Question: When we feel like going to sleep, how can we tell if it's just our mind or if we really need this sleep?

Sri Chinmoy: After your meditation early in the morning, you should feel that life is an opportunity. You should feel that if you go to sleep even for a minute, then you are really going to miss something or lose something that is extremely important to your life. This is not a threat to your conscious mind. Sometimes you don't need sleep at all; it is only your mind that is telling you that for the last two or three days you have not slept enough. But who knows, perhaps for the past few days you meditated well. You have not slept for more than seven hours during these days, true; but during these three days perhaps your meditation was extremely powerful. When your meditation is extremely powerful, then you don't need to sleep for seven or eight hours.

If you feel that your meditation was not good and that now you need or deserve sleep, at that time you can try to be the master of the body. Do not allow the body to dictate to you. If the body comes and tells you, "I am so tired, please let me sleep," then it is just as if a worker were leading his boss. The workers always say, "I am so tired and exhausted. Please let me go home." But you are the boss. If you feel that your system, the worker, is really tired and exhausted, then you allow the body to sleep. But you be the judge. Otherwise, it is natural for the body to act like that. It will always try to convince you that it is very sick and weak. It knows that when it is hungry you will feed it. It is like a worker who knows that the boss has a big heart. The boss will always give him his salary because he has convinced the boss that he is sick all the time. So when you give in to the body, please feel that you are the owner of the body. Your soul is the owner of the body and you are one with the soul. If you see that the body is tired and exhausted and it cannot move an inch, then naturally at that time the body deserves sleep. But if you allow the body to dictate to you, then the body will tell you every day that it needs more sleep. Right after meditation it will say, "Now that I have done my duty, I deserve three or four hours of sleep." So you be the judge, and not the body. Let your soul and your aspiration be the judge of the body. Then, I tell you, you are not going to make any mistakes.