For Studying, Which Time Is the Best? How Much to Sleep?

Question

Sir, i am second semester college student. I want to know how much sleep is best for me: is 6 to 7 hours ok? And can you give me some tips how to manage my time for a good study? Is early morning study really good, as I have heard that early morning called Brahma-mahurat, which is best time. Can you please tell me the if this time really works.

—Subhamay sinha, India

Answer

Dear Subhamay,
Brahma-muhurta (as I know the term), meaning early morning, from sunrise on, is the “time of Brahma (God)”. It is therefore the time, at least for spiritual people, to be dedicated to meditation, prayer, and divine contact.

Yes, 6 or 7 hours are ok for sleeping. Yogananda recommended not to sleep more than 7 hours. Six is enough for most people, he said. Too much sleep is just a deep habit, and a waste of time. One can overcome it. Sometimes sleeping longer, when we are exhausted, is fine, but not as a habit.

Just as with meditation, the best timing for studying is a very personal issue. It really depends on you. Some persons are morning-people, others are night-people. Best is of course when you are undisturbed, which is why students talk about “burning the midnight-oil.” But maybe for you the best thing might be to rise early, honour Brahma-muhurta by some prayer and meditation, then you study until you go to college. Try it and see.

Having said this: do you meditate? If not, it is a perfect aid to strengthen your concentration (besides getting you in touch with your soul, and with God.) Do you pray? Yogananda found that through divine intercession he passed his difficult exams in university. You can read the story in his Autobiography of a Yogi. Don’t undervalue this point. he writes: “The news was widely circulated in the college that something resembling a miracle was occurring, and that success seemed probable for the absent-minded ‘Mad Monk.'”

All the best for effective studies,
jayadev