If you feel sleepy or drowsy during your meditation practice then let me tell you, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Getting drowsy during meditation sessions is quite common for obvious reasons. Meditation helps men in getting into a relaxed and calm state of mind where they are relieved from all their stress and tension and bring peace mentally and physically. This can even sometimes make them sleepy, as one forgets all the exhaustion and gets into the state of complete relaxation.
In fact, meditation is a proven technique to create a sense of awareness and well-being that eventually improves sleep quality. Meditation depletes the high alert problem-solving brain waves and activates relaxation-related brain waves that probably make practitioners sleepy.
There could be certain factors that induce drowsiness during the meditation session, here are a few of them.
Improper Sleep & Fatigue
The foremost reason behind being sleepy is the lack of sleep and excessive tiredness because of work or physical activities. If a man is already tired, stressed, has irregular sleep patterns or is sleep deprived due to work pressure, the meditation practice can often be disturbed with sleepiness. Also, it is quite obvious for beginners to become drowsy as it takes time for freshers to get adjusted to the new experience of calmness. In fact, it is an indication from the body to take mental and physical rest.
Consumption of Heavy Meal
The biggest factor that activates sleeping cells is the heavy meal as it releases hormones. Fish, eggs, cheese, and tofu are known to contain the amino acid tryptophan, which may induce sleepiness through the release of serotonin.
Also, the body starts focusing on digesting post-eating a meal and the process becomes lengthy if a heavy meal is taken. During digestion, the brain limits the energy from the brain and creates a bit of drowsiness.
Meditation on or near bed
A place to practice meditation makes a huge difference as it prepares the mind and body to undertake certain work. Meditation in the bedroom or near bed tends to give automatic brain signals of drowsiness as due to our habit, the brain is already wired to think that bedroom means a place where you give your body relaxation.
Hence, it is advisable to create your own space for mediation. This place should be full of positive vibes and should create an environment where you can not only let your body relax but also go in a meditative state.
Drained from illness or stress
The body automatically experiences lower energy levels and concentration ability, when you are sick, even if you have the common cold. The weak body tends to get fatigued and loses the ability to keep itself in a sitting position or to perform any task even if it is as simple as meditation.
Drowsiness can be induced from regular stress, seasonal fevers or chronic illness that the body is experiencing. Also note that the medicines that you are taking, even if just for a cold, are designed in a way that it produces those chemicals which can help your body to relax and then re-strengthen to fight off the viruses. Even the body that is recovering from any unfavorable condition can’t perform meditation and tend to doze off frequently during meditation sessions.
While aforementioned pointers are signals about things that you shouldn’t do to remain wide awake during meditation sessions. There are some more things to keep in mind to avoid dozing off and having undisturbed sessions.
Create designated meditation place
It is often induced in us that there are different particular places to perform different tasks such as sleeping in the bedroom, studying on the study table, eating on the dining table, etc. Likewise, there should be a proper place designated for meditation. The simple logic behind this is that it prepares your body and brain to perform the task i.e. meditation without invading any other feeling or activity into your brain.
You can prepare a peaceful and comfortable corner of your house that receives enough fresh air and sunlight. To further create excitement and motivation, you can also decorate that place with some incense sticks, soothing paintings or art, or a singing bowl or water fountain.
Meditate with open eyes
It is clearly stated that there is not any particular way to practice meditation. Majorly the meditation is performed with closed eyes but if it makes you sleepy then you can do your meditation session with open eyes. It simply tells your brain to stay awake during the session. Candle meditation, sun gazing, and moon gazing are some of the meditation sessions that are performed with open eyes.
You can keep your eyes open and try to focus on a specific point to meditate as it gives the same effect.. It is suggested to keep a soft gaze so that it doesn’t stress on your eyes and brain and focus on an object that is about 2-3 feet in front of you.
While water has its own medical benefits on the body; it has some hidden benefits for successful meditation sessions. Evidence shows that dehydration can lead to disturbance in the cognitive functioning of the body which makes it difficult to concentrate.
To remain active and awake, you can have a glass of water before starting your meditation session. Also, for better results, you can splash some cold water on your face to evade inactiveness and sleepiness.
Meditation with Audio
Guided meditation or meditation with music is quite famous and effective. It also helps in staying alert and active if you tend to feel like sleeping during a meditation session. The chanting of mantras or surreal sounds can add extra stimulation to remain awake without getting distracted and alert.
Meditation is not something that should be done forcefully. If you find it difficult to stay awake during meditation sessions then there is no need to remain in the meditative state as it won’t lay any benefit of meditation.
It is a sign that your body needs some extra rest and you must embrace it by taking some time out and recovering from your disturbed sleep schedule. You can resume your meditation later on once you feel fresh and active.
Feeling drowsy or lethargic is quite common during meditation. However, you should be aware and acknowledge the reason behind it to avoid any disturbance from the meditation session. If you are falling asleep during your session, do not take it as a sign of failure. In fact, this is just a sign that your body is tired and requires sleep more than anything else. Listen to your body first!