Can Meditation Replace Sleep? Find Out Before You Try It!

Too much to do and not enough time? Maybe meditation can replace sleep and give us more time to check off our to-do lists. Find out before you try it!

Denise Everheart

I think we have all tried to get by on less sleep at one time or another. And we have also tried to recover from a lack of sleep from time to time, perhaps even struggling with long-term insomnia issues. So, it’s no wonder that many of us would like to try to figure out how to replace sleep, especially given our long to-do lists. And meditation seems like a good solution! But before you try to replace sleep with meditation there are some things to consider. Let’s dive in! 

Differences and similarities between meditation and sleep

Although we never question whether or not we are meditating during sleep, we can sometimes wonder if we are sleeping during meditation. Why is that? Because meditation has some things in common with sleep. Here are some of the similarities and differences between meditation and sleep.

Even though sleep and meditation are clearly different in many ways, it’s easy to see why we might think we can replace sleep with meditation given that both provide rest along with lower heart and breath rates. But given the body’s need for Delta waves- only provided in deep sleep- we cannot substitute meditation for sleep. However, we can supplement sleep by adding a meditation practice that may in the long run reduce the overall need for sleep. At the very least, you will have more energy and greater mental focus, as well as improved sleep quality. It is also possible to resolve many sleep issues like insomnia with a regular meditation practice since meditation significantly reduces stress.

How meditation can help you reduce your need for sleep

If your work/life balance is out of whack, your need for sleep probably is too. Not getting enough quality sleep or oversleeping more than your schedule permits can lead to too much fatigue and stress. By adding meditation to your daily routine you will give your mind and body a chance to recover from stress and fatigue long before your head ever hits the pillow. That is if you do it right. 

Meditation in the morning is an ideal way to start your day since it can give you an energy boost. So it’s probably best to avoid meditating before bed unless you are using a body scan meditation or other guided sleep meditation

With other meditation techniques, like mantra-based or breath-based meditation, there will likely be an increase in energy following your meditation session. Be sure to do these techniques earlier rather than later in the day so you don’t end up being too energized at bedtime.

Ancient yogis and those who meditate daily without a gap over a longer period of time (modern-day yogis) experience deeper sleep states and can get by with less sleep. And SKY Breath Meditation practitioners experience deeper, better sleep as early as their very first session. 

How much meditation is equivalent to an hour of sleep?

I hear you...can I swap out 30 to 60 minutes of sleep with the occasional 20 minutes of meditation? Maybe. Oregon State University’s College of Business found that about 10 minutes of meditation could replace 44 minutes of sleep. But this doesn’t seem to translate into meditating for 110 minutes in place of a full night’s sleep. Remember those Delta waves? Unless you are a true master of meditation you’re gonna need to get those Delta waves in bigger doses.

Rather than trying to swap out sleep for meditation, the better way might be to add meditation on a regular basis. Keep your normal sleep routine and see if over time you need a little less sleep. Many meditators do!

But if you have an occasional sleepless night, definitely take time to squeeze in an extra 10 to 20 minutes of meditation. Nobody wants to navigate their day feeling like a zombie!

SKY Breath Meditation and better sleep

If you want to sleep better, and I think we all do, SKY Breath Meditation is a great solution to sleep issues. In fact, many SKY participants report that they sleep better after their very first SKY session. In addition, those who make a SKY practice part of their daily routine often find their need for sleep can also decrease.

Here are some bonus benefits of SKY Breath Meditation that could also contribute to better sleep quality:

  • Significant reduction in clinical/non-clinical anxiety

  • Significant reduction in clinical/non-clinical depression

  • Decrease in serum cortisol levels (stress hormone)

  • Reduced addictive behaviors

  • Healthier blood pressure

  • Reduces PTSD

Other non-sleep-related benefits include greater mental focus, enhanced optimism, improved respiratory function, increased life satisfaction, better immunity, and more.

SKY Breath Meditation is your one-stop meditation technique for mental and physical well-being, especially if you want to sleep better! So before you fall asleep tonight, sign up for a free breath and meditation session. Learn what millions have already learned- SKY is an awesome tool for living a better life and having better sleep! 

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