Meditation and sleep are similar in some ways yet are very different
“I am so tired; I just need to sleep for sometime.” Isn’t it natural for us to think that? However, is there anything else that could give us deeper rest and recharge us? There are four sources of energy of which sleep is one and meditation is another. Meditation and sleep are similar in some ways yet are very different.
Let’s see how…
#1 Tapping the Energy Source
The amount of energy that we get from meditation is much more than sleep. “By doing meditation, you can turn your body into a powerhouse by generating an inner source of energy,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
#2 Deeper Rest
Meditation and sleep both give deep rest. However, the quality of rest from meditation is deeper. “Meditation gives you rest, deeper than the deepest sleep,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 20 minutes of meditation can equal to eight hours of good sleep.
#3 Rest Unlimited
What happens when we have slept more than usual? We feel lazy and lethargic. Ideal duration of sleep should be between six-eight hours per day. More or less of sleep can lead to stress and imbalances. However, there are no such side effects for meditation. At the same time, we don’t have to meditate the whole day to have a deeper experience;, It is normally sufficient to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day.
#4 A True Complement
Meditation improves the quality of your sleep - though it isn’t a substitute to sleep. Sleep and meditation, both are important. In fact meditation complements sleep. With daily meditation, we experience a deeper and a more restful sleep.
#5 Reduces Metabolism
During both sleep and meditation, metabolic activity is reduced. Reduced metabolism allows the mind to be in a calm state.
#6 Awareness Alert
There are four states of consciousness - waking, sleeping, dreaming and meditative states. During sleep we get good rest but no awareness. We just feel refreshed when we wake up, but we cannot recall anything that happened while we were sleeping. Meditation, however, is resting with awareness.
“Wakefulness and sleep are like sunrise and darkness. Dream is like the twilight in between and meditation is like the flight to the outer space, where there is no sunset, no sunrise, nothing!” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
#7 Free your mind
Both sleep and meditation refresh us but meditation can free us from past impressions. With regular practice of meditation, we are able to shake off our emotional garbage stored in our mind for years and feel rejuvenated.
#8 Freedom to choose
We cannot really choose to sleep; we can only sleep when we are sleepy, while we can choose to meditate whenever we want to. It could be anytime during the day, although morning hours are preferable.
Knowing that we can choose to have deep rest, complete awareness and tap our infinite inner source of energy, it is time to make the choice to meditate without any further delay!
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
Meditation is not a substitute to sleep. Both sleep and meditation have their own benefits. When practiced regularly, meditation can enhance the quality of your sleep.