But when an enlightened person lives he could be in the present all the time. But when you sleep your conscious/awareness may be different or just disappear.

So does the level of awareness of an enlightened person also change or stay the same even when sleeping.


2 Answers 2


sleep is a state of body, not a state of mind. If you are asleep your body has shut down the 5 senses, but your mind can still be active (dreaming).

"As for those delusion-born fevers — burned with which the householder or householder's son would sleep miserably — that delusion has been abandoned by the Tathagata, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore he sleeps in ease. - AN 3.34

If you are practicing mindfulness and meditation regularly you can actually stop nightmares from happening by this habit.


An Arahat does not sleep like a normal person. He may give rest to the body but in doing so is fully aware hence not asleep. This is a natural consequence of reducing impurities of the mind.

Another enemy is laziness, drowsiness. All night you slept soundly, and yet when you sit to meditate, you feel very sleepy. This sleepiness is caused by your mental impurities, which would be driven out by the practice of Vipassana, and which therefore try to stop you from meditating. You must fight to prevent this enemy from overpowering you. Breathe slightly hard, or else get up, sprinkle cold water on your eyes, or walk a little, and then sit again.


Similarly, when you go to bed at night, close your eyes and feel sensation anywhere within the body. If you fall asleep with this awareness, naturally as soon as you wake up in the morning, you will be aware of sensation. Perhaps you may not sleep soundly, or you may even remain fully awake throughout the night. This is wonderful, provided you stay lying in bed and maintain awareness and equanimity. The body will receive the rest it needs, and there is no greater rest for the mind than to remain aware and equanimous. However, if you start worrying that you are developing insomnia, then you will generate tensions, and will feel exhausted the next day. Nor should you forcefully try to stay awake, remaining in a seated posture all night; that would be going to an extreme. If sleep comes, very good; sleep. If sleep does not come, allow the body to rest by remaining in a recumbent position, and allow the mind to rest by remaining aware and equanimous.

Source: The Discourse Summaries by S.N. Goenka

Also see: Suppati Sutta


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