Is meditation the same as sleep?

The main difference between sleep and meditation is that in meditation, we remain alert, awake and aware while we sleep, we lack alertness and, instead, we fall into opacity and lack of consciousness. Over time, a regular meditation practice can improve the quality of our sleep. Meditation increases mental performance in the short term and reduces the need for sleep. Perhaps the main thing to keep in mind is that, as far as the body is concerned, meditation and sleep are two different things.

In any case, if meditation is restorative in a manner similar to sleep, it could benefit people with excessive daytime sleepiness due to sleep disorders or lifestyle factors. These results suggest that meditation provides at least short-term performance improvement, even in novice meditators. First, several subjects told us that they thought that both meditation and napping would improve their performance, since they were unaware of the effects of sleep inertia. You can slowly increase the length of your meditation sessions and experiment with shorter sleep times.

You could say that sleep is essential for living, while meditation is essential to living life in the best way. All practiced traditional styles of yogic meditation with a focus on breathing, and all would probably be classified as concentrative meditation as opposed to mindfulness meditation, although these distinctions are not always clear. Researchers found that reduced sleep is quite common at times of intensive meditation practice, such as multi-day silent retreats. For starters, Bruce O'Hara of the University of Kentucky recommends replacing only half the amount of sleep with meditation.

The second part of the study looked at the amount of sleep and mental acuity of experienced meditators compared to a group of non-meditators. Many people practice meditation just before they go to sleep to help relax their minds, or in the morning to help them have a positive and clear mindset for the day ahead. This experiment suggests that meditation plays a performance-enhancing and perhaps restorative role even in novice meditators. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Business Venturing indicates that a little meditation can have a particularly positive impact on workers who, in most cases, are also extremely stressed and sleep deprived.

While sleep is designed to replenish your energy levels and help you heal, meditation is designed to reduce the stressors that lead to burnout in the first place. Practice meditation every day, sleep at bedtime, and let your circadian rhythms restore naturally.

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