How much sleep do you need?

How much sleep do you need?

In Health and Healing by Jost SauerLeave a Comment

Do you struggle to get through the day? Chi expert Jost Sauer discusses the importance of quality sleep, and having a morning practice.

Don’t wake up for work – wake up to build chi

The average time people spend between getting up and leaving for work is 23 minutes. During this time multitasking governs all actions. Eating a bowl of cereal standing up, getting dressed and talking on the phone all at the same time. Some turn multitasking into acrobatic feats by adding tooth brushing, dog feeding and Facebook posting to the previous acts. Mornings become a juggle, a criterion that belongs in the Guinness Book of Records but not in our homes.

The concern: if we don’t settle our chi in the mornings we uproot our chi when we get out out of the door as we are bombarded by sensory overload, urgencies and constant distractions. This has several consequences: we arrive uninspired at work, we are tired by lunch time and exhausted by 3.30pm. We don’t have the energy to be calm, we become short-tempered, even inconsiderate and insensitive to the people around us. A workplace turns into a war zone – and all because of the unplanned and stressed time gap between getting up and leaving for work.

The key for a peaceful and happy life is to have enough time for a morning practice. This lays the foundation for a beneficial ‘cause and effect cycle’. The goal is to start with a doable time slot such as 15 minutes, and, once formed as a habit, to extend to 25 minutes; then to 40 minutes, eventually to 60 minutes. The ROI, or ‘return on investment’ is peace and health – and that’s priceless.

The importance of quality sleep

Sleep is a mystical thing. Some say we need eight to ten hours, others say we need six to seven hours, some say five is enough. The fact is, sleep is yin. If you have an intense yang lifestyle where yin is an occasional ‘luxury item’ than you need eight hours or more to compensate for the lack of yin (yin and yang are programmed to balance each other).

If you follow the path of yin and yang then you need far less sleep and most likely will get away with six hours, or even less. At bedtime you will enter deep sleep immediately and remain asleep the entire time, instead of tossing for hours desperately trying to capture the delicious feeling of drifting into astral territory. This is quality sleep and it’s the measurement to go by – not time.

Quality sleep is uninterrupted sleep from which we wake up with a vivid experience of having been in a totally different dimension. In Chinese medicine this is important for health as it is here (the otherworldly dimension) that we reboot our bodily systems (organs, substances, tissues). Low quality sleep, on the other hand, doesn’t receive the support from this ‘mystical’ dimension. It lacks the crucial reboot of organs, tissues and substances (blood, jing, chi). Instead, we keep waking up, toss and turn all night and wake up at 3am unable to return to sleep. Low quality sleep feels like we’ve never left the physical dimension. Like we didn’t close the previous day and won’t be able to start the day on a new or blank slate.

A blank slate

This ‘new’ slate is the reboot of your purpose (life’s direction) as organs, substances and tissues carry the imprint of your soul’s ID, but also the data of your mission in the physical (your contract with heaven). Quality sleep is crucial for spiritual success as it ensures you are true to your path and your original nature (cosmic self). This is why low quality sleep is so torturous as you don’t feel real when you manage to get out of bed.

The more yang we generate, the harder we work, and the more we pursue our dreams, the more we draw from our organs, tissues and substances.

This is why joints and muscles ache from hard physical and mental work. 
Yang (fire) consumes yin (oil) , which means that
 yin is unable to lubricate joints and muscles 
with the result that
 the body and mind feel stiff and rigid.

Quality sleep remedies this and returns us to balance. We feel refreshed and energised to engage with the physical dimension, to draw in the visions of our soul and will our ideas into manifestation.

However, drawing from our organs, tissues and substances also undermines the ability for quality sleep. This can initiate a vicious downward spiral; the harder we work, the more we tax the bodily systems, the more we consume yin, the more we ‘create’ low quality sleep – the worse we feel. We are trapped in a ‘lose-lose’ situation. The harder we work, the more we lose the ability to enjoy our rewards. Because of low quality sleep we ‘drift away from ourselves’.

Realising our dreams and living for purpose is crucial for happiness, and quality of sleep is a crucial aspect of this. Which takes us back to the question ‘how much sleep do we really need’? The correct answer is not about time but about the effective reboot of our organs, tissues and substance.

An effective reboot

Here are six pointers to develop quality sleep and therefore needing less time for sleep:
1 Daily meditation.
2 Transforming toxic yang into healthy yin during lung-colon time (3-5am).
3 Therapeutic supplementation.
4 Therapeutic diet.
5 Yin and yang rhythm, e.g. chi cycle lifestyle.
6 Living for purpose rather than security (yin is affiliated with trust and faith).

Would you like more detail on the above tips? Jost has an expanded version, which will help you implement these steps and develop quality sleep.
They are FREE to download at

About the author

Jost Sauer


Jost Sauer is an author, acupuncturist and therapist, with a passion for health, fitness and lifestyle medicine. He shares his health insights in his books, blogs, workshops, treatments and retreats. Jost is on a mission to put hope and happiness back into the health mix.

Share this post

Leave a Comment