Meditation is a key practice for spiritual mastery. But, do you keep falling asleep? Want to learn how to stay awake during meditation? No problem! I got you! In this article you will learn some effective techniques to keep you in that awaken meditative zone.
I probably don't have to twist your arm to convince you that meditation is very close to the sleep state. This is the main reason it's easier to fall asleep when you meditate. There are reports where 75% of insomniacs who started a daily meditation practice were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed.
Before we get into some ways to stay awake during meditation, let's address some common "issues" why you may be drowsy in the first place.
You may call this the Captain Obvious section. Feel free to skip.
Common Reasons You May Be Falling Asleep During Meditation
- Not getting enough sleep at night.
- Physically or mentally tired from work or life, in general.
- Dietary reasons; not getting enough nutrients or water.
- Not a good time of the day for you. Try meditating in the AM if you are used to meditating at night and vice versa.
- Trying to meditate too long. Reduce your meditation time and work your way back up.
- Stomach is too full. Definitely try to meditate on an emptier tummy (o:
- You expect to based on previous experiences. But, we're about to put an end to that!
Is falling asleep during meditation necessarily a "bad" thing though?
Yes and No.
Yes, because you want to be conscious during your meditation. Similar to hypnosis. A good hypnotherapist will keep their client awake during the session. This way you are able to know for yourself what is going on.
The word hypnosis is similar to the word hypnagogia. The hypnagogic state is the place between being awake and sleep. It's the transition period before sleep. This is actually the "sweet spot" for deep meditation; close to sleep but awake and aware.
This is why falling asleep during meditation is not a terrible thing. It shows you have the ability to get in a very relaxed state to the point where you catch Zzz's.
Now it's time to get into some slick meditation hacks to keep you awake and jacked instead of taking a nap. #bars
The hypnagogic state is the "sweet spot" for Meditation. Learn it now!
5 Powerful Ways to Stay Awake During Meditation
Open your Eyes
Assuming your are meditating with your eyes closed (and not scrying), just open your eyes when you catch yourself dozing off. By letting light in, even if it's dark, you will automatically create a stay-awake-alert in your mind.
Visualize a Mental Anchor (trigger)
An anchor is something that triggers you into a certain state of being. You can predetermine a picture or symbol (like the Yin Yang above) that will act as an anchor to keep you awake. When you catch yourself drifting, immediately see your mental anchor in your mind's eye. This will tell your brain to stay up. Takes practice but this technique is very effective.
Some more examples of mental anchors that you can visualize to trigger you to stay awake are: your house, children, favorite shirt, alarm clock, bright color, sporting equipment, numbers, letters and so on. You get the point.
Set an Alarm Clock to go off every 5 minutes
If you are really having a hard time staying awake, set an alarm clock before you go in. You can set it for about 5 minutes or however long before you normally doze off. Repeat if needed.
Use a Hand Gesture Anchor
Just like a Mental Anchor (#2), you can create and predetermine a hand gesture (or mudra) that you will do when you feel sleepy. As soon as you get that drowsy sensation, do your hand gesture. This will anchor you back to staying awake. Another strong technique but takes practice to master.
When was the last time you fell asleep standing up? I'll wait. Make sure to ask someone else, too. With this automatic sleep protector, you can stand up for a few seconds anytime you know you're about to be off in snooze land. If you lay down when you meditate, try just sitting up. Either technique will help you maintain conscious awareness.