The key difference between meditation and sleep lies in your consciousness and awareness. When you are meditating, you are aware of what is happening around you; moreover, you are consciously in the moment, and you can control your thoughts. However, when you are asleep, you are not aware of what is happening around you.
Both sleep and meditation help you to relieve stress and get into a relaxed state. However, sleep is a natural state of the body whereas meditation is a practised state that helps you to calm your mind. Both have many health benefits as well.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the act of calming the mind in order to spend time in thought for relaxation or religious/spiritual purposes. Meditation helps you to attain an inner state of awareness and intensify personal and spiritual growth. Moreover, this process involves deep concentration or focusing on a particular object, thought or activity.
Meditation has been in practice since the ancient past, and this is a common practice in many religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity. However, these days, meditation has become a popular trend with many health benefits.
You can use meditation to reduce your stress, depression, pain and anxiety. It also gives you other benefits such as inner peace, improved perception, increased memory capacity, and emotional well-being.
Furthermore, there are different types of meditations. Some of these are as follows:
- Focused Meditation
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Movement Meditation
- Chanting Meditation
- Visualization Meditation
What is Sleep?
Sleep is the natural state of rest in which your body is inactive, your mind is unconscious, and your eyes are closed. Moreover, it is characterized by a state of muscle relaxation and reduced perception of environmental stimuli. Also, this is a state of rest that can be observed in both animals and humans. Furthermore, sleep is necessary for most animals for survival.
Our bodies physically restore themselves during sleep, healing and removing metabolic wastes which build up during periods of activity. Furthermore, sleep occurs in repeating periods where the body alternates between two different modes as REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM (non-rapid eye movement). During sleep, our body cycles between non-REM and REM sleep. We usually begin the sleep cycle with a period of non-REM sleep, which is followed by a very short period of REM sleep. We generally see vivid dreams during REM sleep.
A normal adult typically needs 7-9 hours of sleep; however, this sleep requirement varies from person to person. Not getting adequate sleep can make you feel exhausted and may have adverse effects on your overall health. Furthermore, there are also various sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea and hypersomnia, which prevent people from getting adequate sleep and rest.
What is the Difference Between Meditation and Sleep?
Meditation refers to the act of making your mind empty of thoughts, or concentrating on only one thing, in order to relax or as a spiritual or religious exercise. Sleep, on the other hand, is a natural state in which you are unconscious for a time, and your body rests, especially for several hours at night. The key difference between mediation and sleep is in your consciousness and awareness. When you are meditating, you are aware of what is happening around you; moreover, you are consciously in the moment, and you can control your thoughts. However, when you are asleep, you are not aware of what is happening around you. Furthermore, another difference between meditation and sleep is that meditation involves a conscious and subconscious mind whereas sleep involves subconscious and unconscious mind.
Furthermore, sleep takes many hours (7-9 hours), whereas meditation only lasts for minutes (about 20 or 30 minutes). Another difference between meditation and sleep is that meditation requires acute concentration whereas sleep does not. Also, you have to follow instructions or undergo training before you can master meditation techniques. However, sleep is instinctive as it is a natural state of the body.
Summary – Meditation vs Sleep
Meditation is the act of calming the mind in order to spend time in thought for relaxation or religious/spiritual purposes. Sleep, on the other hand, is the natural state of rest in which your body is inactive, and your mind is unconscious. The key difference between mediation and sleep is your consciousness and awareness. When you are meditating, you are aware of what is happening around you, but when you are asleep, you have no awareness of what is happening.
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