It is no secret that meditation can help raise awareness, improve health and reduce stress.
But despite its many benefits, it can be a struggle to fit meditation into your busy schedule.
What if there were an alternative? Research shows that meditation can really replace sleep. Instead of trying to work on your regular day, you can try meditation in place of sleep.
Meditation increases the short-term mental performance and reduce the need for sleep.
This is the conclusion of a study by the University of Kentucky in 2010, which involved different groups meditators.
first part of the study found that after 40 minutes of meditation,
meditators recruits did better on mental performance tests compared to
its normal performance. This suggests that participants were well rested mentally after meditation.
Interestingly, her mental performance returned to normal when tested again after an hour. They were also tested after a 40-minute nap, and its performance was worse than normal.
second part of the study focuses on the amount of sleep and alertness
experienced meditators compared to a group of non-meditators. Each of meditators had at least 3 years experience in meditation and meditated for 2.3 hours per day on average.
researchers found that the meditators slept an average of 5.2 hours per
night, compared to 7.8 hours for non-meditator group. Experienced meditators and tested on their mental performance and had
no signs of lack of sleep, regardless of their hours of sleep less.
There may be a learning curve.
A study published by the Academy of Sciences in New York concluded
that the types of Buddhist meditation practices can enhance wakefulness
and reduce the need for sleep, especially in the long-term practice.
The researchers found that sleep is reduced common in times of intensive meditation practice, as silent retreats several days. Sleeping less is often considered a sign of meditative ability and progress. Buddhist texts suggest that domain meditators sleep about four hours a night.
The study also revealed that meditators beginners often go through an adjustment period. For example, there was talk of a meditator who had Tibetan shamatha March 1-month retreat style.
He said he actually slept more than usual in the first two weeks of intensive retreat. Then his dream began to decline from 1.5 to 3 hours at night by the eighth week.
This tendency was demonstrated in many different studies, including for new meditators starting with short periods of meditation. Apparently, the effort in learning a new practice of meditation can cause more fatigue at first. Then later stages produce more awake during the day and a decreased need for sleep at night.
Suggestions to try at home.
For starters, Bruce O'Hara of the University of Kentucky recommends to replace only half the amount of sleep with meditation. For example, replace an hour of sleep two hours of meditation.
If diving in blocks of two hours of meditation seems daunting, try to start with 10-minute sessions once a day. You can set your alarm 10 minutes earlier in the morning, and either sitting or lying down to continue for a short meditation practice.
As the study of the New York Academy of Sciences has shown it can take some time to adjust to a new routine of meditation. You may need more sleep early.
Pay special attention to how you feel during the day and how your body responds as you try different schedules. You can slowly increase the length of your meditation sessions and experiment with shorter sleep times.
What is the practice of meditation should I choose? There is a type of meditation that suits everyone. You may have to try a few to find the one you like and fun to practice. Live to Dare and have a good overview of some common types of meditation.
By: Zoe Blarowski