The number of hours one sleeps is acquired by habit

On the 7th, Baba spoke about sleep:

The number of hours one sleeps is acquired by habit; it is not a “necessity.” In fact, sleep is a state of unconsciousness, and all beings spiritually are unconscious until full real consciousness is gained in Self-Realization. This state of unconsciousness during sleep is really nothing but a state of inaction and rest for the body which, forming into a regular habit, has grown to be considered a “necessity.”

There are men who have very little sleep, men of culture and science, who are devoted to their work in which they are so deeply absorbed and busy that they hardly have time to rest, much less for sleep, which they take for hardly a couple of hours a day. There are many who are accustomed to having very little sleep and yet they keep in the best of health.

The general complaint, therefore, that one’s health is spoiled for want of sleep has no value or grounds. It is only a matter of habit formed since childhood.

In India and the East generally, night is considered as the time for rest and sleep; most people in the East go to sleep early at night and rise early in the morning. The case is quite the reverse in the West, where people have more “life” at night than during the day. They sleep at late hours, mostly after midnight, after dinner parties, dances, cinema, opera and other entertainments are over, and rise very late in the morning, even having their breakfast in bed! They start work after 11:00 A.M. when practically half of the day’s work is finished by people in the East.

This change in the hours of sleep and activities, et cetera, are all formed by force of habit. It would not be surprising if people through their regular habit learn to be more active and gradually lessen the hours of sleep until they know no more of sleep!, p1709
Apr, 1936; Mysore

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