How Long Do Monks Sleep? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

man wearing orange shirt sitting on bench monk how long sleep

How Long Do Monks Sleep?

Have you ever wondered how long monks sleep?

For instance, I have. It’s been bothering me when I was younger, so I read many books about monks and especially about their sleeping system.

How long do monks sleep?

Monks sleep for about four to six hours at night which is less than an average person’s sleep time. But some people believe that monks sleep longer than the average person. The truth is that monks usually meditate long before bed and also after awakening. That is why some people believe that monks sleep longer than the average person.

dalai lama awakening

On average, monks wake up at around 5 am in order to begin their day’s meditation practices. This may come as a surprise to some people, but the practice of morning meditation is seen as an integral part of a monk’s daily routine.

Key Takeaways

Monks sleep for only 4-6 hours long at night
Some people believe that monks sleep longer than the average person
Monks go to sleep early and meditate before bed
Monks wake up early to meditate and pray again
Monks live a simple and disciplined lifestyle
Monks sleep upright or on the floor

What are the benefits of monks sleeping less?

The benefits of monks sleeping less include improved mental health, better focus, and increased productivity.

Monks sleep less because they want to improve their mental health and focus. Monks who sleep fewer hours have a higher level of concentration and are more productive. They also have better mental health because they’re able to relax more easily and avoid stress from life’s challenges.

Positive effects of sleep deprivation

It is a common belief that people need to sleep for eight hours each night in order to be healthy. However, recent studies have shown that this may not be the case for everyone. Monks, for example, have been found to be resistant to the negative effects of sleep deprivation and can actually experience some positive effects from it. This is due to the fact that different people have different susceptibilities to sleep deprivation and its effects.

Better cognitive performance

Monks have a higher degree of activity in their brains than an average person. This is possibly due to the fact that they are resistant to fatigue after sleep deprivation. Additionally, monks have exhibited better cognitive performance and decision-making after periods of sleeplessness.

Increased productivity

One of the benefits of monks sleeping less is that they maintain their circadian rhythms. This means that their sleep patterns are more in line with natural body cycles, even though they’re getting less sleep overall.

Polyphasic sleep (taking short naps regularly during the day) has been shown to have some benefits, such as increased productivity and creativity.

Better memory and concentration

Sleep deprivation has some benefits for monks. One study showed that monks who slept for six hours a night had better memory and concentration than those who slept for eight hours. This is because they were more focused during their sleep and less likely to be distracted by outside stimuli.

Deeper meditation state

Though it may seem counterintuitive, monks sleep less in order to focus better and achieve a deeper meditation state. The brain can compensate for sleep deprivation, so the monks are not at a disadvantage when it comes to their cognitive abilities. By sleeping less, the monks have more time to focus on their spiritual practices.

man in pink dress shirt sitting beside lighted candles monk meditate

Fewer depression

Monks who sleep less than the average person tend to have a decreased sense of self. This is because the activation of the parietal lobes during sleep deprivation is reduced. Monks experience fewer depression symptoms due to their lack of sleep.

How do monks sleep?

Monks follow a strict sleep schedule that is based on their schedule. They wake up at 4am to meditate and spend around 10 hours working. This includes time for prayer or contemplation, which takes up the other 2 hours of their day.

Contrary to popular belief, monks do not sleep in a lot of uncomfortable positions. In fact, the general consensus is that they sleep on their back or side most of the time. If they are unable to get comfortable in those positions, they will sleep on their stomach. It is also not uncommon for monks to sleep sitting up, but this position is not as common as the others.

Monks teach their trainees how to sleep correctly in order to get the most out of their rest. This means sleeping on a thin mat and keeping a simple bed. They also wear a sanketi, which is a robe. There are two sets of robes- one to wear outside and one inside the monastery -and another set that can be used as a blanket in between these outer two sets of clothes. This way, you’re always warm when you sleep.

Sleep like a monk

In order to get a good night’s sleep, one should emulate the habits of monks. When it comes to sleeping like a monk, there are a few things you should know.

Follow a Bedtime Routine

To sleep like a monk, you need to follow the same routine every night. This includes going to bed at the same time early, waking up at the same time, and avoiding screens in between. You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, since they will interfere with your sleep. It is not easy to fall asleep after drinking coffee, see how to fall asleep after drinking coffee.

Live a Simple Life

Monks live a disciplined and simple lifestyle, which does not include sleeping like normal people. Monks sleep for about 4 – 6 hours each night, but they get the a restful sleep because they are in a dark and quite room.

Let it go

I try to be simple and clear.

To sleep better, you need to let go of all the bullshit that keeps you awake.

There’s a lot of thing that can keep you up at night. Maybe it’s worries about the future, worrying about what other people think of you, or constantly checking your phone. But all this noise is keeping you from getting the restful sleep that will help improve your overall health.

The best way to get rid of all this noise and make room for good sleep is to simply let it go. You don’t have to try so hard to be perfect or solve every problem on your own; in fact, sometimes letting things be just how they are can lead to more peace and relaxation. When everything in your life feels manageable and calm instead of chaotic and stressful, it’s easier to drift off into sweet slumberland every night.


Meditation can help practitioners identify and let go of all the things that are cluttering their minds throughout the day. This might include unnecessary worries, negative thoughts, or distractions. By letting go of all this baggage, it becomes easier to fall asleep at night especially when you are excited. Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation are highly effective in improving sleep quality – but meditation does not count as sleeping, not even for monks!

By practicing Buddhist meditation, focusing on your breath and remaining still while you sleep, you’re training your body to function at its best. This type of regular exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health.

Rest enough throughout the day

Most people are familiar with the struggles of trying to get a good night’s sleep. This is often due to the fact that people struggle to switch gears when the day is over due to their stressful life.

To combat this, it is important to build short periods of rest into their day. This can be done by taking a break for lunch, going for a walk in nature, or simply spending some time relaxing in a comfortable environment.

Taking these breaks will help you sleep better at night.

Take a nap

You also can try to nap but always take care of the length of your napping, it should be not too long.

The Buddha itself regularly took a nap during the day, some Suttas discuss it that “the Buddha goes to sleep at dawn after meditating at night”.

I recall, Aggivessana, in the last month of the hot season, after the meal, returning from my almsround, setting out my outer robe folded in four, lying down on my right side, and falling asleep while mindful & alert.

Maha-Saccaka Sutta: The Buddha takes an afternoon siesta (Suttas are early Buddhist texts with the Buddha’s teachings)

Reflect on your day

To sleep like a monk, you should first reflect on your day. Take some time to think about what you could have done better and how you can improve your life. This will help clear your mind before bed and allow you to get a good night’s sleep.

Clear your mind

Monks do focus on their thoughts before they go to sleep in order to clear their minds. This helps them to fall asleep more easily and enter into autopilot mode. Additionally, monks try not to think about anything when they’re trying to fall asleep in order to achieve the same result.

Chanting in the morning

In order to live a healthy and balanced life, monks make a habit of chanting in the morning, evening, and during their alms rounds.

Clean your home

They also clean temples and do other chores to improve their overall quality of life. This helps them stay on track and get the most out of their day-to-day lives.

What do monks sleep on?

Monks sleep on the floor or on a simple low bed without any luxurious features. This allows them to train their minds to be still and fall asleep quickly. Sleeping on a low bed forces the monks to keep their spine in alignment, which is key to having good posture. Furthermore, using a goose feather pillow helps increase the comfort level and allows monks to get a good night’s sleep.

Are there any drawbacks to sleeping like a monk?

There are some drawbacks to sleeping like a monk, but they usually outweigh the benefits. Most people who sleep like monks don’t feel as good as when they’re sleeping regularly. Sleeping like a monk can have negative effects on your mental and physical health.

The main drawback to sleeping like a monk is that you won’t be getting enough restful sleep. Regularly getting enough restful sleep is important for your overall well-being and health.

You have to change your whole lifestyle and think like a monk, not just sleep like a monk.

Drawbacks of Sleeping on the Floor

Sleeping on the floor can be comfortable for some people who suffer from back pain and it can be more grounding and connect us with our surroundings. Also sleeping in cold temperatures can be comfortable for some people but not for others. Sleeping less can have benefits such as reducing stress levels and improving focus and concentration. Why do monks sleep on the floor? Monks are reminded of their humility this way and also feel more connected with nature by doing so.

Monks often sleep on the floor or on a thin mat, which also helps to improve blood circulation.

Why do Buddhist Monks Sleep Upright?

Buddhist monks sleep upright like in the medieval times to lose muscle tone and to spend more time meditating. They typically spend four years on retreat, during which they aim to spend as much time as possible in meditation. Sleeping upright does not mean that the monk is not asleep – in fact, they can achieve a deep state of relaxation in this position.

Buddhist Monks have a unique way of sleeping in order to improve their sleep habits. They sleep upright instead of on their back, which reduces the amount of time they spend sleeping. This is because the main activity of Buddhist Monks is meditation, which requires them to be awake and alert.

Sleeping upright allows the monks to minimize contact with the ground, which they believe can allow negative energy to enter their bodies and affect their meditation. Additionally, they believe that sleeping on your back can disturb your chi, or life force energy.

Sleeping Upright Benefits

Sleeping upright has many benefits, the most important of which is that it allows you to relax more fully. Monks find sleeping in this position a fantastic way to reduce stress and rejuvenate themselves for the day ahead. Additionally, sleeping upright helps monks better utilize their sleeping time by allowing them to sleep for shorter periods of time but still feel well-rested.

Drawbacks of Sleeping Upright

It would appear that one of the benefits of monks sleeping less is that they tend to have more energy in the morning as they sleep upright with their spine in a neutral position (see how vagus nerve impacts your sleep). This allows them to reduce their stress levels and improve their focus and concentration.

Sleepin in an upright position helps them avoid back ache and neck pain. But sleeping upright may cause that you will not get into deep sleep enough which results a non-restorating sleep.

Do monks sleep?

Yes, monks do sleep. Monks sleep for a relatively short period at night but they always rest, meditate and nap during the day.

What time monk wake up?

Monks usually wake up around 4am, and they spend the morning praying, meditating, and working on their spiritual practice.

What time do shaolin monks go to sleep?

A shaolin monk spends around 4 -6 hours sleeping per night on average. Shaolin monks usually go to bed around 10 PM, although there are some who will stay up a little later in order to pray or read.

How many hours a day do monks sleep?

Most monks sleep for four to six hours per night. This includes both men and women who are practicing as monks or nuns. The reason why they sleep this amount of time is to allow their bodies to heal and rejuvenate properly. It also helps them stay focused and alert during the day, which is important for their spiritual practice.

What does Buddhism say about sleep?

In Buddhism, sleep is not seen as a necessary part of the human cycle. The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama (better known as Buddha), spent about six hours per day meditating. This leaves a lot of time for other activities, such as work and study.

Buddhism does not specifically mention sleep, but many of the principles in Buddhism can be applied to sleep. There are three main aspects of Buddhist philosophy that can be related to sleep: mindfulness, compassion, and concentration.


Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to your present moment experiences without judgement. This includes being aware of your thoughts and emotions, as well as the physical environment around you.


Compassion is feeling kindness and sympathy for others. It helps us understand why other people might behave the way they do and prevents us from becoming judgmental or resentful.


Concentration is a skill that allows you to focus on one thing at a time and overcome distractions. It’s important for meditation, but it’s also helpful when trying to fall asleep faster or stay awake during the day.

Do monks meditate before bed?

Monks usually meditate for 1 to 3 hours before bed. This type of practice has been shown to change the brain, leading to better mental and physical health.

There is no scientific evidence to support the claims that monks sleep longer than other people. There are a few anecdotal reports of long sleeps among Buddhist monks, but there’s no research to back it up.

How many hours a day do monks meditate?

Monks spend most of their time meditating and sleeping, so it’s no surprise that they get the recommended eight hours of sleep per day. In fact, monks are known to be some of the longest-sleeping people on the planet! But are they sleeping or meditating? Is it the same? Can you meditat instead of sleeping?

Buddha advised monks to sleep for four hours a day and set a wake up time in their mind (brahma muhurta time is the best). This allows them plenty of time for meditation, prayer, and other religious duties. Monks typically wake up early and meditate for 1 to 3 hours before doing the same at night.

Is There a Connection Between Japanese Sleep Patterns and Monk Sleep Patterns?

Is there a connection between Japanese sleep patterns and monk sleep patterns? Understanding japanese waking habits can shed light on this. Both Japanese people and monks value restful sleep as an essential part of their routines. However, while monks often have strict sleep schedules to promote mindfulness, Japanese waking habits may vary due to cultural influences and modern lifestyles. Further exploration is needed to uncover any potential correlations.

Why do monks sleep so little?

There are a few reasons why monks sleep so little. One reason is that it is necessary for their health- they need less sleep than the average person in order to stay healthy and focused. Another reason is that monks use sleep as a form of meditation, and by sleeping less they can focus more on their practice.

Why is 4 am the best time to meditate?

The best time to meditate is early in the morning, before the distractions of the day set in. At 4 am, the mind is calm and refreshed from a good night’s sleep. The hours between 4 and 6 am are also when the mind is most receptive to meditation and learning.

How long do monks meditate?

Monks meditate for several hours throughout the day, 6-10 times a day. Here you can read about how long do monks meditate in real life.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.