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Author Topic: All-Night Vigil...sleep?  (Read 555 times) Average Rating: 0
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alexpetros
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« on: October 19, 2013, 08:03:42 PM »

I have been reading about All-Night Vigils as of recent, and I have been wondering, when do the monks sleep? After vespers the next day> Is it an all-nighter with no sleep until the next evening?

Just curious.
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 08:16:40 PM »

When I went to a Greek All Night Vigil, I found that the best sleep was during the canon at Matins.  Not kidding.  Tongue

Do you mean "All Night Vigil" in the Russian sense, the Greek sense, or the private vigils of monks? 
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 08:24:57 PM »

Greek, and definitely Athonite, sense.
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 03:42:10 AM »

My Grandmother used to host an all night vigil to a saint for helping her husband, she held it for many years after and I remember the stories about them, nobody slept all night, they might have at home the next morning.

But I also have been in Greece for weddings which go on for three days, the cousins did not leave in the morning until they had to open their business, then worked all day and night, till around 10 pm , then went back to the wedding all nite, some not sleeping for 4 days.

Sleep deprivation is known to cure depression, and is taught in all medical schools, but not known publicly, or used in the US by the profession because of no profit in it like the treatments that are used .I know some psychiatrists who have spoken out about this, saying that they are upset with the way the profession ignores a cure that is better than what is used here, but falls on deaf ears over the profits made from the drugs that are used instead. Billions of dollars made on one antidepressant in the first five years on the market

In europe they have sleep deprivation clinics where you can go to keep you awake for days. But it is not profitable enough for the US. Even though it is better for many.

Of course you only need  to do this once or twice a year, just as if you were going to a wedding in Greece once or twice a year. I have personal proof that it works , and you are immediately back to normal.

I have often thought that I may have suffered less had I grown up in Greece where staying up for weddings seems a source of pride for my cousins there, and may be Gods natural way that the profiteers would rather not be known.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 04:01:48 AM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 04:48:52 AM »

What I experienced at Mt Athos is this.

Monks may rest in the afternoon and then start the all night vigil at night fall and go until about 7am or even later depending on the Saint being celebrated, the placed the vigil is taking place (small skete vs larger monastery) and even the chanters. After eating a meal everyone goes to rest until midday. This may happen 3 and 4 times in the space of a week during some parts of the year since sketes and monasteries like to invite each other for these events. Good chanters are especially 'courted' and if you happen to go to vigil for a big saint, with good chanters, it is like Pascha all over!

In the world this is, of course, impossible. In a Greek parish where I attended a vigil some time ago, it started about 8pm until midnight. I doubt anyone could make it through a 10 hour vigil when you have a family and work commitments.
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 05:27:31 AM »

What I experienced at Mt Athos is this.

Monks may rest in the afternoon and then start the all night vigil at night fall and go until about 7am or even later depending on the Saint being celebrated, the placed the vigil is taking place (small skete vs larger monastery) and even the chanters. After eating a meal everyone goes to rest until midday. This may happen 3 and 4 times in the space of a week during some parts of the year since sketes and monasteries like to invite each other for these events. Good chanters are especially 'courted' and if you happen to go to vigil for a big saint, with good chanters, it is like Pascha all over!

In the world this is, of course, impossible. In a Greek parish where I attended a vigil some time ago, it started about 8pm until midnight. I doubt anyone could make it through a 10 hour vigil when you have a family and work commitments.


As I said above some of the family in Greece went days without sleep while still running their restaurant all day in between. Also there are soldiers who at times have had to go days without sleep.Such as during invasions such as normandy in WWII, or even recently in Iraq, I heard many went days at the beginning without sleep as a part of their plans .

If you consider tribes in ancient history who traveled thru hostile territories and were battling the elements there are many times where the  total lack of sleep throughout history was a fact of life at certain times, and people took pride in the ability to get through the situations.
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 05:33:37 AM »


What I experienced at Mt Athos is this.

Monks may rest in the afternoon and then start the all night vigil at night fall and go until about 7am or even later depending on the Saint being celebrated, the placed the vigil is taking place (small skete vs larger monastery) and even the chanters. After eating a meal everyone goes to rest until midday. This may happen 3 and 4 times in the space of a week during some parts of the year since sketes and monasteries like to invite each other for these events. Good chanters are especially 'courted' and if you happen to go to vigil for a big saint, with good chanters, it is like Pascha all over!

In the world this is, of course, impossible. In a Greek parish where I attended a vigil some time ago, it started about 8pm until midnight. I doubt anyone could make it through a 10 hour vigil when you have a family and work commitments.


As I said above some of the family in Greece went days without sleep while still running their restaurant all day in between. Also there are soldiers who at times have had to go days without sleep.Such as during invasions such as normandy in WWII, or even recently in Iraq, I heard many went days at the beginning without sleep as a part of their plans . I personally have stayed up days while still working and doing every thing I always do. If you are motivated it is easy, once you get past the hump, similar to what athletes who run marathons and triathlons where they all say there is a wall that they go through and then it is easy.

If you consider tribes in ancient history who traveled thru hostile territories and were battling the elements there are many times where the  total lack of sleep throughout history was a fact of life at certain times, and people took pride in the ability to get through the situations.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 05:34:27 AM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 05:36:27 AM »

interesting, the first time i worked all day and night and day again, it definitely CAUSED depression.
the cure was finally going home to my bed!

i have only twice been awake all night for social reasons (prayer/social activism) and then gone on to a normal day of activities.
i was young, and a student; i wouldn't recommend it for people working (esp. on building sites, driving or looking after small children).
actually one of those nights i got half an hour's sleep. it didn't make much difference!
for a long time, i kept my totally illegible notes of the lecture i attended the next morning, to remind me not to do it again!
 Wink

now, if i stay up all night for church (eg. we do this for good friday night), i sleep a few hours the next day.
it's a great way to prepare for staying up very late again the next night for Pascha!
 Smiley

PS - i also remember a greek family i met in crete as a teenager on holiday who were doing the no sleep thing.
one of them got rushed to hospital when we were there, and the rumours were that he went a bit crazy.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 06:24:00 AM »

interesting, the first time i worked all day and night and day again, it definitely CAUSED depression.
the cure was finally going home to my bed!

i have only twice been awake all night for social reasons (prayer/social activism) and then gone on to a normal day of activities.
i was young, and a student; i wouldn't recommend it for people working (esp. on building sites, driving or looking after small children).
actually one of those nights i got half an hour's sleep. it didn't make much difference!
for a long time, i kept my totally illegible notes of the lecture i attended the next morning, to remind me not to do it again!
 Wink

now, if i stay up all night for church (eg. we do this for good friday night), i sleep a few hours the next day.
it's a great way to prepare for staying up very late again the next night for Pascha!
 Smiley

PS - i also remember a greek family i met in crete as a teenager on holiday who were doing the no sleep thing.
one of them got rushed to hospital when we were there, and the rumours were that he went a bit crazy.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
Ask any psychiatrist  and he will confirm what I have written. I have lived through it so I am speaking from personal experience.

Go to pub med and you can see the thousands of sleep deprivation studies that are still being conducted, and actually people feel better when staying up after passing the certain point, it is caused because your brainwaves speed up, proven by hooking up sleep deprived to e.e.g machines while being deprived of sleep. The same effect that children who need sleep will exhibit signs of mania such as is called "bouncing off the walls", this is because their brainwaves have sped up, this is also what happens during shock therapy for depressed patients, only it only speeds up the brain for five seconds while you are convulsing, while sleep deprived the brain is sped up for as long as you remain awake after reaching that point where it starts , usually after getting past your normal sleep time.And the shock therapy ruins your memory, but sleep deprivation has been shown to improve it, the difference is from the electrical shocks, which are not present in sleep deprivation.

What you are saying is what you have been taught by our customs and what is actual reality is really unknown by most people.

Jesus first miracle was because they ran out of wine after three days of straight  partying.

You are normal and ignorant to the facts, and what you are saying is what modern man has been conditioned to believe, just as 99 percent of the people I have discussed this with in the past 20 years, since curing myself after hearing a Psychiatrist on MSNBC say how mad he was at the medical community in the US for not telling the public what is taught at every medical school in the world.

Like I said it is not something you do all the time, that is different and what is more generally known as being bad when you regularly do not get enough sleep. When done once or twice a year it is harmless.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 06:33:21 AM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 11:16:15 AM »

What I experienced at Mt Athos is this.

Monks may rest in the afternoon and then start the all night vigil at night fall and go until about 7am or even later depending on the Saint being celebrated, the placed the vigil is taking place (small skete vs larger monastery) and even the chanters. After eating a meal everyone goes to rest until midday. This may happen 3 and 4 times in the space of a week during some parts of the year since sketes and monasteries like to invite each other for these events. Good chanters are especially 'courted' and if you happen to go to vigil for a big saint, with good chanters, it is like Pascha all over!

In the world this is, of course, impossible. In a Greek parish where I attended a vigil some time ago, it started about 8pm until midnight. I doubt anyone could make it through a 10 hour vigil when you have a family and work commitments.


I forgot one other thing, there was one  monastery in Mt Athos, forget which, where they split the vigil because many of the elders were too old and it was one of the longer vigils. We stopped at about 2 or 3 am for a couple of hours and resumed until 9am. I was told this break had been done many times but not always.
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 11:19:08 AM »

Jesus first miracle was because they ran out of wine after three days of straight  partying.

Two miracles. Changing water into wine and partying for three days without getting any sleep.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 11:19:19 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2013, 11:31:05 AM »

I was about to call "shenanigans" on the sleep deprivation curing depression bit, but I had it confirmed in a couple of semi-reputable sources (New York Times, Psychology Today, and Scientific America). Never heard that. Gives me a small chuckle, as I am an insomniac so an all nighter once or twice a year is normal for me anyways.

Now, back to the non-derailed thread... Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2013, 11:40:19 AM »

What I experienced at Mt Athos is this.

Monks may rest in the afternoon and then start the all night vigil at night fall and go until about 7am or even later depending on the Saint being celebrated, the placed the vigil is taking place (small skete vs larger monastery) and even the chanters. After eating a meal everyone goes to rest until midday. This may happen 3 and 4 times in the space of a week during some parts of the year since sketes and monasteries like to invite each other for these events. Good chanters are especially 'courted' and if you happen to go to vigil for a big saint, with good chanters, it is like Pascha all over!

In the world this is, of course, impossible. In a Greek parish where I attended a vigil some time ago, it started about 8pm until midnight. I doubt anyone could make it through a 10 hour vigil when you have a family and work commitments.


As I said above some of the family in Greece went days without sleep while still running their restaurant all day in between. Also there are soldiers who at times have had to go days without sleep.Such as during invasions such as normandy in WWII, or even recently in Iraq, I heard many went days at the beginning without sleep as a part of their plans .

If you consider tribes in ancient history who traveled thru hostile territories and were battling the elements there are many times where the  total lack of sleep throughout history was a fact of life at certain times, and people took pride in the ability to get through the situations.

You are right. In times of stress or excitement, we can easily get by with little or no sleep for some time. But, for someone used to 7 hours of sleep daily, an all night vigil at Mt Athos is not easy! With practice the body adjusts and learns to cope with less sleep, ask any new mum and dad Smiley

For myself, while at Mt Athos, I found that standing as much as possible is a great way to keep sleep at bay. Any time I sat down for too long, I would fall asleep.
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2013, 12:06:16 PM »

Ours all-night-vigil lasts 1:40.
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2013, 12:15:59 PM »

Ours all-night-vigil lasts 1:40.

That's a small-night vigil.  laugh
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2013, 12:21:21 PM »

A young monk once complained to a Romanian Elder about the length of Athonite all-night vigils. He replied: "The only long thing is your sloth!" (Lungă-i lenea ta!)
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2013, 01:11:47 PM »

Just to be clear. Short term sleep deprivation MAY have short term anti-depressive benefits, it's not uniformly accepted by science. CHRONIC sleep deprivation is always harmful to one's well being.
There are hundreds of links available through a simple search. Certainly, occasional deprivation centered around task completion such as vigils, wedding benders and multiple shifts in certain professions is possible and likely not harmful to almost all. Common sense should dictate one's approach.
 
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2013, 01:28:30 PM »

IIRC it was Mother Gavriilia who said that there's no better cure for insomnia than an all-night vigil. The most restful sleep I've ever had was when I spent more than a fortnight in monasteries.
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2013, 02:46:01 PM »

I've dealt with depression throughout my life and I can definitely state that it has been MUCH worse when I am running with a lack of sleep. 
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