduce your bedtime by 20 minutes. When you meditate, the meditation itself is also good regeneration. When you meditate, you need less sleep. You can also sleep better, sleep less, sleep deeper, and need less sleep.
This is also a great tip for people who have trouble sleeping. For example, if you are having trouble falling asleep, you could just meditate.
You could tell your subconscious, while lying, “Please dear subconscious, let me fall asleep for the next five minutes. If you don't let me fall asleep for the next five minutes, I'll meditate for 20 minutes. "
If you haven't fallen asleep after five minutes, meditate for 20 minutes. This is good and regenerates you. You only need to meditate for 20 minutes.
Then lie down again and tell your subconscious: "Please let me fall asleep in five minutes or I will meditate again for 20 minutes."
You may meditate a second time, but not a third time. After that, your subconscious will let you sleep. If you wake up at night and cannot sleep, then also sit down and meditate. If you meditate like this, you will be able to fall asleep easily afterwards and meditation can replace sleep or replace the recreational value of sleep.
Can you do without sleep altogether when you meditate?
No, usually not. If you reduce your sleep too much and still do not get that deep into meditation, then you will come into a meditative state of dozing afterwards and that is also not helpful.
Only to the extent that you remain awake in meditation, but for at least 20 minutes, can you replace sleeping with meditation. If you can't really stay awake during meditation and prolonged meditation doesn't give you real clarity of mind, then stick to your 20-30 minutes of meditation and otherwise sleep normally.
However, if you have a period when you need little sleep and can meditate a lot, then don't worry about the increased time for meditation. Sometimes I have that among my participants at Yoga Vidya that they suddenly notice that they need less sleep.
I have not yet heard that they forego sleep altogether. But that they only need 3-4 hours of sleep and then meditate for 3-4 hours is not that rare. If it happens, let it happen, but don't force it.
How do you know if you are meditating or sleeping?
You can also sleep sitting down. There is an expression in Sanskrit "Tandra Alasia Nidra", which Swami Sivananda mentions in his book "Concentration and Meditation", for example.
There he describes this state of mind as building castles in the air or dreaming or having dream images. If you meditate and afterwards can no longer remember what you thought in meditation, you feel well regenerated and relaxed, then you have most likely slept in meditation.
The meditative state of drowsiness is not without effect. If your mind is unable to concentrate, then it is okay to sit for 20 minutes and fall into meditative doze, that is, to sleep in meditation. This is fine and shouldn't stop you from meditating.
If you want to know more about sleep in meditation then go to our website and search under the keyword “Obstacles in meditation”. Because sleep in meditation is ultimately an obstacle to meditation. This also has to be overcome in the long term. If you want to know whether you are meditating or sleeping in meditation, it is a sign of meditative doze that your head goes back and forth. If you feel good but do not know exactly what you have been thinking about, or if you try to concentrate in between, but you do not succeed, then you have slept in meditation.
Video: Meditate or Sleep
Here you can find a video about "Meditating or Sleeping":
Short lecture by yoga teacher Sukadev on learning to meditate, interesting for everyone with an interest in meditation.
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More questions and answers about meditation
Here you will find answers to further questions about meditation:
Meditate or sleep - more information on learning to meditate and meditating
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