Feeling drowsy or sleepy is one of the many difficulties felt by beginners of meditation. Is there something which prevents feeling sleepy during meditation?
Meditation is good for our body and soul. There is scientific evidence to back this as well. Researchers at Stanford University and many other studies have revealed that meditation lowers high blood pressure, improves the body’s natural immunity, enhances the production of serotonin that is responsible for behavior and mood, helps us sleep better, and even reduces joint and muscle problems.
At the mental level, meditation helps us relax, improves creativity, reduces stress, gives us emotional stability, helps us focus better and develop a sharp mind, improves self consciousness, and makes us more confident.
Undoubtedly, there are many reasons why we should all be meditating. It is good for everyone, irrespective of age, or background. So start today! Try it for just a few minutes, and then gradually meditate for longer duration, every day.
Feeling Sleepy during Meditation is the Common Problem for Almost Every Beginner
But there is a problem, particularly for those who are just beginning to meditate. A lot of people complain that they feel drowsy when starting off, and many of them even doze off completely. It’s a common problem with almost everyone.
This can happen because the mind is at complete rest when you are meditating. We are all busy in our everyday lives. We are running, trying to be in time, meet the deadlines. We are not getting adequate rest. In fact, some people don’t even sleep for 6-8 hours in the night. It stresses us so much that we all feel exhausted. So when we are sitting down and meditating, the mind has nothing to do and it lazes off, leading to sleepiness.
Why do you Feel Sleepy during Meditation?
Meditation and sleep has many similar characteristics. Both ceases physical and mental activities as well as sensory input. But there’s one major difference in both of them, that of consciousness state. Sleep takes you to subconscious and meditation to super-conscious state. When your energy decreases, you enter into subconscious and then sleep. In meditation, you need to remain aware with an empty mind! This requires increasing your energy.
So What Can You Do To Stay Awake During Meditation?
Simple, increase your energy! And how? Here is one simple strategy that will always work. Try this and see the amazing results.
The One Strategy That Always Works to avoid Drowsiness during Meditation
Focus completely on breathing. Breathing rightly is the most important tool for increasing energy. Right breathing is diaphragmatic breathing, where your abdomen expands and contracts while you breathe, and not your chest.
Yes, you want to relax during meditation because you want to travel inwards into your inner self, but that doesn’t have to mean that your mind should laze off. Make it focus on breathing instead.
Gently breathe in, and then breathe out. Keep your attention here, and your mind will have something to do. If feelings and thoughts come up, try to gently push them back by focusing on breathing. Bring back attention to breathing. In the beginning, you can just breathe in and breathe out five times, stop, count one to five, and then do the breathing again.
This exercise will prevent you from dozing off. With time and practice, the breathing in and out motion will happen automatically. You will be able to relax more, but you will still stay awake during the meditation.
Is there anything else you can do to prevent drowsiness during meditation?
Yes, there are a couple of other things as well that you can do, such as getting enough sleep the night before. Also, pick the time of your meditation wisely. You can do it in the morning, or during day when you feel energetic. In fact, it is good to do some light warm up exercises before you start meditating. Also, make sure that you are sitting perfectly straight. Keep your back straight. Leaning forward while meditating may make you feel drowsy. Try sitting on a cushion or pillow. That might help as well.
All these measures can help you prevent drowsiness. But the one strategy that will always work without fail is focusing on breathing while meditating. Try this. It will surely give you good results.