Meditation Makes Me Sleepy

Meditation is touted as a stress-reducer, path to emotional well-being and way to find inner-calm. I’ve tried meditation on and off over the years but I never was able to make it a regular practice.

For the past few months meditation has kept invading my mind as something I need to incorporate into my daily life. It seems the fates of the internet agree because they -and random internet surfing- caused me to stumble across the Chopra Center 21-day Meditation Challenge. On each of the 21-days of the meditation challenge (starting Monday January 24) the Chopra Center sends you an email containing a guided meditation.

Why 21 days? Because apparently 21-days is about how long it takes to make a new practice a habit. I was intrigued. The challenge was free. I had nothing to lose and it seemed that fate had pushed this opportunity in my keyboard-typing hands. So I signed up and promptly forgot about it.

I remembered the challenge on Monday morning when my first guided meditation arrived in my inbox. I opened it up that night even though I knew it would put me past the bedtime I’ve been trying to force upon myself and even though I still had homework for writing class to finish. So yes, the thought of taking the time to do my first guided meditation stressed me out. Hmmm . . . maybe the meditation itself could relieve the stress the thought of taking the time to do the meditation had induced?

Each guided meditation is approximately 8-15 minutes in total duration, which includes instructional and inspirational “talk.” Realizing this on Day 1, when you’re in a hurry is a bit frustrating. For example, Day 1 consisted of a total of 1 minute of actual meditation – so yes, I found myself multi-tasking.

For Day 2, I decided to do the meditation at the office after lunch so I wouldn’t be so stressed out. I opened the meditation, discovered that the technique of the day was breathing meditation and read the explanatory email that accompanies each guided meditation. I got comfortable and began.

For Day 2 we indulged in about 4 minutes of actual meditation. It was calming. It was relaxing. It made me nod off. During the 4 minutes of meditation I found myself fluctuating between focusing on my breathing and startling myself awake every time my head fell when I started to doze. One moment I was relaxed, the next I thought I was on an airplane, had inadvertently fallen asleep, and was checking to see if anyone noticed or if there was evidence of drool. I suspect this is not the intended result of meditation. But perhaps, I was just sleep deprived.

Today is Day 3 and I’m committed to stick to the challenge and progress through my sleeping stage.

Do you meditate? Any advice for the chronically sleepy?

If anyone would like to join me on this meditation journey, it’s free and not to late to sign up. Just click here.


12 Responses

  1. I’ve done Vipassana meditation retreats twice in the past. Each was 10 days of silence, meditation for about 12 hours a day and fasting in the evening. I’ve never been so sleepy in my life! Great experiences, though.

  2. I so admire this! I keep on telling myself that I need to meditate more…and yet I don’t force myself to develop the habit. But as for the sleepiness? I don’t know. I imagine I would have the same problem though! I hope you have a wonderful Friday. I can’t believe the weekend is almost here! Thank you for sharing, my friend. Many hugs from Austin!

  3. Yeah, I feel sleepy when do meditation…things to try.

    Sit on the floor, with a straight back, less comfy!

    Sit on edge of chair, don’t lean back

    Sit on edge of bed…

    If all else falls….take a nap, or drink some coffee!

    Your body is just conditioned to sleep when you are THIS relaxed, so you have to re-train your body to be relaxed, aware and awake!

  4. Sleep is a common enemy of meditation. What I find works best is sitting on the edge of my chair with pelvis tucked, spine straight, shoulders relaxed backwards and chin tucked to lock the pose. When I start to relax beyond awareness, I will fall forward and it will wake me up reminding me to straighten back up.

    If you are laying down, you can balance your forearm with hand to the ceiling. When you start to lose awareness, your arm will drop and wake you.

    Good luck!

  5. Just joined. It is now a meditation contest. Are you ready to bring it Sarah???????

  6. You’re so good for doing this! I really wish I could…but I’m with you about sleepy…I always fall asleep at end of even a rigorous yoga class.

  7. I do some relaxation exercises every night in bed and it puts me right to sleep! Meditation is somthing I need to do more often!

  8. Jiddu Krishnamurti telling a joke…

    “There are three monks, who had been sitting in deep meditation for many years amidst the Himalayan snow peaks, never speaking a word, in utter silence. One morning, one of the three suddenly speaks up and says, ‘What a lovely morning this is.’ And he falls silent again. Five years of silence pass, when all at once the second monk speaks up and says, ‘But we could do with some rain.’ There is silence among them for another five years, when suddenly the third monk says, ‘Why can’t you two stop chattering?”

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