Can Meditation Replace Sleep?
Meditation is sometimes touted as a bit of a miracle worker. People claim that they meditate instead of sleep. The idea is certainly tempting. But can meditation really replace sleep?
Well, yes and no. In short, everyone needs sleep. Meditating isn’t going to replace that need completely. But Vedic Meditation does let your mind and body rest deeply. As a result, you may find that you need much less sleep.
That’s certainly the case for who told me, “I'm more energetic, generally feel healthier, less stressed and have better relationships ... After a few months I've found that I require less sleep too, about an hour less every day.”
How Vedic Meditation works
Vedic Meditation allows your body to enter a state of deep rest – even deeper than sleep. It de-excites your nervous system, so the tensions and stresses that you might be unwillingly holding onto can be released.
After meditating, you feel refreshed and energised for several hours.
Many people also find that Vedic Meditation helps them to sleep better. They find it easier to fall asleep and enjoy a better quality of sleep.
But crucially, even if they don’t get enough sleep, they still benefit from increased energy. Those tensions that were making them feel sluggish and worn out have been released.
How many hours of sleep do you really need?
Sleep is so important for both our mental and physical health. If we don’t get enough rest, we can feel sluggish, unfocused, snappy and just plain miserable. Our immune systems can suffer and we can struggle to focus.
The occasional poor night’s sleep won’t have a long-term effect, but frequent insomnia can really disrupt your day-to-day life.
We’ve all heard of the ‘eight hour a night’ recommendation. While eight hours is the optimum amount of sleep for many people, it is just an average. Some people only need six hours of sleep a night; others need at least nine to feel truly rested. At times in your life, you may find you need more sleep than usual. At other times, you might need less.
Can meditation help me to sleep better?
People often struggle to sleep because they can’t switch off their overactive brain. They feel ‘wired’ and restless, and sleep just refuses to come.
Vedic Meditation helps to de-excite your nervous system. Your mind is calmer. Those racing thoughts have been quietened, so you can fully relax and fall asleep. And you’re less likely to get woken up by worries at 3am.
Most of my students report improved sleep as one of the main benefits of Vedic Meditation.
Rest isn't just about quantity; it's about quality. During meditation, your body enters a state of rest even deeper than sleep.
Will I need less sleep if I meditate?
Rest isn’t just about quantity; it’s about quality. Improved sleep doesn’t necessarily mean more hours asleep – it means more time spent in a state of deep rest. During meditation, your body enters a state of rest even deeper than sleep. So not only does Vedic Meditation improve the quality of your sleep, it also tops it up. That means that your body might not need to spend as many hours actually asleep.
How can I learn meditation for sleep?
Vedic Meditation is a simple self-care practice. While it’s easy to learn, you do need an experienced teacher. I trained extensively over many years, in both England and India, and now help other people in London to experience Vedic Meditation for themselves.
How long do I need to meditate for?
Vedic Meditation is one of the easiest types of meditation to fit into your daily life. You only need to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day to achieve the full benefits. Because of the increased energy and focus that Vedic meditators experience, they’re able to achieve more in less time. So that 40 minutes a day could end up saving you both time and energy.
Learn more about using meditation for sleep.
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