Meditation versus Sleep: The Complete Difference between the Two

Meditation is almost equally essential as sleep; however, they are completely different from each other.

Even though in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, sleep is considered as one of the primary or the foundations of human need, meditation is also essential to human; for instance:

•    While sleep has a huge impact on the brain’s overall function, meditation, on the other hand, helps improve memory, focus, and even the volume and the thickness of the brain.

•    While sleep helps increase the flow of blood to the brain, meditation, on the other hand, provides a steadier and stronger flow of blood to the brain.

•    Studies have shown that sleep is fundamental to neuroplasticity, where sleeping helps you easily adapt to new learning; meditation, on the other hand, has the same functions too.

•    While sleep promotes better flow of blood throughout the body and regulating the blood pressure, meditating has also the ability to reduce blood pressure and even the heart rate. 

•    It is proven that the quality of sleep has a huge impact on the immune system, which is almost similar to meditation. Meditating can boost your immune system, as well as recover from injury and stress.

There are a lot more to point-out how meditation is almost equally essential as sleep; however, you should know what’s the difference between sleep and meditation to fully understand how things work when meditating.

What is the difference between sleep and meditation?

Sleep and meditation are completely different; the core difference between the two is that when you are sleeping, you are completely unaware of your surroundings, especially when you are in REM stage or best cases, deep sleep. Meditation, on the other hand, is a state of mind where you are practicing calmness and focus, while your consciousness is wide awake.

Although both signify relaxation of the body, the two states are completely different.

Can you replace sleep with meditation?

Although sleep has several benefits that are similar to meditation, mindfulness can never replace something that your body needs – and that is sleep.

The body needs sleep as it tries to repair itself when you are asleep; whilst meditation may heal the body but not as with bigger impact as with sleep. Plus, sleep can keep your sanity.

You can meditate any time of the day; however, medical experts always pointing out that everyone should stick with their sleep routine. 

How many hours you should sleep and meditate?

Again, sleep and meditation should be done separately.

To make it clear, experts recommend that an average person should at least get 9 hours of sleep (however, that is dependent on the person’s age and health status). Meditation, on the other hand, may last from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the meditation program.

Conclusion

Meditation is almost equally essential as sleep; however, you should be mindful that the body needs the right amount and quality of sleep for proper mental and physical function. In other words, you should never replace sleep with meditation.