Can meditation replace sleep? 🧘🏻‍♀️🧘🏻‍♂️😴🛌 (#88)

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can meditation replace sleep that’s a
question that I got asked a lot and throughout my 20 years of regular
meditation practice I’ve done many experiments and today I’m going to share
some results with you hi there meditator welcome to episode 88 of master your
mind daily your daily source of inspiration for all things meditation
anxiety and personal growth my name is Giovanni Dienstmann I’m the
author of practical meditation and the creator of liveanddare.com one of the top
5 most visited meditation blogs on the web so meditation and sleep let’s first
start start by talking about the importance of sleep sleep is a sort of
force multiplier in your life if you’re sleep-deprived all areas of your life
will suffer including meditation it will be difficult for you to meditate
properly if you are sleeping and having enough sleep is essential for your body
to heal for your mind to absorb all the information and codify all the
information for your mind to for you to also feel well sleep is essential now
how much sleep do we actually need almost everywhere you see recommended
seven to eight hours of sleep but what your body and your mind really need is
deep rest that can be achieved through sleep which is the easiest way and can
also be achieved through other means like meditation in some cases so stay
with me until the end for you to understand the caveat
so the amount of sleep you need will depend on several factors your lifestyle
your biology how much stress how much effort and activity physical and mental
you have in your day-to-day your eating habits what do you eat how much do you
eat when do you eat all of that takes energy all of that influences how much
rest your body and brain will need at the end of the day so it’s not one for
it’s not the same answer for everyone there’s a small number of people a small
percentage of the population that can go with five hours of sleep per night
without any side effects for the great majority of us it’s recommended seven to
eight hours that was always the case for me eight hours of sleep since there was
a since forever basically now here comes the question can meditation replace
sleep yes and no as a beginner meditator no you won’t be able to replace sleep
with meditation meditation will allow you to have less stress in your
day-to-day life it will as you evolve in your practice you will have fewer
thoughts you have fewer threads of thoughts going on at the same time in
your mind it said that we have 50,000 thoughts a day
don’t know how the count but if that’s true then maybe after a decent amount of
meditation practice if you are following following the three pillars of
meditation and really growing your practice then maybe you diminish from
60,000 to 50,000 or 45,000 of course you’re spending less energy you have
more space more headspace you have you have less need for rest basically
but in general as a beginner meditator no we will not be able to replace sleep
with meditation and if you try you probably get frustrated that you don’t
have enough sleep and your meditation is not flowing well either now the other
thing is even as a beginner meditator if you practice meditation before going to
bed before sleep especially techniques like yoga nidra you will find that you
have a better night of sleep so in general for everyone meditation will
allow you to spend less energy during the day
third things like stress anxiety worries and as a result you will need you will
feel more rested and the practice of meditation itself will complement your
sleep because it gives you a state of rest to both your body and your mind
now as you become an advanced meditator there are some meditation techniques
that allow you to better to replace sleep and the one that I have in mind is
specifically yoga nidra which is a technique that I teach in my limitless
life program and it’s the technique that Yogi’s used to sleep only four and a
half hours a day so many Yogi’s many meditation masters from the tradition of
yoga they sleep from four to five hours a day some of them as little as three
and a half hours and they are okay they are still some of them high levels of
activity and they can still function well one of the means through that to
which that is possible is yoga nidra you can utilize a meditation practice that
you do lying down and you go depending on the style of yoga nidra you will go
into a deep conscious sleep state and that is what replaces
sleep it is said actually by some specialists in yoga nidra like Swami
such ananda that one hour of yoga nidra equals four hours of sleep now that’s
not going to be when you just start doing yoga nidra it’s not going to be
for you instead actually also not going to be for me it’s going to be for
someone who is really going deep into yoga nidra and mastering that technique
so okay so but if you want to replace sleep with meditation then what to do
and here is where i’m going to share a bit of my journey in this in this regard
and it’s funny because there are there are two types of of people that want to
know about sleep and meditation some of them want to know how to how can
meditation help you sleep better and sleep more and uninterrupted and other
ones others want to know how can meditation help you sleep less and the
answer to both of this is yoga nidra in my experience in my study from what I’ve
seen from what I’ve read of what masters do and how some reading of other
practitioners Yoga Nidra is the best one for this so but for me I
always needed eight hours of sleep and after a few years of meditation before I
started practicing yoga nidra after a few years of meditation my sleep needs
diminished from eight hours to seven hours and that was as a result of me
going better integrating meditation in my daily life in the sense that my mind
was less busy I was having less thoughts there was less mental effort being spent
during the day so that happened a few years in and after that many times I
tried to diminish my sleep need from seven hours to six hours using yoga
nidra and using other things and repeatedly I failed I was not able
to do so and sometimes what would happen is with some lifestyle changes I was
able to sleep only six hours but and there was no negative side effects in
terms of health or performance but there were negative side effects for my
meditation it was not going as deep I was feeling sleepy during practice so
that didn’t serve any purpose for me and I stopped but recently about a month and
a half ago I was able to further diminish my sleep need from seven hours
to six hours without negative side effects to health vitality performance
or meditation and that came out of a very handy time in my life because now
we have a newborn baby so being able to to function with less sleep is a great
advantage so how did I do that for me was a combination of three things and as
I said I’ve been trying this for a long time and the combination of these three
things worked for me and these three things is yoga nidra intermittent
fasting and determination let me explain yoga nidra I told you what it is and
there’s another video on the blog about yoga nidra and if you want to go deep
you can join the limitless life program so once I wake up I do I wake up
nowadays at 4 a.m. sleep from 10:00 to 4:00 so only 6 hours
then I do one hour of work to really wake up the brain get out of the slumber
and then I do 30 to 40 minutes of yoga nidra and I’m good for the day I don’t
feel sleepy at all during the day so that’s one of the elements yoga nidra
the second element is in terms fasting it takes a lot of energy for the
body to digest so eating less is good but eating practicing intermittent
fasting so that you only eat in a certain window of time every day that is
very very helpful ideally you would want to spend 16 hours every day without
consuming anything except water not even tea not snacks not fruit not coffee
nothing just water for 16 hours and it’s a bit tough in the beginning maybe first
2 or 3 weeks then you get used to it and your body is saving a lot of energy and
during that time that you are not digesting your body is in healing mode
rather than digestion mode so that’s the second element that was helpful for me I
actually so I started with cutting first all snacks and then cutting breakfast so
I was doing intermittent fasting for 16 hours and in the past 4 months I have
cut dinner and I have one massive lunch so I’m falling to one meal a day diet I
know this sound extreme I’m not necessarily suggesting everyone should
try that but I’m saying it for me it has brought wonderful benefits so the three
things that have helped me diminish sleep from 7 hours to 6 hours
Yoga Nidra intermittent fasting especially oh man one meal a day and the
third one is determination before going to sleep every night i program my body
and my mind that I will sleep deeply and that I will wake up at 4 a.m.
fully rested fully refreshed and programming my brain like that
it doesn’t happen like magic but if you do every night little by little your
system learns how to adopt that message and how to follow it so a combination of
these three things has allowed me to diminish sleep need from seven hours to
six hours as you can see it’s possible with meditation but that’s not going to
be the only element and it’s likely not going to be possible in the beginning
for you I’m sorry that’s probably not the answer you wanted to hear but that’s
what I found in my own study and experimentation with this topic so
conclusion can a meditation replace sleep yes and no we need enough sleep
every day and if we don’t have every area of our life will suffer including
meditation the more stress there is in our lifestyle the more activity the more
with spinning energy the more we’re going to need rest so meditation allows
you to diminish the need for rest in the form of sleep by giving you rest in the
form of meditation but that’s unlikely to change the amount of sleep you need
in the beginning after you evolve with your practice then it can happen and
it’s likely to happen especially if you’re practicing every day and
integrating into your daily life but it’s probably going to be a combination
of meditation intermittent fasting and determination and you can watch the full
video to understand what that means and if you follow those things then it’s
possible for you to sleep less without any negative consequences to your
lifestyle I hope you have found this helpful if you are on the other side of
this equation that your problem with sleep is that you can’t sleep enough or
you can’t fall asleep you wake up in the morning feeling that you haven’t
well or you make up multiple times during the night then I suggest you take
my deep sleep course which will help you have better sleep through the power of
meditation and some lifestyle changes all right so this is was video 88 of a
series of 100 videos there are 12 more to go if you want to make sure that you
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