Sleep is a condition when the nervous system goes inactive, the eyes are closed, the postural muscles relax and consciousness is practically suspended. It is a basic need for every living creature and its inadequacy leads to various physical and psychological ailments. It is highly significant for the pursuit of truth as well. Lord Krishna has stated in Gita that the one who sleeps too much or does not sleep enough has no scope to link with the Supreme.
Moreover, a deep dreamless sleep is considered to be a state of Samadhi which is greatly conducive for developing new insights. The power of soul gets directly manifested because the organs of perception and action along with the mind remain quiet when we are sound asleep. This facilitates thought-evolution that often gives answers to many of our unanswered questions.
Chhodgaya Upnishad says that all of us visit the land of Braham(GOD) everyday and but do not realize it. We lose our individual identities and get absorbed in the unified existence while sleeping deep. This is our innate state of existence which endows enormous strength to our body and mind. On waking up, our false ego brings our conscious back and the veil ignorance instantly grips it. Pujya Shankracharya gives an analogy of a pot filled with the water of Ganga. If its mouth is sealed and is immersed back into Ganga, the water in the pot will remain isolated from the whole. Similarly, every night provides us an opportunity to meet our source through the sleep but on waking up we return to our normal life.
Generally, all our activities leave their traces in our mind which often strangely interconnect to occupy the sub conscious mind in the form of fanciful dreams. For this reason, sleeping for 8-10 hours and dreaming throughout is of little use as our mind fails to relax. Instead sleeping deep for just half of that time certainly rejuvenates us. Therefore, we all should be careful about our sleeping pattern to obtain the treasure of energy that it has in its reserve. It is not the duration of sleep but the quality that gives us the desired result. For this sake, one should have an awakened day, full of self- awareness and selfless action, to have ‘Nidra-Samadhi’ at night.
Satisfactorily doing the assigned work and then totally forgetting about it after completion keeps our mind free from its after-impact. Next, going to bed in the first part of the night is much beneficial than sleeping during the later hours. Further, long breathing for a few minutes immediately before sleeping relieves us from negative impressions and redundant thoughts. Lastly and most importantly, chanting God’s name with a feeling of lying not on your bed but in His lap surely takes us on to a direct flight to His Abode- Absolute bliss.
Ref-, Where silence speaks, Ach. Vinoba Bhave