I am very good at falling asleep. This is probably because I am almost always tired. And I’m never more tired than when I meditate. Especially if I meditate at the end of the day, I’m so excited to have 5 or 10 (or if I’m lucky, 20) minutes of nonactivity that I’m immediately in relaxation mode. As soon as I relax, I’m drowsy. As soon as I’m drowsy, my head and body begin to pitch forward; a few minutes after that, I’m lucky if I’m not dead asleep.
My mind during meditation:
My body during meditation:
All jokes aside, it’s a serious issue. I’m not really in the business of meditation just to relax, and I find falling asleep when I’m trying to meditate horribly frustrating. Of course, it’s easier to meditate in the morning, and that does ease the problem somewhat. But sometimes it’s just simply not possible for me to meditate immediately after I wake up.
I’m wondering, does anyone else have this problem? It’s been covered in our Meditation Doctor with Brad Warner community discussion, and some suggestions there to combat drowsiness include making the room temperature cooler and not eating before meditating. (And of course, getting enough sleep in the first place.) What do you do when you’re drowsy and meditating?
Meditation month is almost over, but if you haven’t had a chance yet to read our Meditation e-book, supporting and sustaining members can get it from here for free. And for more tips from Brad Warner, visit our Meditation Doctor community discussion page.
Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.