Functioning on Little or No ‘Sleep’ at All
How much sleep do we need? Thomas Edison slept only 4 hours per night, thus
adding 10 more years to his wakeful life. On July 8, 1943, Senora Ines Fernandez,
57, started a sleepless period that lasted over 30 years! While standing at her cottage
door in a town in southwest Spain, she watched a religious procession and suddenly
felt a searing pain in her head. She never slept again! No pills or medicines worked
and doctors determined that this total insomnia was a result of the impairment of the
sleep center of the brain. There have been other cases like this on medical record, but
the phenomenon is extremely rare. In all studied cases of little or no sleep,
individuals engaged in brief periods of dreamy relaxation during the day or night to
recharge their body and mind.
Through research with "electrosleep" (artificially induced sleep via electrodes that
pulse a mild electrical current into the brain), it was learned that total relaxation cuts
the necessary sleeping time down considerably. Most people toss and turn
throughout the night, relaxing one set of muscles then another, until all the body's
muscles have eventually undergone some form of relaxation. Through electrosleep,
all the muscles are relaxed without the tossing and turning, and 1 or 2 hours of
relaxed sleep under the sleep machine is equivalent to 8 hours of normal rest.
This exercise should only be done after mastering "Exercise -- Self-Hypnosis" or
"Exercise -- Self-Induced Trance," and it certainly should not be performed if there is
a medical reason to discourage it. Also this exercise will only be of benefit to you if
you have special reasons to utilize it. Since most people spend 1/3 of their life asleep,
dynamic individuals have found that sleeping less has enabled them to accomplish
To proceed with this exercise, assume a comfortable position and get into a self-
induced hypnotic state. While experiencing this relaxed state, repeat the following set
of affirmations 3 times. "My body and mind are filling with renewed energy. I am
feeling rested and refreshed. The deeper I relax, the less sleep I need." Practice this
exercise for 15 minutes 3 times a day. Within days, you will notice that you no
longer desire as much sleep as you used to require. To rouse yourself back to a
waking state, simply count slowly from 10 to 1 and progressively awaken yourself.
At the count of one, open your eyes and say, "I am wide awake, feeling fine and in
perfect health." This exercise is especially useful when you drive long distances and
start to feel drowsy.