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How much sleep do you need?by Jost SauerOver half of the world is lacking in sleep and health authorities have declared sleep deprivation a major health issue as most problems (psychological, emotional, business, interrelationships) directly or indirectly are affiliated with lack of sleep.The average time people spend between getting up and leaving for work is 23 minutes. During this time multitasking governs all actions – eating a bowl of cereal standing up, getting dressed and talking on the phone all at the same time. Some turn multitasking into acrobatic feats by adding tooth brushing, dog feeding and Facebook posting to the previous acts. Mornings become a juggle, a criterion that belongs in the Guinness Book of Records but not in our homes. The concern: if we don’t settle our chi in the mornings we uproot our chi when we get out out of the door as we are bombarded by sensory overload, urgencies and constant distractions. This has several consequences: we arrive uninspired at work, we are tired by lunch time and exhausted by 3.30pm. We don’t have the energy to be calm, we become short-tempered, even inconsiderate and insensitive to the people around us. A workplace turns into a war zone – and all because of the unplanned and stressed time gap between getting up and leaving for work
The key for a peaceful and happy life is to have enough time for a morning practice. This lays the foundation for a beneficial ‘cause and effect cycle’. The goal is to start with a doable time slot such as 15 minutes, and, once formed as a habit, to extend to 25 minutes; then to 40 minutes, eventually to 60 minutes. The ROI, or ‘return on investment’ is peace and health – and that’s priceless. 8 reasons why most of us lack sleep
Over half of the world is lacking in sleep and health authorities have declared sleep deprivation a major health issue as most problems (psychological, emotional, business, interrelationships) directly or indirectly are affiliated with lack of sleep. The advice is urgent and simple: we need seven to eight hours sleep. Here are eight reasons why most of us lack sleep:
1. Unremitting stimulation – needing to keep going; unable to switch off
2. Multi-tasking causing ‘multi-mindedness’ – needing to do several things at once
3. Information Overload Syndrome IOS – 60 million pieces of content are published every week (100 blogs every second; one book every second)
4. V bingeing (eg Netflix disease)
5. Sugar compounding (processed foods, designer snacks, high intensity sweets)
6. Caffeine tolerance (eg 5-shot latte.)
7. Commitment cramming (having more commitments than time)
8. Social media grip (eg just one more post; one more video)
The problem: At night we can’t get to bed; in the morning we can’t get out of bed. This lays the foundation for a cycle that takes us further away from our centre and our power.
The solution: Go to bed early – get up early – take charge of your life.
The importance of quality sleep Sleep is a mystical thing. Some say we need eight to ten hours, others say we need six to seven hours, some say five is enough. The fact is, sleep is yin. If you have an intense yang lifestyle where yin is an occasional ‘luxury item’ than you need eight hours or more to compensate for the lack of yin (yin and yang are programmed to balance each other). If you follow the path of yin and yang then you need far less sleep and most likely will get away with six hours, or even less. At bedtime you will enter deep sleep immediately and remain asleep the entire time, instead of tossing for hours desperately trying to capture the delicious feeling of drifting into astral territory. This is quality sleep and it’s the measurement to go by – not time.
Quality sleep is uninterrupted sleep from which we wake up with a vivid experience of having been in a totally different dimension (usually feels awesome). In Chinese medicine this is important for health as it is here (the otherworldly dimension) that we reboot our bodily systems (organs, substances, tissues).
//QUALITY SLEEP IS CRUCIAL FOR SPIRITUAL SUCCESS AS IT ENSURES YOU ARE TRUE TO YOUR PATH AND YOUR ORIGINAL NATURE//
other hand, doesn’t receive the support from this ‘mystical’ dimension and lacks the crucial reboot of organs, tissues and substances (blood, jing, chi). Instead, we keep waking up, sleep restlessly (tossing and turning) and wake up at 3am on the dot (unable to return to sleep). Low quality sleep feels like we’ve never left the physical dimension, that we didn’t close the previous day and that we won’t be able to start the day on a new or blank slate; we don’t feel refreshed. This ‘new’ slate is the reboot of your purpose (life’s direction) as organs, substances and tissues carry the imprint of your soul’s ID, but also the data of your mission in the physical (your contract with heaven). Quality sleep is crucial for spiritual success as it ensures you are true to your path and your original nature (cosmic self). This is why low quality sleep is so torturous as you don’t feel real when you manage to get out of bed, struggling to face physical reality.
The more yang we generate, the harder we work, and the more we pursue our dreams, the more we draw from our organs, tissues and substances.
This is why joints and muscles ache from hard physical and mental work: ⬤ yang (fire) consumes yin (oil) ⬤ and this means that ⬤ yin is unable to lubricate joints and muscles with the result that the body and mind feel stiff and rigid.
Quality sleep remedies this and returns us to balance – we feel refreshed and energised to engage with the physical dimension, to draw in the visions of our soul, to will our ideas into manifestation.
However, drawing from our organs, tissues and substances also undermines the ability for quality sleep. This can initiate a vicious downward spiral; the harder we work, the more we tax the bodily systems (organs, tissues and substances), the more we consume yin, the more we ‘create’ low quality sleep – the worse we feel. We are trapped in a ‘lose-lose’ situation: the harder we work, the more we lose the ability to enjoy our rewards; because of low quality sleep we ‘drift away from ourselves’.
Realising our dreams and living for purpose is crucial for happiness, and quality of sleep is a crucial aspect of this – which takes us back to the question ‘how much sleep do we really need’? The correct answer is not about time but about the effective reboot of our organs, tissues and substance.
⬤ In the next article: Six tips for quality sleep.