In Human Civilization, Food has been unbalanced, Labor has been avoided, and Sleep has been murdered! The day Human beings generated electricity, from that day onwards, sleep has been killed and slaughtered every day. And with this advancement in technology, humans have started thinking that Sleep is an unnecessary act. With your mobile and tablets and computers and whatnots, you wish you would never have to sleep. So you sleep as less as possible because you don’t see any contribution of sleep in your life. The time slept is time spent in waste. So the less you sleep, the better, you think.
So there were these types of people who wanted to lessen the hours of sleep, and then there were the so-called ascetics again, who thought if Meditation is consciousness, Sleep is unconsciousness. Also, the ascetics would have a lot of suppressed feelings because they have “renounced” the world, and those suppressed feelings would come up in dreams. In reality, they might have run away from the world, but their desires follow them in their dreams and hence they said that sleep is against being aware and conscious. So there you have, the geniuses of the world-renouncing sleep along with everything else.
They said, if you live for 60 years, then 20 years you spend in sleep because according to statistics, you spend 1/3rd of your life sleeping. So now you have 40 years left. Again they calculated the time taken by a human being to eat, wear clothes, shower etc. When they calculated everything, they stated that life is all spent in waste! Eventually, they found out that you barely get to live! This brought about anxiousness in people and hence they started to cut off their sleep in order to compensate for the life they might be wasting while they are sleeping. The less you sleep, the more you live. This concept got popularized. But, with this concept, Humans got uprooted from their being. Nobody could realize that all these turmoil and issues of health in life are brought about by the lack of sleep.
You sleep for 8 hours and therefore you can live for 16 hours. These precious hours are spent in repairing your body. In these 8 hours, your life energy gets collected, conserved and revived. And your mind chakra and your heart chakra become passive and your belly chakra becomes active, and you become one with nature, you become one with the universe. You get rejuvenated. If you don’t sleep properly, you cannot live properly.
If a man has to be tortured and put in pain and panic, then not letting him sleep properly is probably the best way to do so. The prisoners who were tortured in the past were infamously not allowed to sleep. This torture was first devised by the Chinese. They had used a very cheap mechanism. They would make the prisoner stand in a small box where he could only stand, couldn’t sleep or sit. And with him standing inside the box, droplets of water would hit the top of his head in a very short interval….
No matter how you try, you will neither be able to sleep nor move. After about 14 to 16 hours, people would be driven crazy and they would shout,
“Let me out! I cannot take this anymore! I need to get out and sleep! Please! Let me out!”
And the Chinese guards would say, “Yes, we will let you out but only after you agree to tell us whatever you are hiding.”
The strongest of the heroes would not be able to take it for more than three days and the guards would get to hear whatever they wanted. Not allowing prisoners to sleep was used by Hitler and Stalin in the near past to torture their prisoners. Even if you kill somebody, you might be doing them a favor because they do not feel as much pain or as tortured when they are not allowed to sleep. That is because only by sleeping, human beings regain whatever they have lost in the day. And if you are continuously not allowed to sleep, by and by you keep losing the energy of life and your sanity but you have no way in which you can get it back. You become empty…Lifeless.
We have become similar. We have lost the ways to regain our energy but we are constantly ready to lose it every day.
By the way, just in a manner of jest. In order to make the people of this world healthy and bring them back to Human level sanity, I think the powerful nations of this world need to make sleep compulsory as a rule in the rulebook of their nation. And it is even more important for meditators. They need to sleep well, enough and deep enough. And it might depend and differentiate from person to person.
When the baby is in its mother’s womb, it sleeps for a whole 24 hours, because its bones and muscles and tissues are forming and generating. And ultimate rest is needed if you want your body and your mind to form and develop. One day, may science understand that if a baby awakens inside the stomach of its mother, it might be born with deformities.
Now when the baby is born, it sleeps for 20 hours and slowly it decreases to 14 hours and after its body is completely formed, sleep becomes stable at around either 8 hours or 6 hours. As one gets older, sleep decreases even more to 5 hours to eventually 3 hours, because they do not need as much sleep as a newborn baby. Their parts of the body barely reform or get rejuvenated. Older people sleep less because the ultimate sleep, death is arriving.
Sleeping habit is different for different people, and every individual needs to respond according to his or her habits. Therefore, one needs to discover his own habits and perform his daily ritual such as eating, working and sleeping. They cannot be dictated by anybody else. There is no hard and fast rule to discover these things. But if you keep moving forward, your life will gradually and eventually lay it out to you.
Until Next Time,