How to reduce the need for sleep


How can I reduce my sleep quota? I am asking this question because I cannot wake up at Bram Muhurt for chanting.

—Siddharth Patel, India


Dear Siddharth,

Many factors affect how much sleep you need, so it’s impossible to say exactly what might best help you reduce your need for sleep. In fact, some people, due to their personal constitution and/or their life circumstances, should not try to reduce that need.

In any case, I suggest that you begin by exploring how to improve the quality of your sleep. The first places you might look are your diet and your daily schedule. I recommend Vegetarian Cooking for Starters for an excellent treatment of yogic diet. As for your daily schedule, the more consistent your bedtime and rising time, the better will be the quality of your sleep, and hence the greater will be your potential for sleeping less. Here is a post on my personal website on my personal website where you’ll find a number of simple tips for better sleep.

At the same time, strive to meditate regularly and ever deeper. When meditation is deep enough, it will reduce your need for sleep. Here is an excellent meditation technique that Paramhansa Yogananda taught.