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Is there any mention of the minimum or maximum number of sleeping hours for humans in Vedas, Puranas, Ayurveda, or any other scriptures?

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  • You can see breakdown of what brahmins are expected to do in a day of 24 hours - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/21054/… - approximately sleep is between 8.30pm & 4.30am, cos there is some leeway in when to go to sleep.
    – mar
    Jan 14, 2018 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

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You should wake up before sunrise, and go to sleep after sunset. Here is what this chapter of the Manu Smriti says:

If the sun should rise or set while he is sleeping, be it (that he offended) intentionally or unintentionally, he shall fast during the (next) day, muttering (the Savitri). For he who lies (sleeping), while the sun sets or rises, and does not perform (that) penance, is tainted by great guilt.

And here is what this chapter of the Gauatama Dharma Sutras says:

Let him who was asleep when the sun rose remain standing during the day, continent and fasting, and him who was asleep when the sun set (remain in the same position) during the night, reciting the Gâyatrî.

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    These verses are just saying one should not be sleeping during these two Sandhyas. That one should wake up during Brahmamuhurta is well known, but from these verses we can't calculate the recommended hours of sleep because there is no clear instruction given as to when exactly to retire to bed at nite.
    – Rickross
    Jan 14, 2018 at 7:47
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    @Rickross I disagree. If you are to be awake at sunset, the clear implication is that the sleeping hours of the night should be after then. Jan 14, 2018 at 8:55
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    One should never sleep just after sunset. The time of Sandhyas are very auspicious because that is the time Lord Shiva roams on Vrishabha with Parvati. This is also the reason why Diti got Daityas as sons as she sported with Kashyapa at evening time.
    – The Destroyer
    Jan 14, 2018 at 12:09
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    @TheDestroyer Well, anyway at least Dvijas perform Sandhyavandhanam before, during, and after sunset, also at least for them there's no question of going to sleep immediately after sunset. Jan 14, 2018 at 12:10
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    The question is minimum and maximum hours. I can be awake at three sandhyas but how does that show number of hours spent in sleep ? Jan 14, 2018 at 15:11
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The answer is not directly mentioned in Puranas, but one can find a small hint in Shrimad Devi Bhagwatam Mahapuran. It's from the 1st Skandha, 17th Chapter when, Sukadev goes to meet Maharaj Janaka in Mithila. The routine he follows at Janaka Mahal,is mentioned.

The verses are as follows,

स कृत्वा पादशौचं च कुशपाणिरतन्द्रेतः।
उपास्य पश्चिमां सन्ध्याम् ध्यानमेवान्वपघत।।६४
He, then, washed his feet and with vigilance, put on his finger the ring prepared of Kuśa grass, and completing his evening Sandhyā, became merged in Dhyāna.

यामेकंस्थितो ध्याने सुश्वाप तदनन्तरम्।
सुप्तवा यामद्वायं तत्र चोदतिष्ठ न्त तः शुकह्।।६५
Meditating on Supreme Brahmā for one Prahara (three hours), slept for 2 Prahara (6 hours) and getting up, again became merged in Brahmā Dhyāna, in the last 1 Prahara (three hours) of the night.

पाश्चात्यम् यामिनीयामं ध्यानमेवान्वपघत।
स्नात्वा प्रातः क्रियाः कृत्वा पुनरास्ते समाहितः।।६६
Then in morning, he took his bath and completing his morning duties, became immersed in Samādhi (inner enlightenment) and sat at ease.

From this, a conclusion can be drawn. Suppose the Sandhya is done by 6 in evening, till 9 sukhdevji was in dhyan. Then he slept for 6 hours,that is 9 to 3, and did dhyan for 3 hours, that is probably 3 to 6 which are also the last prahar of night as aforementioned in shlokas. Thereafter, he had his snan in morning, did his proper duties, i.e. Sandhyavandana and after that he got engrossed in dhyana,and than he sat at ease that is, he relaxed down

कालिकार्पणमस्तु 🌺।

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