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How Much Sleep?

A necessary evil or greatest pleasure?


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Published: November 16, 2013


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Visitor Comments: 21

(17) Anonymous, December 24, 2013 11:56 PM

I'm glad others think the same way as me!

I'm glad other people who have posted comments take issue with Lori. True, Rabbi Yaacov Weinberg, zatz'l, recommends minimizing sleep as one of the 48 ways of acquiring Torah. But this can be dangerous. A sleep expert here in Toronto says we're a sleep-deprived society -- and, as such -- increasingly prone to irritability, instability and inattention. The expert cites the Rambam as an authority for getting at least eight hours of sound sleep a night. And I think he's right. I realize that in much of the frum community, the late-to-bed ideology is much in vogue, whether it be bochurim studying late into the evening, or parents of big broods doing their shopping at 11 p.m. But this sleeplessness eventually catches up with you. I know one person who, because she pushed herself relentlessly, succumbed to systemic fatigue syndrome which virtually crippled her for years. So, sleep isn't anything to take lightly -- particularly in our 24/7, fast-paced, frenetic culture.

(16) Aliza, November 24, 2013 8:44 AM

With all due respect, I also disagree

Different people need different amounts of sleep. Some people CAN get by healthily with 4 or 5 hours of sleep. They are the exception, NOT the rule. Stanley Coren did an experiment for his book, "Sleep Thieves" where he gradually reduced the amount of sleep he got. He discovered it took him twice as long as to handle memos in his inbox (pre-email days!), he was irritable, and his ability to mentally process was severely compromised.

A better suggestion is for each person to find their optimum hours of sleep necessary and ensure they get that every night.

(15) J, November 22, 2013 3:46 AM

Reward yourself after a hard days work with a good nights sleep

I, like most of the commenters here disagree with Lori - medical study after medical study has shown the alarming long term effects of insufficient sleep and trying to cut corners on sleep. Sleep is a reward, and not just a necessary evil - after a hard days work we can rest assure that all of the human effort we have made to accomplishing goals is now being 'matched' by Hashem like an organization matching a donors contribution. It's a beautiful thought that we are not using our hands and minds and simply ' letting go' consigning ourselves to Hashem's loving care. Don't underestimate the power of dreams as well, which are analyzed at length in the Torah.

(14) Richard Dennis, November 21, 2013 7:52 PM

How much sleep you ask?

When you get up into the 80s, like me, you have other health matters that limit your sleep during the night. So, you take a nap somewhere in late morning or afternoon. Yes, there was a time that I, too, got by with 4-5 hours sleep. Not even close these days.

(13) Anonymous, November 21, 2013 6:13 PM

Unhealthy?

Im nervous about ppl taking it in an unhealthy way. I do not think trying to get less sleep is the answer in the least. A good nights sleep is the solution to almost every problemp of a persons day. And Its a halacha from the shulchan aruch to leap out of bed in the morning- hitgaber kari laamod baboker lavodas borei- because u are returned ur soul in the morning to be on a mission of productivity in ur day, but hashem created a need of sleep for our bodies to regenerate, our souls to get the rejuvination by learning with Him at night, and for us to understand the need for processing time after productivity and that we are not in control of outcome but we must give the days work over to Hashem for Him to seal it with a stamp of eternal stability as only. He can do. Sleep is critical. We are not the vilna gaon. I do nopt think we should strive for less sleep, but rather to use every moment that we are already awake anyway to be productive.

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