This is so interesting SLEEP, DREAMS, AND CONSCIOUSNES
Persons vary in the amount of sleep they need, and no pill will ever allow them to
dispense with sleep entirely, for too much work is done in that state. However, this
could be done far more effectively with two, rather than one, sleep periods of lesser
Two periods of three hours apiece would be quite sufficient for most people, if the
proper suggestions were given before sleep - suggestions that would insure the body's
complete recuperation. In many cases ten hours sleep, for example, is actually
disadvantageous, resulting in a sluggishness both of mind and body. In this case the
spirit has simply been away from the body for too long a time, resulting in a loss of
As many light snacks would actually be much better than three large meals a day, so
short naps rather than such an extended period would also be more effective. There
would be other benefits. The conscious self would recall more of its dream adventures
as a matter of course, and gradually these would be added to the totality of experience
as the ego thinks of it.
As a result of more frequent, briefer sleep periods, there would also be higher peaks
of conscious focus, and a more steady renewal of both physical and psychic activity.
There would not be such a definite division between the various areas or levels of the
self. A more economical use of energy would result, and also a more effective use of
nutrients. Consciousness as you know it would also become more flexible and mobile.
This would not lead to a blurring of consciousness or focus. Instead the greater
flexibility would result in a perfection of conscious focus. The seeming great division
between the waking and the sleeping self is largely a result of the division in function,
the two being largely separated - a block of time being allotted to the one, and a larger
block of time to the other. They are kept apart, then, because of your use of time.
Initially, your conscious life followed the light of day. Now with artificial light this
need not be the case. There are opportunities here, then, to be gained from your
technology that you are not presently taking advantage of. To sleep all day and work all
night is hardly the answer; it is simply the inversion of your present habits. But it
would be far more effective and efficient to divide the twenty-four-hour period in a different way.
There are many variations, in fact, that would be better than your present system.
Ideally, sleeping five hours at a time, you gain the maximum benefit, and anything else
over this time is not nearly as helpful. Those who require more sleep would then take,
say, a two-hour nap. For others a four-hour block sleep session and two naps would be
highly beneficial. With suggestion properly given, the body can recuperate in half the
time now given to sleep. In any case it is much more bracing and efficient to have the
physical body active rather than inactive for, say, eight to ten hours.
You have trained your consciousness to follow certain patterns that are not
necessarily natural for it, and these patterns increase the sense of alienation between
the waking and dreaming self. To some extent you drug the body with suggestion, so
that it believes it must sleep away a certain amount of hours in one block. Animals
sleep when they are tired, and awaken in a much more natural fashion.
You would retain a far greater memory of your subjective experiences, and your body
would be healthier, if these sleeping patterns were changed. Six to eight hours of sleep
in all would be sufficient with the nap patterns outlined. And even those who think they
now need more sleep than this would find that they did not, if all the time was not
spent in one block. The entire system, physical, mental, and psychic, would benefit.
The divisions between the self would not be nearly as severe. Physical and mental
work would be easier, and the body itself would gain steady periods of refreshment and
rest. Now, as a rule, it must wait, regardless of its condition, at least for some sixteen
hours. For other reasons having to do with the chemical reactions during the dream
state, bodily health would be improved; and this particular schedule would also be of
help in schizophrenia, and generally aid persons with problems of depression, or those
with mental instability.
Your sense of time would also be less rigorous and rigid. Creative abilities would be
quickened, and the great problem of insomnia that exists for many people would be
largely conquered - for what they fear is often the long period of time in which
consciousness, as they think of it, seems to be extinguished.
Small meals or snacks would then be taken upon rising. This method of eating and
sleeping would greatly help various metabolic difficulties, and also aid in the
development of spiritual and psychic ability. For many reasons, physical activity at
night has a different effect upon the body than physical activity during the day, and
ideally, both effects are necessary.
At certain times during the night the negative ions in the air are much stronger, or
numerous, than in the daytime, for example; and activity during this time, particularly
a walk or outside activity, would be highly beneficial from a health standpoint.
Now the period just before dawn often represents a crisis point for persons severely
ill. Consciousness has been away from the body for too long a period, and such a
returning consciousness then has difficulty dealing with the sick body mechanism. The
practice in hospitals of giving drugs to patients so that they will sleep entirely
throughout the night is detrimental for this reason. In many cases it is too great a
strain on the part of the returning consciousness to take over again the ailing mechanism.
Such medications also often prevent certain necessary dream cycle that can help the
body recuperate, and the consciousness then becomes highly disoriented. Some of the
divisions between different portions of the self, therefore, are not basically necessary
but are the result of custom and convenience.
In earlier periods of time, even though there were no electric lights for example, sleep
was not long and continuous at night, for sleeping quarters were not as secure. The
caveman, for example, while sleeping was on the alert for predators. The mysterious
aspects of the natural night in outside surroundings kept him partially alert. He
awakened often, and surveyed the nearby land and his own place of shelter.
He did not sleep in long blocks as you do. His sleeping periods were instead for two
or three hours, stretched through the nighttime from dusk to dawn, but alternated by
periods of high wakefulness and alert activity. He also crept out to seek food when he
hoped his predators were sleeping.
This resulted in a mobility of consciousness that indeed insured his physical
survival, and those intuitions that appeared to him in the dream state were
remembered and taken advantage of in the waking state.
Now, many diseases are simply caused by this division of yours and this long period
of bodily inactivity, and this extended focus of attention in either waking or dreaming
reality. Your normal consciousness can benefit by excursions and rest in those other
fields of actuality that are entered when you sleep, and the so-called sleeping
consciousness will also benefit by frequent excursions into the waking state.
I bring up these matters here because such changes in habitual patterns would
definitely result in greater understanding of the nature of the self. The inner dreaming
portions of the personality seem strange to you not only because of a basic difference of
focus, but because you clearly devote opposite portions of a twenty-four hour cycle to
these areas of the self.
You separate them as much as possible. In doing so you divide your intuitive,
creative, and psychic abilities quite neatly from your physical, manipulative, objective
abilities. It makes no difference how many hours of sleep you think you need. You
would be much better off sleeping in several shorter periods, and you would actually
then require less time. The largest sleep unit should be at night. But again, the
efficiency of sleep is lessened and disadvantages set in after six to eight hours of phys-
The functions of hormones and chemicals, and of adrenal processes in particular,
would function with far greater effectiveness with these alternating periods of activities
as I have mentioned. The wear and tear upon the body would be minimized, while at the
same time all regenerative powers would be used to the maximum. Both those with a
high and low metabolism would benefit.
The psychic centers would be activated more frequently, and the entire identity of the
personality would be better strengthened and maintained. The resulting mobility and
flexibility of consciousness would cause an added dividend in increased conscious
concentration, and fatigue levels would always remain below danger points. A greater
equalization, both physical and mental, would result.
The Eternal validity of the Soul - Seth speaks by Jane Roberts
This passage reminded me of Roger Ekirch's research on " sleep we have lost "http://www.history.vt.edu/Ekirch/sleepcommentary.html