Generally, yes. The longer I have meditated, the less sleep I need. However that changes if my work is particularly physically demanding or I swim on the day. Then, I need more sleep for my body to recover on that day or the days after it.
Yes, one can become aware of sensations during sleep. Sometimes it happens when I am on retreat or from time to time in daily life when my practice seems to be firing particularly well. I've also had the experience of meditating throughout my sleep. As you know, during the 10-day course you are given instructions on maintaining awareness of sensation while you are falling asleep and also when you first wake up. Eventually, this awareness will creep into your sleep state more and more. Don't stress about it if you are not observing sensations during your sleep. Its more important to focus, initially, on the time you're on the cushion and over time, you'll be able to extend that awareness during other periods of the day and also during sleep.
All the best.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •
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