The Dalai Lama - who made the statement - reportedly spends several hours preparing for sleep and then spends 8-9 hours sleeping. I cannot honestly remember the last time I slept eight hours straight. These days I occasionally log seven and that does not come from sleeping in my bed - it comes from sleeping in my recliner. I honestly have never tried meditation so I cannot really make a legitimate comparison between sleeping and meditation. M increaseeditation's goal is to achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm state. Sleep is intended to restore and rejuvenate us both physically and mentally.
So-called Deep Sleep is the sleep equivalent of meditation. Unfortunately, as we age we spend less time in Deep Sleep. Those of us in my age bracket typically drop from 20% nightly to 5% nightly. That is a significant drop and is largely responsible for some of the typical signs of aging. I honestly have never tried meditation so I cannot really make a legitimate comparison between sleeping and meditation. Typical signs of aging - weakness, a decrease in mental acuity and the like are all exacerbated by a lack of sleep as are lack of mental clarity and calmness. Apparently aging is a something of a self-fulfilling prophecy created by a lack of sleep. Hmm - does logic then dictate that I can slow down the aging process by sleeping better? Where is my bed?
Funnily enough, many people brag about their ability to get by on minimal sleep and claim that is how they accomplish so much. Back in my college days, I regularly made that claim. I suppose my late wife should be included as she was tasked with typing all of my college papers,usually finished at the last minute and all written in my nearly indecipherable chicken scratch. Frankly it is a wonder the fledgling marriage survived that one.
While researching this topic I found that there is research being done that actually tests the premise of this week's topic. Check out Calm College https://www.calm.com/college. It would appear the Dalai Lama is really on to something. It may not completely replace sleeping but the benefits of meditation cannot be questioned. Several people I know are serious proponents of meditation and they are among the calmest, most well balanced people I know. Clearly further investigation is warranted.