Question: Does lack of sleep decrease our aspiration?Sri Chinmoy: You have to know how much sleep your body needs. If your body needs six hours of sleep and you sleep for only three hours, then it will definitely tell upon your health. Lack of aspiration is not due to a mere lack of sleep. To some extent, it is due to the fact that your frail body is not able to cope with your great dedication. So what will you do? If the body needs seven hours of sleep to strengthen it, then do not suddenly cut down your sleep from seven hours to four hours. Bring it to six, then five and a half, then five. Then, if you feel that you are going to be another Sri Chinmoy, you can go on. Bring it to four, three, two. But if you feel that in this incarnation there should be only one Sri Chinmoy and one X, then stop either at five and a half hours or at a minimum of five hours. If you go to two hours or three hours, then definitely you are competing with me. But even then you can’t compete, because sometimes for days and weeks at a time I don’t sleep at all. My chair is my friend. So, don’t try to compete with me; only compete with your own capacity. The best thing is to identify yourself with my capacity and feel that you can do with almost no sleep. But when it is a matter of your own health, I must tell you that you definitely need more than three or four hours’ sleep a night. Sometimes the body is not affected all at once. It may take three years, four years, six years. So, if you feel that your aspiration is lacking, which fortunately it is not, then you can increase your sleep. But if you can keep up your aspiration, then you can sleep five hours. All the disciples who are normal should sleep for no more than seven hours. If you sleep for eleven hours, then you become abnormal. Some disciples do it. I have two disciples who sleep at least sixteen or seventeen hours. But they are not from this Centre, so you don’t have to worry.
Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-Tree, Agni Press, 1976