Sometimes I suddenly feel very tired when I still have many things to do. How can I know whether this is a real physical need for sleep or only a trip, a purification, or just a bad habit?

Lama Ole’s answer:

You determine this yourself by your motivation. You might want to do something meaningful and think of your body as a tool, but at the same time you have a huge pressure in your head, or maybe a little flu, or you haven’t slept for a few nights. Then it’s not a bad idea at all to lie down for a short while. What is decisive is the motivation to quickly enable yourself to do something for others again. If you use sleep as a medicine, then it is good and natural.

On the other hand, if you are dealing with difficult things or have problems with someone and don’t want to talk to them, and you then take five sleeping pills, pull the pillow over your head, and are out for twenty-four hours, then this isn’t so good.

I think that the problems of the body have to do with material that the mind can’t digest. If one has all kinds of problems in one’s mind, then one pushes them into the body over time and in turn the body doesn’t do well. But if one does what one likes and considers meaningful, then the body really can bear and do a lot.

Check yourself: What is your level of enjoyment? Are you more on the side of pleasure or on the side of aversion? If you are on the side of pleasure and think, “OK, the body is a machine and needs to rest from time to time,” then you do what you have to. But if you are on the side of aversion or reluctance, then you better give yourself a big kick until you do something useful.