Yesterday I was talking on the telephone to a long time acquaintance. “How are you”? I asked. “Fine”. “Well, fine except for a huge sleep deficiency“. This had me wondering. Not enough sleep in the sleep account I guess! So how does one know? How to tell the difference between simply feeling tired, which I feel most of the time, and an actual deficit? (See also here for an article on the subject).
Last evening around 8.00 pm after meditation I was having jabs of pain in my chest, generally felt unwell and so went to bed. Couldn’t have done anything else. Eleven hours latter I woke up! Now I know some of the signs of sleep deficit; and now you know the reason why there was no posting yesterday. From now on, if I’ve not posted by 9.00 pm I’ll not post. That’s my blogging resolve from now on.
It is so very easy to burn the candle at both ends. I’m beginning to see that this can be a form of greed.
A visitor from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition told me the other day that his teacher told him that ‘greed’ or ‘desire’ are not strong enough words for the first of the three poisons. He uses the word ‘addiction’ instead. I can understand why. And I can understand why one of the chapters in Rev. Master Daizui’s book, Buddhism from Within, it titled ‘Radical Sobriety’.
Yes, Buddhist practice is about sobering up, radically!
Uh! This is posting number 300, another mile-stone. And speaking about stones, how about that big one balancing in the previous posting? And for those who concern themselves, I’m much rested and fine.
3 thoughts on “Sleep Deficit”
Sleep is an important part of the daily life of practice. For some, it’s hard to get to sleep or stay asleep; for others, it’s hard to disengage from the near-infinite round of tasks and entertainments now available 24/7 as they say.
During an extended power outage last year, we got to experience the natural rhythm of rising at dawn and going to bed at dark. It was so refreshing.
So, do you have anything to say about coffee drinking in relation to sleep and the near-infinite round of tasks?
I think we should be careful here: sleep patterns can be disrupted by depression, in turn affected by serotonin re-uptake, itself modulated by environmental and genetic factors. Not a problem to be simply fixed by no coffee or no electricity. A Buddhist might feel that he or she should eschew clinical help, but I would caution against this. Clinical help may be needed, and depression should not be ignored.