Virender Sehwag: Namaskaram Sadhguru. I want to know the truth about sleeping right. Whether the duration, or the direction. What is the science behind it?
Sadhguru: Namaskaram Viru. About sleep – sleep is a state of restfulness. Most human beings know sleep as the deepest state of restfulness, but it need not be so. There are yogic processes where far deeper states of restfulness can be achieved, by dropping the metabolic activity to a very low level. But, for most human beings, sleep is the most profound restful state. In restfulness, let’s not take attitudes. The best state of restfulness happens to you, when you are in a state of abandon. So when it comes to sleep, do not think what position and how to sleep. Being in a state of total abandon is the best way to sleep.
Being in a state of total abandon is the best way to sleep
But, you also mentioned direction. When it comes to direction, because of the magnetic pull of the north pole, if you put your head to the north in the northern hemisphere, there is a tendency for putting pressure upon your brain. We know this by experience, but it’s been studied and identified that there is a natural movement of blood towards the brain, if you put your head towards the north in the northern hemisphere.
As you know, if you’re anaemic, your doctor will prescribe you with iron. So if there is that much iron in your blood, the magnetic poles naturally pull it. And, also the spin of the planet affects it. So it’s best, especially the older people should not put their head to the north and sleep, because it’ll create a certain pressure. It is possible, because of this excessive pressure, in older people it could cause haemorrhages. More than anything, it’ll lead to disturbed sleep. So, it is best not to put the head to the north in the northern hemisphere.
It is best not to put the head to the north in the northern hemisphere
But otherwise, you should not take any other attitude towards sleep. Sleep should happen in total abandon. That’s the best way to be in a state of restfulness. It’s not only during sleep – if you’re in a state of abandon in your activity, you will find, your activity itself is restfulness, and the sleep quota will come down dramatically. There is no prescription of how much you should sleep. Let the body decide how much you should sleep, that’s the best way to go.
But, if you manage your food, your mental attitudes, your emotional tranquility – well, you will see the sleep quota will come down dramatically. If you bring yogic practices, you can further bring down sleep quota quite significantly, so that you have more time to live.